Last week I knew I’d likely not manage a post due to being in for surgery. That’s fine, I thought, it’s ok to have a week off, I mean they’re taking bits of your insides out! That’s totally a good excuse. Little did I know I’d end up in there for a week and end up missing out on two/three posts. Bah. But oh well, at least I have plenty to write about now ;)
Even in hospital I managed to have a little bit of greenery as my awesome aunt brought me a beautiful bunch of roses. Every one of the non-medical staff, when they came into the room, made a bee-line for the roses to give them a wee sniff and comment on how lovely they were =)
Being in for a week rather than one or two days max, though, meant having to try to sort out what to do about the garden and all of my indoor plants. There were greenhouses which needed opening… but only at the right temperatures, my african violets needed watered but they are sensitive to over-watering and do better with warm water, and the plants in the greenhouses needed to be kept well watered on hot days – especially the tomatoes!
When we had the really bad windy weather last week I’d put some plants into the shed, intending to ask Andy to help me get them back outside once I got out of hospital.
I forgot about them even when I was going through everything that needed taken care of.
I didn’t even want to look – my second peas and beans, my biennials, marigolds, purple cauliflowers, a big box of mixed lettuce, nasturtiums, and some extra sunflowers I’d sown were all in there. To my great surprise everything was pretty much fine! The only real problem was that some had grown a bit leggy trying to stretch to the small shed window!
Less lucky were my outdoor beans, which suffered pretty hefty wind damage – this was especially annoying because they were heirloom ones sent to me by Matron. The first leaves were all but wilted off and what was left looked peaky so I’ve nipped them off (they just seemed to be dragging the plants down) and I’m now just waiting to see if the rest of the plant will perk up any. I still have a few seeds left, but I’m hoping these ones will pull through.
One of my big squashes looks to have died – I think the wind snapped the stem or pulled the roots out. Either way it’s sitting limply on the surface of the ground. The other one is looking ok though – I banked it up on all sides with earth and that seems to have saved it so far.
The leeks… probably won’t make it.
On the up-side, Andy and I ate garden-fresh potatoes smothered in freshly cut chives the night before last. I think I finally started getting through to him about the wonderfulness of home veg growing when I asked him to help me dig some out of a bag and when he found one he pulled it up, looked it it and grinned “…it’s a potato!”. I couldn’t help but laugh, but I knew exactly what he meant – that feeling of ‘wow, I’ve just put my hands into the soil and pulled food from it which was grown right here’ is like no other. I’ll make a gardener of him yet. He has a fairly green thumb, I think, given that he managed to keep everything alive and well whilst I’m away – it’s just overlain by drum and guitar callouses, hehe. The potatoes (epicure) tasted pretty good – though they’re getting to be a fair size for first earlies as this was a bag planted early due to hopefulness with the good spring weather we had.
The ‘miscellaneous brassicas’, sweet peas, border plants, gladis, outdoor lettuce, garlic, sage, spring onions, and most of the sunflowers are doing ‘ok’. A little battered but nothing that probably won’t mend.
The potatoes, strawberries, lupins, radishes, turnips and foxgloves seem to be doing great – almost totally unaffected by the weather and growing strongly. I was expecting more casualties from the foxgloves and lupins but there’s nary a snapped stem betwixt them. I can’t believe the colour of the turnips – such a bright, beautiful purple and white just under the surface. Finally, to add to what is becoming a UK-wide exclamation, I think I can say I’m looking at getting a really hefty crop of strawberries this year!