I really wasn’t expecting to see these cheery little flowers yet – I don’t think my dwarf irises showed themselves until late April or May last year because of the horrible spring we had. This year, however, the weather’s been suspiciously mild. I say suspiciously as I can only believe that the Scottish weather is being nice so that when the almost-inevitable blizzard hits us it’ll feel so much worse!
I took advantage of that good weather, fleeting though it may turn out to be, to do something I’d had in mind for a while. I knew, when I bought my little plastic greenhouse, that it likely only had a 1-2 year life in it – or at least the cover did and I had begun to wonder what I could do with the frame pieces. It’s been spending more times on its side than I’d like, lately, so I decided to go ahead and use one of the ideas that had come to mind – to turn it into a flat coldframe.
I took the top curved section off to give me a square frame, removed the shelves and internal middle struts put the cover back on, lined the base with some bubble wrap and thick plastic, with a paving slab to secure everything. I used cable ties to secure the ends of the cover to the bottom of the frame (leaving the ‘flap’ loose where the zip is) and filled it with some sweet peas covered in fleece. I’m going to use the top piece, covered in netting or fleece, as a brassica cage, as well as using the shelves for either the same purpose or as a ‘tomato cage’ for my ‘litchi tomatoes’ (a spiny, hardier member of the tomato family which I’m told produces small, tart-sweet fruit).
Hopefully it won’t fly-away from this position!
Other than the iris, there’s not yet much colour in the garden – though there are a tonne of buds:
I was worried that my clematis wouldn’t make it, as I’ve never grown them before, but it seems to have a lot of big, fat buds so I’m looking forward to a show in late spring (I think that’s when this variety flowers!).
Talking of buds:
It’s time for potato chitting! I felt sorry for the postman when he brought these to the door – he mentioned he was glad to get the box out of his bag. I don’t know if he’d have been amused if I told him he’d been hauling potatoes around, hehe. This year’s varieties are ‘Arran Victory’, ‘Kestrel’ and ‘Epicure’ – Kestrel being the only one of the three that I’ve not tried before. I ordered them from alanromans.com – having seen the man himself give an energetic presentation at the Dundee Food and Flower show (also, JBA, another great seed potato vendor and the one I have usually bought my stock from, didn’t happen to have ‘Arran Victory’ and I had my heart set on them!).
Alongside these potatoes in the postman’s bag was 100 2 & 1/2″ pots. I’m planning ahead for the seedling glut – something I’ll go into in my next post.