Sunday, 28 March 2010

Here come the buds

Today the clocks have gone forward, which usually heralds the beginning of Spring but Winter still has its grip on us. Buds are beginning to break on the Hydrangea but a skeletal leaf still holds on for dear life; I will prune the old stems out in the next few weeks.
I tweeted in the week that I had ordered my new greenhouse and we got the shock of our lives on Saturday morning, when it was delivered! The website indicated that delivery could take up to 6 weeks, so Andy knew he had a couple of weeks or so, to get the base ready; not so now. I originally saw a polycarbonate greenhouse I liked but when I looked into it, the thickness of the polycarbonate was extremely thin, so I opted for a glass one instead. Also, I have changed my mind many times as to it's site but now I think I am settled but have to move the fruit out of its bed and find a new home for it.
Before I can start to plant my seeds, I am making the soil cosy and warm by covering it over. My veg bed has a couple of cloches covering it and the wooden trough for my salad leaves is covered with fleece. I will leave it, maybe a week or two and then start to plant the seeds.
Although the weather is still chilly (I gardened with weekend wearing my woolly scarf!) my perennials are beginning to emerge out of the soil. It's very exciting to see this, especially as I can't remember half the plants I planted into my new gravel garden last year.

My Crambe Cordifolia with its aubergine stems, is emerging out of the soil. It grew too big for its space last year and I couldn't bear to throw it away, so I popped it into a very large pot.
I am waiting for the postman to deliver Dahlia Roxy, purchased from Sarah Ravens website. I am usually attracted to the large cactus type flowers, than this more delicate flower but whilst visiting Perch Hill last year, Roxy grabbed my attention and I knew I had to get one.

Dahlia Roxy nibbled by Earwigs

Lots still to do in the garden but with Easter next weekend, I will need to get working in the garden, to burn off all that chocolate!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Tete a Tete

As the first day of spring is upon us, my Tete a Tete are just beginning to bloom.

But I don't think the weather was aware of this auspicious day though. The rain on Saturday was relentless in the South. It was that fine sort of rain, which you think doesn't get you wet, so you go out without an umbrella and then get soaked! I dashed to the local shops and then spent the rest of the day making comforting food; Lasagne and a scrumptious chocolate Victoria sponge, with a chocolate and fresh cream filling. And whilst that was in the oven, I watched a  DVD of Geoff Hamilton's Cottage Garden series. Just listening to his voice and looking at those gorgeous cottage garden flowers, made me feel a little more cheery.

Talking of making comfort food. A new series comes to BBC2 this week called The Delicious Miss Dahl. Gorgeous Sophie cooks up a storm and still looks delectable and slim. So I am going to watch and see how she does it. Everything in moderation I say and if you get out in the garden, you must surely burn up enough calories, to make way for that lovely pudding! And I have been busy in the garden today. I assembled my little plastic greenhouse, to accommodate my chilies, which I have potted on. Some sweetpeas and garden peas, to give them a head start. I have sowed two lots of tomatoes. The ones free in the Gardeners' World magazine and the other called Ferline from Thompson and Morgan, which supposed to be blight resistant. I am growing Rhubarb for the first time as well and that got planted out today. The sun felt so warm and I managed to stay out weeding until 5.30, which really is a treat. With the clocks going forward next weekend and Easter the weekend after, it really is a lovely time of year, with lots to look forward to.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Happy Mother's Day

The florist in the village was packed out on Saturday morning, bustling with Dad's and their offspring, getting flowers for mums. It really  was a cheery sight. My children bought me wine and Lindt chocolate (they know me so well!) and I bought myself these beautiful tulips.
There is nothing lovelier than a vase full of seasonal flowers and spring flowers seem so fresh and are definitely welcome after the long winter.

This weekend I managed to find a couple of hours spare, to spend in the garden, sucking up leaves and trimming back perennials. The buds are beginning to break; it's a very exciting time of the year. Like most gardeners, with all this activity in the garden, I wonder how I am going to keep up with all the jobs the garden throws at me. I call them jobs, but I don't see the planting, digging and cutting back etc as work - now dusting, that's what I call work!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Daffodils - The beginning of Spring

A sunny Sunday is always welcome. Today was spent in the garden, cutting back perennials, making plans for the season ahead and soaking up the spring sunshine. Although the sun was out today, the wind was biting and my images of Daffodils are not from my garden but  from Daffodils bought from the greengrocer. My Tete a Tete, which usually bloom in February, are only just appearing from the ground. The cold has held the plants back a good few weeks.

Gardeners' World made a welcome return to our screens on Friday. They have returned to shows lasting half and hour, which seemed to be over before it begun! I felt really nervous for Toby and the team, after the slating the programme had received and I wondered if they had made any changes to the format but apart from the time difference, everything seemed the same - I'm very glad to say.

With the vernal equinox on 20 March and the clocks going forward the following weekend, it will soon be light enough to get out in the garden after work, which fills my heart with glee; more time to spend in the place I love the most - my garden.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Gardeners' World is back and Carol has a new book on the way

My valentines flowers have now bitten the dust and as I reached for the single red rose, my daughter received, to discard it, I noticed how beautiful it looked in a deceased state.

The colour had changed from crimson to burgundy and the petals were curled and wrinkled but still had shape and texture.
I have photographed this subject before; flowers just fascinate me, dead or alive!

Two pieces of gardening news
  • Gardeners' World starts Friday 5th March!
  • Carole Klein has a new book out 1st April!
Firstly Gardeners' World. Despite being unsure at the beginning of last season, I quickly adjusted to the new line up of GW. Yes I had wanted Carol to be the anchor but it wasn't to be. I have loved GW since Geoff Hamilton was at the helm and there was nothing or no one who was going to take away the enjoyment of my Friday night treat after all these years. I have read over the past months that people switched off GW saying it was being too trendy and jokey and that the 30 min makeover was likened to the Generation Game but come on gardening isn't a middle aged privilege, it's for all to enjoy young and old, so my plea is, please don't bring back Alan Titchmarsh, to pacify the oldies, we don't want twee, let Toby, Carol, Joe and lovely Alyce do their stuff. What's so wrong with using an ice-cream van to dish out free packets of seeds anyway!
I will await Friday to see if they have tinkered with the format. Ooh I can hear the theme tune in my head now - how exciting!!

Now this is really exciting. Last season on GW, Carol did a series on propagation, which I found fascinating, especially the different types of root cuttings. I thought then 'if only she had written a book about this subject' and lo and behold my wish was granted and she has a new book coming out on 1 April - how fab!
Carol Klein Grow Your Own Garden
Still no sign of my purple sprouting broccoli on the plants but the earth around has been dug over and I now need to add some lovely muck to the soil. I spotted some worms as I was digging, so they are coming at last.
The latest issue of GW mag comes with two free packets of seeds. Sweet peas and tomatoes, so I will get sowing next weekend, now that my chilies no longer need the heated propagator.
Today the air smelt new and fresh, so I think spring is defiantly around the corner, well in sunny Dorset anyway!


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