Two months ago I started my main seed sowing of the season: tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies, peas and some flowers. I said I was ‘sowing seeds of hope‘. I didn’t know then that we would still all be in lockdown two months later, but I looked forward to a summer of vegetables. Today, I’ve sowed some more seeds but mainly I’ve been planting things out in the garden and being thankful for all that grows there. I posted six of my favourite flowers for #SixOnSaturday on Twitter
Clockwise from top left: The roses are starting to come out in the garden, the rosa rugosa or wild roses which sneak across the front garden, under the paving stones and produce beautiful red flowers for the bees. The bees also love the purple scabious. There are some white daffodils, still in flower. The ‘Boule de Neige’ roses are just opening their red tinged white flowers. The blue campanulas are self-seeding all over the front garden. The final picture is from a house plant: the tiny flowers of an enormous lemon geranium which lives in my absent son’s bedroom, surviving on neglect and the occasional soaking when I remember to water it.
Some flowers that didn’t make it into the six but are bringing me joy, include
Osteospermum, filling the front garden with light, when the sun shines, and attracting admiring glances from people out on their daily walks round the neighbourhood
Primroses, hidden in the back garden, under the oak tree
Phacelia plants, grown as ‘green manure’ but with the most beautiful flowers.
Those are just some of the flowers in the garden at the moment. There are yellow poppies and aquilegia everywhere and the other roses are just about break into flower. Meanwhile, I posted a sneaky second six on Saturday, containing some of my vegetables
The lettuces growing under the pea wigwam are flourishing. Lettuces in other parts of the garden never seem to do so well but these taste divine. The onions are coming on well (though more on that below). The broad beans are still flowering (though more on that below too). Last year’s Swiss chard is beginning to go to seed but still providing us with enough leaves to add to soups and curries. I’ve moved all the tomatoes and cucumbers out to the seed house, having kept them in at night for the last week or so, with temperatures plunging to almost zero most nights. The potatoes growing through the cardboard in the new raised bed are looking good too. I’ve been covering them with polythene every night last week but they should be ok on their own now too.
I’ve been sowing a few more seeds. The overwintered broad beans, although flowering beautifully, have been very sparse. Only about three plants survived. I suspect mice have been eating the seeds, so I sowed some new ones, in the seed house, using my new egg box method, which is proving rather effective. They’ve done well so planted them out yesterday and they seem happy in the ground
The runner beans are coming up nicely, in their paper pots, but I’ll leave planting them out for another couple of weeks, in case of cold and to give them a bit more protection from slugs and snails
And the onions – well I reckon they are nearly ready to eat. Some are less happy and I found out why when Bella spent the afternoon lazing in the sun
Despite the prickly holly leaves and the twigs to keep her off, this onion bed seems to be a favourite cat spot, explaining why some of the onions are a bit squashed looking. But it’s always nice to have a sun-loving cat companion in the garden so I don’t mind.
The world is miserable but my garden is bringing me joy. I’m kept busy most days doing the dreaded working from home, glued to a laptop, endless online meetings and emails etc but I really appreciate being able to nip into the garden with my coffee, look for newts in the pond, watch the plants growing in front of my eyes, listen to the astonishing birdsong and be thankful for all these wonders.