The Land Rover Owners Wife

Moving along nicely now

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Spring centre pieceI am of the opinion that flower growing goes hand in glove with vegetable growing and that you can’t really have one without the other and so I always plant a few flowers into my vegetable garden to attract the pollinators and the predators that like to feed on the garden pests. The fact that I love flowers makes this aspect of gardening a pleasure but my flower beds are far from formal, with handfuls of seeds scattered hither and thither and few plants, grown from seed and raised in the greenhouses placed randomly among them, later in the season.

My favourites such as Livingstone Daisies, Wildflower Mix, Sweet peas and Snap Dragons, all find a space within my garden and it is always nice to see the Campanulas, also grown from seed over the years, reappearing each year, alongside the Forget-me-nots which were also grown by me. Behind the greenhouses, in the ‘wild’ area, I hope to see a veritable army of Foxgloves, providing sustenance for the bees, rising from the numerous seedlings which have grown from the seeds dropped by previous plants.

I love being able to cut the flowers and use them to make arrangements for the centre of the table and last weekend I was able to indulge my creative side and produced a spring centre piece, made entirely from flowers and foliage in our garden, to celebrate eldest Mudlets visit. I do not purport to be a flower arranger but I was inordinately pleased with how the finished display turned out and so decided to use a picture of it for the header photo on this post.

The continued warm weather has caused the Rhubarb to put on a spurt of growth and it wont be long now before I can cut the first stalks ready for making into a crumble. I will only be taking stalks from the main plant this year as the others will need this year to become established but I still hope to get enough for several puddings and maybe even a few for the freezer.

Rhubarb crumble not far off now

Rhubarb crumble not far off now

In the greenhouse, things were becoming a bit cramped and with the next lot of seedlings ready for potting on, some re-organisation was needed.

Large Greenhouse  Large Greenhouse

21 Sweet Peas all in a row

21 Sweet Peas all in a row

The Sweetpeas, all 21 of them, were trying to grab hold of anything within reach, so these were the first things that needed to be moved out. Unfortunately, planting them out into their bed wasn’t an option because Mud was planning on painting the fences this weekend and anything growing in a bed near to a section of fence was in danger of either being trampled on or liberally splashed with blue paint. So I decided to place them by the end of one of the raised beds, on the concrete with the growbags piled in front to act as both wind break and support for the pots. The round bottomed hanging baskets were at either side and so I was reasonably confident that should the wind get up again, the sweet pea pots would stay upright.

With a decent amount of space made, I was now able to start on the next round of potting on, bringing the propagators out one at a time but, as is the way with such things, I was soon running out of space ….. again! So I did a bit more shifting pots along, moving flower seedlings from the large greenhouse into the smaller greenhouse, slotting small pots in amongst larger pots, until it felt like I was playing a 3D version of Tetris.

    Seedlings waiting for pots Seedlings waiting for pots Seedlings waiting for pots

I love these pretty little lettuces

I love these pretty little lettuces

So after two days of pottering about in the greenhouse, I’ve managed to get all the current seedlings sorted out and most of them have found a space, albeit a crowded space, in the greenhouse. I have brought the newly potted up cherry tomato seedlings and a couple more of the chillis back in to the house, although the two bought cherry tomato plants have now joined the beans and mangetout in the little greenhouse, as I reckon they should be big enough to cope with the colder night temperatures. I did take time amongst my re-organisation and potting on to admire the lovely little lettuces that have emerged from the ‘Moretons Secret Mix‘. The photos of the red and green leaves really don’t do these little lettuces justice and they brighten up the place no end.

My tub of round carrots is coming along nicely in the greenhouse

My tub of round carrots is coming along nicely in the greenhouse

Of course now that I had empty propagators and huge gaps on the shelves in the house I felt driven to sow more seeds. It’s addictive this grow your own lark. You can never have enough seeds sown, seedlings growing or vegetables in your beds. There is always the chance that something may happen to your existing stocks and you may just need another hundred or so cucumber plants, squash, beans or lettuces. One must be prepared for every eventuality. With this thought in mind, the propagators are full again and the gaps on the shelving have gone. I now have to hope that by the time these latest seeds are ready for potting on, the vast majority of the greenhouse occupants will, finally, be in their allocated beds and there will be space on the staging.

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