Flower seeds and rhubarb

Following a chilly start it’s been a nice sunny day. On the plot I started sowing annual flower seeds.  I scattered love-in-a-mist and pot marigolds seeds on the flower patch after I’d weeded and partly hoed it.

The California poppy patchThe California poppies have their own patch where there are some plants that have survived from last year,  and one has a flower about to unfurl. I’ve sowed more including a packet of  eschscholzia  californica Ivory Castle.

White California poppy

Over the coming week I’ll be sowing cosmos, nasturtiums and sunflowers.

The rhubarbThe rhubarb is growing really well so I picked the first few stems.

First rhubarb stems May '16

I mentioned recently that I saw a jackdaw on the site and this morning I saw one on the plot.  It was a day for corvids as there were plenty of crows and magpies about as well.

It looks like being cloudy tomorrow with some rain from mid-afternoon, a typical May Bank holiday.  By next weekend temperatures are expected to reach 20C/68F during the day and 10C/50F overnight.

Have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 14 Comments

At this time of year…

we’ve all been enjoying daffodils, tulips and blossom but often tend to overlook the fresh green foliage of new growth on other plants.

Looking round the plot there’s nearly always something of note such as the perennial cornflower with flower buds now visible and the oriental poppies which have retained their leaves all through the winter.

Centaurea montana flower buds   Oriental poppy foliage

The Michaelmas daisies will eventually provide a welcome show of autumn colour and I’m pleased with the red valerian that’s in the stone feature.

Michaelmas daisies new growth   Red Valerian

The only plotting that I’ve done so far this week was on Tuesday morning when I did some hoeing and weeding, then added more mulch round the raspberries.

Thankfully it looks like getting warmer by Monday after a week or so of very unseasonal wintry weather.

Happy gardening, and have a good weekend!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 29 Comments

Some indoor gardening

This morning started off dull and wet but it’s now dry and sunny which must be a relief to all those running the London Marathon.  I will probably take a far more leisurely look round the plot then after lunch do some indoor gardening checking and watering the seeds I’ve got growing on the windowsill.

Cosmos & sunflower seedlingsI’ve had rather mixed success so far with the best of the flower seeds being the cosmos   and sunflowers.   Here are two of each, the sunflowers (bottom two plants) being the dwarf variety Musicbox which I’ve not grown before.

One of the sunflowers Mongolian Giant is now over a foot tall but I can’t plant it out until night-time temperatures warm up considerably.

 

Tomato seedlingsThe first lot of tomatoes Golden Sunrise and Outdoor Girl are doing okay.  It’s noticeable how different the latter’s leaves (top two plants) are to most varieties.  I’ve sown a few more which have just started to appear.

The first Tiny Tim seed didn’t germinate but I sowed a couple more during the week and one has just appeared.

 

Growing Space by Lesley Acton

 

When I settle down afterwards to sofa fly with a cup of tea and a couple of biscuits I will continue to enjoy reading Growing Space – a history of the allotment movement by Lesley Acton which I’m finding interesting and informative.

 

Have a good week!

Posted in A good cause, Flighty's plot, Lawn lounging | 19 Comments

Dry sunny days…

have been most welcome over the past week or so but although remaining dry the outlook is for much cooler weather through next week with the possibility of overnight frost.

I’ve now planted all the potatoes and onions, and sowed a second row of broad beans as well as some beetroot and carrots.

I’ve been doing plenty of hoeing and weeding, and dead-heading the daffodils.  Whilst doing that I found a small daffodil Silver Chimes (?) and a mini red tulip almost hidden under the leaves of the taller daffodils.

Narcissus 'Silver Chimes'   Mini red tulip

Strawberry flowerWeeding round the strawberry plants I noticed a flower hidden away under the glossy new leaves.   The twelve plants I had on the bed have now doubled so I think that in the autumn I will dig them all up and replant the best of the newer, smaller ones.

 

Dandelion flowerThe rose Pretty Lady is covered in new foliage and lots of small flower buds.  The hawthorn didn’t flower for years and only done so minimally in the last year or two but this year looks like it may well do a lot better.  I don’t mind dandelions when they grow in the grass paths like this one as they are a good flower for bees.

 

I’ll now be switching my attention to direct sowing flower seeds such as cosmos, pot marigolds, California poppies, love-in-a-mist, sunflowers and nasturtiums.  I’ll sow some over the next week or so, then more once these have started appearing.

Happy gardening, and have a good weekend!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 18 Comments

A Sunday stroll

Small tortoiseshell butterflyIt rained all day Friday so I wasn’t surprised to see that some of the plots are waterlogged again when I took a Sunday stroll round the allotment site.

 

There are always crows and magpies around but I don’t recollect having seen a jackdaw before as I did this morning.  I also spotted this small tortoiseshell butterfly.

 

Looking round the plot I was pleased to see that the broad bean seeds that I sowed nearly four weeks ago, and mentioned last week,  have finally appeared.

TulipsThankfully the forecast for the coming week is looking mostly dry,  although cloudy, so I will be doing plenty of hoeing and weeding.

I will also sow another row of broad bean seeds, along with some beetroot and carrots.

 

Have a good week!

 

Posted in Flighty's plot | 26 Comments

I like tulips…

Plot tulips 2016but limited space and having to grow them in containers means that I only grow a small number each year.  My preference is for single colour, traditional shaped ones.

 

This year I’ve got a handful of each tulip Darwin hybrid Red Impression and the smaller white variety tulip fosteriana Purissima growing in the square container.

 

I find the flower centres of tulips fascinating to look at.

Tulip Darwin hybrid 'Red Impression'   Tulip fosteriana 'Purissima'

Happy gardening, and have a good weekend!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 26 Comments

April plotting

Onion leaves appearingLast Monday and Tuesday I planted out the rest of the onion sets. I have a few spares that I’ll use to fill any gaps where ones haven’t shown signs of growth in the next couple of weeks.  It’s good to see that some of the ones I planted nearly two weeks ago are sprouting.

I also planted out the second early potatoes Charlotte, which as I’ve mentioned before are my favourite variety.

First early potato 'Red Duke of York'On Friday after a couple of non-plotting days, due mainly to unsettled weather, I spent a couple of hours pottering.  There’s no sign of the broad beans which I sowed nearly three weeks ago so it’s looks like either mice have had them or they didn’t germinate in the cold, damp ground.  I will sow some more this coming week and hope that they do better.  Some first early potato Red Duke of York foliage has appeared which is pleasing to see.

Among the traditional yellow daffodils were these two doubly delightful ones.  Sadly being tall and top heavy both had toppled over.

Doubly delightful daffodil  A white double daffodil

This morning I went across to the horticultural trading shed to buy a couple of bags of horse manure which I spread and dug into the area where I’ll be growing the climbing French and runner beans.

There’s some heavy rain due tomorrow evening, otherwise it looks like being a reasonable  week so I hope to plant the second early potatoes Kestrel and sow some beetroot seeds.

Have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 26 Comments