Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Strawberries, Willow Cones, and Potatoes

Over the last few weeks, we've been very active in the garden. These pictures are all from this evening - I have a few from the potato planting process as well, but I'm saving those for a whole post about nothing but spuds when we get the first ones dug up. The grass, you'll see, is nicely cut, and this is due to our fine new Black & Decker electric lawnmower, which made short work of the three weeks of grass since the last use of the manual mower bought from Lidl last year as a stop-gap device. It's already been claimed via Freecycle, so someone else can benefit from it for a bit.

Here's our strawberry bed. This has been double-dug, composted, ridged, and planted with strawberry plants we got from B&Q - Elsanta and Loran, according to my notes, although I have to admit I'm not 100% certain which is which. I think the bigger ones on the left are the Lorans.

Below, you see the very nice willow cones, and the runner beans and peas that are intended to grow up them. This bed was also double dug back last autumn, and had some overwintering lettuce and peas. The lettuce had some survivos, which we ate, but the peas never quite made it. To their right are some thyme and an aubergine plant - under a glass cover because of wind in the last few days which was giving it a bit of a battering. I don't reckon the extra heat will do it any harm either. In at the back of those you can see the onions, and the last of the mizuna - soon to come out and be replaced by (hopefully) lettuces and a couple of pumpkins.
Here's a brief glimpse of the potatoes - that's mayflower petals all over the bed, not some strange fertiliser! They're in need of some earthing up, which will probably happen at the weekend. They're in where the ill-fated greenhouse was last summer.

This is a rose from my wife's homeplace in Finland, brought over as tiny plants last autumn by my mother-in-law, and carefully planted here. There are four or five actual plants, but this is the only one flowering so far. We intend to let them grow into a combined bush, and the scent from even one flower is something else, so a number of them are going to be fantastic.

Here you see a juvenile gooseberry bush - already with plenty of spikes. The canes we planted have almost all failed to show, with only one growing at all. I think it's a blackberry, but it's so tiny that unless it does a lot of growing between now and September, there won't be anything from it this year.

These apparently empty pots contain the planted lettuces and pumpkins that are to go into the end of the long bed when they're big enough. They're outside, near the house, ready to be hauled in should there be a cold night.
And here, attended by the Small Cat, are two Siberian tomatoes, last year's surviving pepper (for certain values of surviving) and in beside it, a pot of supermarket basil that has not died, and indeed, seems to be thriving. It's also up for transplant to a larger pot, or maybe even into the bed beside the thyme, at the weekend.

More pictures as they appear!

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