The last few days have been very enjoyable weather wise – we have had what the Lincolnshire farmers use to call a ‘good planting week’ when they were preparing the lands ready for seeding.
We have had warm weather, windy warm weather, sunny weather and hot and humid … l supposed the only thing missing is the dreaded R word which why l am writing that ‘ain’ word in a broken style, l truly don’t know … as it is forecast to fall next week anyway. That will then be the final compliment to a perfect farmer’s week for planting! I made good use of the beautiful spring weather this week for my own gardening endeavours and planted out more seeds into seeding trays and pots ready for transplanting and companion planting next month.
You may recall that in the last episode l told you about all the changes to the garden l had performed in readiness for this week – the seed sowing week.
I have planted into the seed trays and companion plant pots – sorrel, chicory, southern giant mustard, fennel, courgette, lemon cucumber, climbing French beans, beetroot, marigold, teddy bear sunflowers, chives, dill, giant parsley, borage, sweet pepper, cucamelon, mint, curly parsley, nasturtium, tiny tim and firestarter tomatoes. Which is an excellent start to the season. From next month l will pay these more attention with the posts. The entire gardening series will be leaving A Guy Called Bloke blog and be transferred into The 3 Sides 2 1 blog.
I don’t need to plant any additional seeds now, as l also have chits and plugs arriving next month to support these seeds in the form of dwarf cucumbers, dwarf beans, comfrey, botanical herbs, spring onions and sweet peas. That will complete what l am planning on growing here in the beds, the pots, the baskets and even on the ornamental side too.
I made some more changes to the garden, practical aesthetics l call them, the titivations of the garden itself – to ensure that it was tidied up a bit and to make this season more efficient and productive.
This garden here is lovely, but it was not maintained properly by the previous tenants and last year l had to feed the soils to make them good, empty off and dig over and out all the crockery pots and replace the growing mediums to make them more nutrient rich and ready to plant into. I heavily mulched the garden and the rose bushes to hopefully make the beds more productive for earthen cultures and remove blights.
The latter is always more difficult in gardens like mine as in terraced gardens, to my left and right l have properties. Edward next door has a form of blight in his own garden and of course it wouldn’t take anything for a bird to alight on one bush/shrub and fly over to my garden and alight again and spread the blight or the rust or the rot.
In some ways l am luckier, l am not edged by two working gardens … the house next door to me on the other side is an actual Airbnb and doesn’t have a garden of its own and the nearest garden to mine on that side is near the top of the street or four or five terraces away. I don’t have gardens at the bottom of me directly. So, point being the spread of blight is really restricted to my garden and Edwards. In addition to that … Edward and l are the only two houses in perhaps an immediate radius of 16 houses feeding the birds so they are not truly carrying that much into our gardens from somewhere else..
The rose bushes are just starting to bud up. Most of the garden is either in fresh bud or fresh blossom and bloom stages and is starting to really come to life and currently looking quite healthy. Time will tell of course, but l am hoping that the blight l encountered on these wall roses was in fact caused by a very wet winter and not so much an actual disease.
At the beginning of this month l spread some bark chips over the garden and within 48 hours realised the error of my ways as all the visiting ground feeding birds saw this as a golden opportunity to dig under the bark and then scatter it into the gravel path ……. l was almost hyperventilating with an OCD overdrive attack, when looking at the garden and seeing the contents of the ornamental beds all over the gravel!!!
If that wasn’t enough, l bought some fuzzy basket linings for the walled baskets and hangers and then the visiting crows plucked them all for their nests and l was at that point pulling the extraordinarily little hair l have on my head out!!
With the police here at the start of the month carrying out investigations with regards the Sarah Everard murder and swimming about in the canals, this in turn disturbed much of the wildlife and so for a while l seemed to have every single pigeon variety of the town of Sandwich in the garden eating everything, absolutely everything … but l also had ducks, not just the usual straggling one either but several.
In addition to that l had a visiting canal rat – huge beastie that measured at a guess excluding the tail about 10”, with the tail it might have become an 18” brute, he she or she he was here for a couple of days but seems to have gone now. But ‘it’ was very partial to the peanuts and was sharing the same bowl with the woodpigeons! Alas no time for camera shots of the irony of both furry and feathered vermin sharing peanuts in the morning!
The fuzzy lining drama was sorted this week with me putting soils into the baskets and the bark chippings drama was also resolved … as l bought some pathway edging and secured that into place and laid more bark – now it looks more presentable, and the bark chips cannot leave their locations and the gravel is once again easy upon the eyes.
I also, increased the bird feeding/bathing areas slightly as we are now edging closer to the spring/summer months. I managed to purchase two second hand ceramic bowls which l am now using respectively as a peanut feeder and a new bird bath/bee pool. Bees and mayflies, bumblebees and so on, also need to be able to stop by during the summer months like the smaller birds and take a drink. The deeper bowl serves as a bath for some of the smaller birds, whilst the patterned glass water you see normally is more of a drinking area.
Additionally l sorted out the conservatory to reflect more of a greenhouse environment ready for the trays and the sown seedlings as you can see at the top of the post.
Plus, l also managed to erect a fourth raised bed and made the other beds slightly higher. This came about with the arrival of the extra small, raised beds from Suze who is not using them this year. I also managed to sow pak choy, rocket and radish seed to one of the raised beds which means with the wooden box sown at the start of March l am slowly building up my continuous cycle of foods. That wooden box is now finally starting to show the sprouting seeds.
So, first week of spring, great weather and the walled garden is now underway for the season.
Thanks for reading, see you next time.