In early spring if all goes to plan I will have a very interesting display of tulips in the kitchen yard, there was an offer in Gardens Illustrated for rare tulips bulbs, I had the cheque in the post by the end of the day, they came before I went away so I put them in the fridge till I was ready to deal with them, they are now in pots and in the cold frame attached to Mrs Nextdoors glasshouse. But not just in any old pots but hand made ones, one of the things to worry about is mice when you plant up bulbs, they can not get into the cold frames nextdoor.
I was very happy to get in the post today a box of perennial spring onions, these are a gift from Dorothy who came to my vegetable talk and then after the talk told me about them and offered to post some down to me, it was so very kind of her. I planted them next to the mint in the fruit cage, it does seem a good idea to have all those small crops together. I also planted my tulip bulbs from the North today, it was a day for the North, thank you all.
I am always happy to see a good compost heap when visiting a garden and enjoyed seeing this compost heap while in the North, John has made his compost heaps using crowd control barriers and some chicken wire to hold the compost in place, sometimes going simple can be the best way, and the cost does seem to be lower. John turns his heaps twice a year which is not so hard when the heap is not so high and the controls can just be lifted out of the way.
I was up in the North of England to give a talk on vegetable gardening, a very sweet horticultural society who run things very well and my hostess Heather did something that we could all learn from, she takes any extra seeds from her garden and let’s any of the society members take as many as they want, not only that, Heather stores the seed in Bittermint boxes, she has a Bittermint each night so has a box to use just under every two weeks, there are eleven Bittermints in each small box. The shearing of locally grown seed is a great thing.
I was very happy to have an hour stop over in London on my way back from the North, I got the tube down to London Bridge, crossed the river and walked with thousands of others to the Tower of London to see the hand-made ceramic poppies made for the 11th November to remember the thousands who died for the U.K in the First World War, there is a poppy for each person from across the world, one of these poppies belongs to me, I paid for one a few weeks ago on line, it will be sent after the 11th. I then crossed the river to get the train home. Maybe the best place for my new poppy will be the fruit cage.
It is great to think about the past season at some point, yesterday the garden closed to the public till the spring, I was thinking about the highlight last night and I think for me it was great to have help in the garden, the main help was Thomas who was a god send, we got the garden up to a higher level, Thomas is very easy to work with and be around and Thomas was not possible without the financial support from a very dear friend, she knows who she is, we can not thank you enough xxx
Well I am still alive after adding shoots to my meal, I feel like a panda. They were very easy to cook, I boiled a pan of water, added the shoots, brought the pan to the boil again and cooked the shoots for two minutes, drained them, cut them small in the pan and that was it. The taste was very good, light and fresh, I will add them to my menu. It will not be long till I am eating weeds from the hedgerows. It is the last day of the gardening year for me, the garden closed till the end of March today, a new start tomorrow.
Being of peasant stock I am always very happy to find out how to get more out of the vegetables that we grow and today while working in the nursery my friend Gina came over with a friend from Sicily who told me that I had a great crop of pumpkin and gourd shoots, we went up to the heaps so that he could show me what to do with them. In Sicily they eat them as a green, and that is just what I am going to do tonight, if I do not die in the night I will tell you how they are.
From what I saw of the city of Barcelona it lacked green space, it was a shame really, they had a lot of areas that really could have been softened, Thomas did take me to see a very interesting area of town, rather rough but at one end of a very large square was a vegetable garden, I talked to the girl working in it, she was new to the garden but said it was for the use of those that lived in the area, she was getting rid of the Tomatoes at the time, they did not have blight. Barcelona is a city worth a visit, made very easy for me having the perfect tour guide, thank you Thomas.
While at the beach this morning I was very happy to come across some love interest, not for me but for my two bitches back at home, I would love to have taken him home as a missed you gift for my two. I talked to the lady owner, she told me that they are still used for hunting boar in Spain, this boy was very good at digging in the sand and not used for hunting.