I got the hoe out today for the first time this season, such a great old tool and even better after I put oil on the handle this past winter. The soil has dried out so I wanted to hoe between the rows that I planted a few weeks ago. It was covered in fleece til the weekend when we had storm Katie and the fleece blew off. It was a good idea to hoe down the rows so I could see how the seedlings are doing, things are looking good. Sometimes you really have to get on top of things to really see what is going on. We now need it to stay warm and a little rain every other night, I would be so lucky.
Things are really starting to look good in Mrs Next-doors glass house. I have spent the large part of the past two days pricking out. Once the seedlings are up you really need to keep them moving on, to do this you need to make sure they do not sit and so getting the seedings into plug trays early is important. I am also keeping the heat up in the glass house and not letting things dry out so the growth does not slow down. I hope that things are going to be fine till after the weekend when we have our spring plant fair.
I was very happy to read through the April issue of Gardens Illustrated and see that they have a new star in the magazine, Adele Ford. I know that Adele is a great designer because I went and saw her show gardens at the Hampton Court Flower Show, both of which got gold. Adele is also a hands on gardener which I think makes her a better designer, Adele understands how plants grow and so will use them better than those who do not have this knowledge. Adele’s hands have been in the soil here at Great Dixter. One of the reason I read this magazine is because they give young and interesting people a chance to shine. Watch this star shine.
This time of the year when the winter vegetables are going over and the spring greens not doing too much. nature comes in and gives you some greens. On Saturday I went down to the woods and collected some wild garlic leaves and turned them into pesto. It is such a tasty pesto to make, there is something very back to basic about it and being a simple country boy I love it. We enjoyed it so much I went back again yesterday and got another basket load and have made even more. It is something you need only eat if your lover also does, the garlic will be with you at bedtime and the morning after, maybe your lover will have gone by then if only you eat it.
The garden will be open for another season tomorrow, the winter does seem to have gone rather fast and another season is here already. I am pleased with how the vegetable garden is looking, it would be good to have more to see but it is still early in the season. The past two days I have used my time to dig around the kale, which is now looking good. I have taken the covers off , the pigeons have enough spring food to eat. Between the rows I have dug some compost in. This is the area that I will plant the potatoes this year.
I first read about Johnny Appleseed on a flight to Hong Kong and wrote about him on this blog and a friend and reader of this blog, Kyle sent me a very interesting book about the subject and more. The book is titled “The botany of desire” written by Michael Pollen, a man I would love to meet one day. He is not new to me, he does make it onto radio 4 every now and then. I am enjoying reading his book. The four plants that are looked at are Apple, Tulip, Marijuana and Potatoes. Thank you so much Kyle for an interesting read.
Today was one of those spring days when you want to open all the house windows and put the rugs out to get some fresh air. Well I opened the windows in my room and only hung one rug out to freshen up. My major job for today was to get on my hands and knees and weed the large area that we over wintered salad and carrots in this past winter. The dogs enjoyed eating the carrots which are still good and will also me made into soup. It felt great to have the sun on my back and have the area look great at the end of the day. This year the tomatoes will be planted there.
The leeks are now coming to the end of there lives, some of them are going to run to seed as winter vegetables often do at this time of the year when it starts to warm up. We have very few left in the garden now. On Friday I lifted a lot of them to make them into soup with potatoes for the study day we had today. It does seem a bit of a theme at this time of the year when I want to clear the garden after another winter, turn the vegetables into soup. The group that was here today did seem to enjoy the soup for lunch.
The crop that I am most disappointed by this year so far is the sorrel. I am not too sure why it has not started to move, it has sat and looked sad most of the winter and now the weather has turned it should have started to look a lot happier. This last week I have dug around it to freshen up the soil and if that does not work I will lift it and give the soil a good load of compost. The crop is too important to let sit, both as salad and soup.
While I was still in bed this morning I was given a tour by my nephew Kosta of his vegetable garden. I am still in shock about how fast things are growing and how much Kosta still loves the garden. Later I was sent a photo of the children holding proud two of the lettuce from their garden, so good to see. It does seem a good time of the year for the production of vegetables on the Gold Coast of Australia, it is still warm and they are having some good rain. I think it is not going to be too long till more of the garden is turned over to vegetables.