Part of getting things sorted before we open to the public again is clearing things that have gone over or are in the way. Two of these where the pumpkins and parsnips. The pumpkins had started going off with the heat and so like all big projects, it is better to start them with a friend at your side. My friend Lee was over from NYC and so on Sunday morning before she had to go to the airport I got Lee to help we get started with the making of pumpkin and parsnip soup. It turned out very well and we have a lot now in the freezer of lunches.
For the last two days I have spent time working in the quarter of the High Garden still growing vegetables. This is the warmest part of the Vegetable Garden and so the area I plant in first. The seed that I have sown in this ground are; beetroot, lettuce, carrot and parsnip, most of these I have planed more than one variety. In total we have some six rows in and also the posts in to support the pea sticks. I have covered the area of new rows of seed as it is still cold at night so the fleece will help keep the seeds warm.
At this time of the year nursery duty can be a very useful thing because you need to be down in the nursery and so a good time to seed sow. I was on duty this past weekend and so I now have a number of pots in the glass house next-door with seed for the vegetable garden. We are going to have some good weather this week so I hope that will help get the seed up quickly. I must just remember to water the pots, I am out of practice of going over and watering first thing each morning.
Today was maybe the first day it really felt like spring, sometimes these feelings are a state of mind, maybe more often than not. I wanted it to be good weather when I woke because last night I decided I was going to get the rotavator out and start getting the soil ready for another season of planting, after all we did have a new moon this week. I have got the first area ready for seeding sowing next week. The dogs had a good day also running alongside the rotavator barking and biting the tyres, they are going to sleep well, I hope I do too.
One of the jobs for today was to sort through the seed that I have and work out when it should be planted. Each spring I sort out my seed into the time of year that it should be sown so I do not miss anything out. There are a few seeds that I can sow this weekend when I am on nursery duty. Some will be sown in pots and put under glass others will direct sown but will cover for those cold nights that we will still have. It will be good if there is something in the ground when we open to the public in three weeks.
I had a FaceTime call last night from my nephew to tell me all about the work he is doing in his vegetable garden. kosta wanted to tell me what he is going to replace the present crops with. Kosta really does seem to be planning the garden work very well and thinking about what else he would like to try (he is only seven years old). I really could have cried in the middle of the call, I was just so touched by Kosta and what he had to say. Kosta also wanted to know about what I was doing here and asked when I was going to sow the seed of pumpkin. I have used one of the twenty-five photos that he sent me for this blog. It is his tomato plant in flower and with small fruit developing. Kosta gets him big brother Rico to go out with him in the morning to kill slugs, they are eating his sweet corn.
We had out annual volunteer weekend this past weekend. It is great to have a house full of young students who are very happy to be here. They work out in the garden both days, I cook for them. Saturday night they have a bit of a party. Jonny ran the weekend very well, thank you Jonny. One of the jobs was to clean up the compost heaps so that we can now start a new pile. I was so please to go and see their fine work Sunday afternoon. The three-year old pile is ready to be planted on later in the year. The dogs enjoyed the movement of the heaps, they still look for rats each day.
There are two varieties of potatoes that we store for the winter in the long shed in the nursery. They are P.’Pink Fur Apple’ and P. ‘Picasso’, the first is a boiling potato and the other a baker. They both hold very well in a store, the only problem we come across in storing them are rats. While I was away we had a cold period on the south-east and so the rats came in looking for food and found the potato store. The interesting thing was that they did not really like the P. ‘Pink Fur Apples’. They did try one “Pink Fur Apple’ but then moved on.
Last time I visited Laura at De Wiersser I got another lot of cutting from her pelargonium collection. I have just watered them in Mrs Next-doors glasshouse and found that one was in flower with a perfect pink flower. I will have to try to and get a name for it next time Laura is here. It was so perfect that I had to bring it back to put on my desk so that I can enjoy it. I now long to see what else I have from Laura in my collection. As the weather gets better I will move them into bigger pots.
If Christopher was alive today he would be 95. This is the tenth year since Christopher died so today we had a party for him. It was great to catch up with lots of different people from the past. Christopher had such an effect on so many people and very well-remembered, I was reminded of this today.It was great to catch up with old friends and talk about such a special person. Happy birthday Christopher xxx