Somerset

While I was in Somerset Debbie from our nursery said I had to go and see the gallery Hauser &Wirth, so I did what I was told and booked in for lunch on Sunday lunch. I have to say I found it all very interesting. There was a lot of good-looking people enjoying the sun, a few right on parents with children that needed a good slap but they served good food and that does it for me. There is not a lot of art but what there was interesting. The show at the moment was based on Indian cooking pots, I loved seeing them again and also seeing them in art form, it was like being back in an Indian market. The garden was as bad as I thought it would be, the designer was Piet Oudolf and of course his gardens only seem to look good a few months of the year, well that is what I think anyway.

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Combination

I have come down to Somerset to stay with a friend and help her out in the garden. A few years ago we put in a meadow using hay from Great Dixter, to come and see it in early spring is great, the most interesting thing is that the Camassia are in flower now and look perfect with the primroses. The scale of the primroses does help, there is almost not a blade of grass in some of the areas because the primroses are so thick. I am going to add some Eupatorium to the meadow for Autumn interest.

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‘Cobra’

Who would want to be a gardener, you do not wake up and think how much joy you are going to have out in the garden today but wake up thinking about what could have happened in the garden while you slept, you go to war each day. Today I planted one of the best French climbing bean, ‘Cobra’. This bean hates cold when they go out into the soil and now they say it is going to get cold again over the weekend. I am pleased to have the plants in the ground, we will just have to wait and see how they do this year.

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Support

I am now ready for the Beans and Peas to go into the ground. Today I put up the pea stick supports for them to grow up. The thing that is holding me back is the chance of some cold weather. I have hardened the plants off but it is different when you plant them in the soil. The plants are very much ready to come out of the plugs so maybe I just need to get on with it and get them into the soil. The area is looking better for these support up, they help break up the area.

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Fragaria vesca

Today I was reminded just how much I love wild strawberry plants. I have an area along the side of the Yew hedge that they have taken over. It is a very sunny sport and today it was very warm up there,  so a joy to get down on my hands and knees and have a good look at the sweet little white flowers, knowing I would be eating their fruit on a nice summers day. I still want to move some of them into the back of the fruit cage so they can take over that area, I will have even more fruit to collect in the summer, what joy. It is an area that is not used so they can take it over and stop any weeds.

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Food

Today was a nursery propagation study day here at GD  and so I was on cooking. I decided in the shower on Thursday night what I would cook. I had family here on the weekend so I tried the baked wild garlic risotto on them and the staff on weekend duty, for their Saturday lunch. I had some good feed back and made it again today. I have to say I was very happy with the results. It will be something I cook again.

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Harden up

It is now time for us to get the peas out from the glass house and harden them up ready for the season out in the garden. I have found that getting the plants started under glass and then moving them out so much better to have strong plants and a row without holes in you. Planting the seed into the ground you always have some that do not come up. This year I am growing two new peas to me, ‘Oregon Sugar’ and ‘Green Arrow’, both lots of seed are from the U.S, part of what Kyle sent to me.

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Swiss Chard

Spring is here and so we are all wanting a lot more green salads and I have to say one of the stars is Peppermint Swiss Chard. It gave us good greens through the winter and now the young growth is used in the salad. I made a big vegetable pie for the dinner last Saturday night,  plant fair  stall holders and helpers meal, the Swiss Chard was the base for it, it holds itself well after cooking. Those who came to the garden in the winter loved the row with the pink and green combination when the rest of the garden is looking very flat. I now have a good tray of young plants to go in soon.

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Rain

We had a morning of good soft English rain here which was just what I wanted to get the fertilizer into the soil, this will be the food they need I hope to get a good crop out of them. I kept on going with the weeding through the Forget-Me-Nots, they are going to be a great ground cover for the spring I hope, they should stop any other weeds trying to come through. It was good to get rid of the early weeds that would be competition for the Forget-Me -Nots. Now I look forward to a sea of blue up in the fruit cage after this rain.

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Fertilizer

This is a good time of the year in this half of the world to use something like a ‘Fish, Blood and Bone’ fertilizer on the fruit plants, just as the buds are starting to do something. Today I worked up in the fruit cage weeding out the small weeds and fertilizing the soft fruit. The dogs do have a great interest in this job but you must watch them or the plants will not get any. I decided to carry the job out today because they say we are going to get rain tomorrow. I also gave a little to my three small apple trees.

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