The weather can change your plans very quickly, and today I have had to move the lifting of the Beets to the top of the list after the wind we had last night. It was something that I had wanted to do but just not yet. With the strong wind some of them fell into the crops around them so I got out there and lifted the row. I did come across a number of snails and two small toads. We did also get some much-needed rain with the wind, Matt had spent the day watering for me while we where on nursery duty, the garden needed it.
This weekend we have a Bank Holiday and I am working down in the nursery which is good because I have plants that I need to pricked out. It is good to be stuck down there so that I do the work and keep on top of things. I am pleased with how the week has gone, we are in need of some rain now but on the whole it is all looking good up there. I need to get the pumpkins and tomatoes in the ground very soon, they are starting to look like they want to be in the soil. The photo today was taken on my way down from the vegetable garden in the peacock garden, about an hour ago.
At this time of the year most people who come and have lunch at GD are given the same thing by me, beet top tart. All the crops that got us through the winter with their foliage are now running to seed. These seed tops are great for making into tarts. Before you ask I am not going to give you the recipe, it is going to be in the book, but just know it is very good for you and has a great taste. I have another one to make for a lunch tomorrow. I will also sweat of seed tops down to freeze.
In May 2015 the Scientific Director of the Jerusalem Botanic Gardens, Dr Ori Fragmin-Sapir came to visit GD, I was very happy to show him around, he was very interested in the meadows. While on his visit he gave me some wild collected seed from Israel. The seed was for Antirrhinum majus which I remember growing around the city so was very happy to have some seed. On my trips to Israel he has taken me on many trips into the wild. The seeds took and I have looked after the plants for the past year, putting the plants under cover the nights we got frost etc, this past week the plants started to flower. I love species plants for a lot of reason but this one I love for its relaxed form and great flower colour. It is very special to have a little bit of Jerusalem in my pot display.
Beth left today and her parting gift to me was a black and white of me pricking out, the photo that I loved so much that Perry took was the inspiration for this. I was very touched to have got it. It will remind me of the fun night we had together down in the potting shed pricking out. I have to say she has done a good job of my hands, they are good hands.
It is great to have an artist staying who can capture moments in the garden. Beth Dyer has art hanging here already in the house at GD but this trip seems more about people and one painting that Beth has painted this time is my friend Ellie helping me up in the vegetable garden. I was very happy to see this. I have found it very interesting to spend time with Beth, seeing GD with a fresh pair of eyes, not that Beth does not know the place well but we have not had her over from Canada for a while.
With the rain and the warm weather we have had the rhubarb has gone mad. We are going to use a lot of it tomorrow night when we have the Longwood students here, I will serve it with ice cream. Anything that we can not use in the house we send down to the shop to sell it or sell it at the front door, we do this will all produce. It is great to see people walking around the garden with our produce, and we know they enjoy taking something home from the garden. This is a good way to help cover the costs of the garden.
Space has become rather tight in the glass-house. I have had to move things on into bigger pots so that they do not stop growing, of course I would love to get them out in the ground but it is still too cold at night for things like tomatoes to go out so they just have to be potted on. A second glass-house would be so useful but not sure that is going to happen, well I know it is not going to. I hope to be able to get the tomatoes out in the next two weeks.
I am very happy with the growth of my Dahlia campanulata this year. I was a gift from the great Ed Bowen two years ago. Last year it did take a while to get up and running this year he is looking great already, at least three-foot tall. I got a few flowers out of it last year but I did had to move it under glass in the autumn, this year if I can get it big in Mrs Next-doors summer-house and then get it out maybe we will have better flowering. For all of you in the USA, Ed Bowen has a great nursery Opus Plants, if you are looking for something interesting he is your man, one of the greats of American Horticulture.
Today was a day of cleaning up and sorting out the High Garden. I have wanted to get up there for a while but there was always something else that needed more of my time. So today my friend Ellie came over and gave me help for the day. We got so much sorted up there, the area weeded and plants in the ground that we needed to get in. It was also good to see what has not taken. I have had to into sown the areas that did not take. Long term I think it will all even out. Next year I will not sow so early.