Monday, 4 April 2016

Easter arrives and with it the start of Spring

Easter holidays have been and gone and with them came some sunny and dry days. The best part of being on holiday at home is that all hands are available to help out including Dad W who came for a couple of hours. 

The best part of Spring for me is watching the transformation that occurs each day as the weather warms up and everything comes back to life.

Sigh! Enough watching the flowers blooming, on with work.

Having finally recovered to a point where he can finally do some high work, Mr P set to clearing behind the shed on 47.

He also cleared the cut flowerbed at the back of 47. The Delphiniums are coming through strongly as are the other self seeding plants staring to put in an appearance. 6 weeks time and it will be well covered again giving us fresh flowers June-September.

As usual I like to share something a little unusual. Whilst clearing the flower bed Mr P came across this foam nest buried underneath a large tuft of grass. We are presuming it is of toad origin but if anyone can tell us otherwise then please feel free to comment.

So that's Mr P's hard work, what about the the Little P's?

The Little P's started by digging up the leeks (yes any excuse for fresh homegrown leek and potato soup) and investigating some carrots that had been missed. No they weren't edible but I was impressed the Little Ps recognised them by the leaves.

I set the Little P's the task of planting seeds. I was again impressed  they remembered the process and I could leave them to get on with it. They planted numerous seeds including courgettes, the last of the sweet peas, marigolds, peppers, tomatoes and chillis, oh and not to mention our Princess of the Ps, not being content planting the 30 plants in her bed, planted 30 peas in nodules to go out in the big bed when big enough. (We will let her plant another 20-30 every fortnight for the next couple of months)

JJ is becoming very serious about her growing skills and has taken on her own bed. She has dug it, raked it and started planting. She started with 4 onion sets after very carefully setting out a straight line to follow. Next she moved her line and planted leek seeds (she has recently decided that she likes the taste of leeks and wanted to eat her own, don't know where she got that idea from????!) and finally she planted zinnia seeds to add colour to her bed.


She decided she couldn't wait for the Zinnia's and chose this pretty dianthus. The soil in her bed drains well but is possibly not as sandy as the plant would prefer so she made sure to dig in some fresh compost first so fingers crossed. She also picked up a clump of narcissus for 50p which has yet to bloom. Well Done JJ on a job well done. :D

It's not just JJ who has been busy on her own bed, CP also chose a flower to plant in her bed, she chose this pretty pink kisses dianthus. The soil in her bed is quite sandy so it should do well. She also pinched a clump of JJ's narcissus.

CP planted peas and coriander a couple of weeks ago. I am proud to say her efforts paid off and they are both starting to shoot. Well done CP the Princess of the Ps earns her crown again. :)

So while Mr P and the Little P's were busy what was I doing? Surely you didn't just stand around taking pictures? I hear you ask. No I have also been busy,  I have been digging! I cleared 2 raised beds this main bed over the course of 2 days, quite literally single handedly!

When I finished I planted Solent garlic and 2 and a half rows of shallots sets (with help from Dad W, I was done in by this point. Note to self pace yourself!) While Dad W was digging trenches I started hauling buckets of wood chips. I need to invest in a one handed wheelbarrow I can pull along as I was well and truly done in by the time the final trench was dug. I think I will leave the woodchip moving to Mr P and the Little Ps from now on.

JJ and I set off more shallots in trays from seeds and look forward to seeing what results we get from seed compared to the sets. We are growing all our onions from seed this year to compare with previous results from sets. We have a large area in front of the shallots ready for the onions once they are ready.

So what's next?

The priority over the next couple of weeks are the potato and asparagus beds and removing the encroaching grass from the flower beds.

The little P's are happy to keep planting seeds as needed and moving bark. CP has a Supertato she has chitted so will be giving it a bucket of it's own.

Following a tip I've invested in some chalk pens and I'm sure the Little P's will take great delight using them to decorate buckets, pots, signs..... anything they can get their hands on really.

Finally we've been given permission to plant a fig tree, so that will be going in at the first opportunity too.

Many thanks for reading. I will share a recipe next time ;)

Keep digging :)