Friday, 17 April 2015

Busy bees

What a busy month April is in the garden! When we're not sowing, potting up, watering, weeding (yes, it's necessary again) or digging, we've been harvesting gorse blossoms for our first spring wine.

6 litres of gorse blossom
It was quite a prickly job, getting enough gorse flowers, but the coconut scent is quite amazing. It seems to be a good year for gorse around here.

Mighty fine gorse
Jim chilled the wort in our burn, inside an old tyre, and the temperature quickly went down to yeast adding temp. This wine is one that needs to mature for 9 months, after 2-3 months of brewing, so it will be ready for next spring. This is not as much delayed gratification as my asparagus project, which will kick off next week: five years to harvest!

In the conservatory, you can now start to differentiate the different seedlings:

Aubergines (Bonica)
Chilli pepper (Hungarian Black)
Yellow courgette (Jemmer)
All the brassicas have been moved into the greenhouse, along with the tomatillos and the second batch of tatsoi and some herbs.

All brassica (kale, romanesco, cauliflower, sprouts, cabbage)
The garden superintendent checks on the greenhouse
And despite my being an edibles gardener, flowers are starting to creep into the garden:

Star of Bethlehem
Fabulous daffs
Jim single-handedly dug up and sowed a 10-metre strip of wild flower meadow this week. This came in a handy Mini Meadow seed pack. Can't wait for them to pop up.

Wild flower meadow strip to be
We had replanted an old clematis next to the electricity pole in our garden this winter. It looked pretty dead, but it appears to have taken. Go, go, go!

Electricity pole beautification programme
Overwintering veg is definitely worthwhile around here. Both onions and broad beans are way ahead of early sowings. The onion variety that did best is Rossato di Milano.

Overwintering onions (front) versus set onions (background)
Aguadulce broad beans in flower already!
I'm netting off all my peas and salads to ward off sneaky blackbird attacks. Here's pea Fort Knox:

Netted off Kelvedon Wonders
We're still eating spring cabbage almost every day, but some of them are starting to flower in quite impressive ways:

Flowering spring cabbage
The rhubarb from our neighbour appears to have taken well:

Happy rhubarb
The fruit tress are starting to blossom:

Apple blossom 
Now we just need to wait for the beech leaves to unfurl. And then it will be time for the second of the spring wines: hawthorn blossom.


  1. The wildflower strip sounds good - what kind of flowers are you going to get there?

    I once had a beautification project, too - got an annoyed visit from the electricity company...

    1. Oh dear, I'd been wondering about that. They've just upgraded our power line last year so I hope I won't see them for a decade at least. The wildflower meadow mix has quite a variety of stuff in it, here's a list I mixed in your poppy seeds as well.