Sunday, 17 May 2015


It's bluebell season
The daffs are fading, the bluebells are out in force and so are most of the tree leaves. Everything's greening up nicely, though temperatures are stubbornly sticking around the 12C mark. So I haven't planted anything out from the greenhouse yet, but I did have a major sowing session outside (golden beetroot, carrots, runner beans, kale, turnips, swedes and kohlrabi). Hopefully, by the time they stick out their heads, the weather will have improved. Friends from Germany who are visiting next week have promised to bring some good weather.

The new hedge is coming to life
Full complement of beech leaves

Old roof slates as anti-cat poo heather protectors
The blossom is amazing, both inside and out:

Broad bean

Everything is tantalisingly close to producing, but there is no new produce just yet, apart from fresh rocket and the three winter stalwarts of kale, chard and spring cabbage. I'm so looking forward to the following:

Little gems

We've already had one bad attack of gooseberry sawfly on one of the jostaberries and one of the gooseberries. This time, I threw everything that Bayer could offer at it - not organic for once, but I hope the attack can still be halted.

The good news this week was that the parsnip seedlings decided to show their little heads. I'd been worried about not having any parsnips this year since the seeds were just over a year old, but emptying out the entire packet has produced results.

I also planted out a few French beans to see how they cope.

Buffeted beans
The grass is growing like crazy and Jim seems to be on a continual round of scything these days.

Freshly mown and mulched middle paddock
The potatoes have come back to life
Some things that we planted last year are really coming into their own in year two. Here's the hops appearing:
Hops - male or female?
The conservatory has acquired a new rug so it looks more of a sitting room than a potting shed and I guess I'll have to be a bit tidier when messing around with the plants.

Conservatory rug 
The squashes are growing apace, but when will it be warm enough for them to go out?
Sweetcorn seedlings - they'll also need a warm summer
The visitor holiday season is just about to begin here. Hope there will be enough produce for all the guests soon!


  1. Hopefully your visitors brought the fair weather with them! +12 is almost as bad as our temperatures here (+10 at daytime, +5 at night, frost in lowlands). Especially your sweetcorn should get soon outdoors, it seems definitely large enough...

  2. I think they must have run out of space in their suitcase... Some days we also only have a high of +10, low of +7. What do you reckon are the minimum temperature requirements of sweetcorn? My planted out beans have suffered pretty badly, especially with the northwesterly winds. Don't really want to risk my first ever sweetcorn crop! Meanwhile, the Turk's Turban is staging a takeover bid on the conservatory.

    1. Last summer we found out (to our astonishment) that the sweet corn survived the ghastly June (+8 at daytime, +2 at night for weeks) better than the squashes did - but the winds were not very strong.

      Absolutely no place for a takeover here - that's why we plant the rambling squashes out as soon as possible... Even outside they are a hazard to their vicinity - last summer Porcelain Doll killed my beloved Volga Grey...