Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tidying up and first shoots

Walking through the garden taking stock. Some semi-hardy plants like my Solanum alba have dropped some leaves after the deep cold. I also wonder if my Fuchsias grown against a sheltered wall have survived. Hope that they will perk up again.

I have decided that I just can't keep up anymore with the ivy growing up my wall which was initially planted to hide an ugly downpipe. So I cut it off to wither away and dug most of the roots out. I am thinking of growing a jasmine instead which is much easier to handle and will also provide a nice scent, or go with another Solanum.

I only noticed a week or so ago that the huge sycamore tree in my neighbour's garden has been pruned. Most of the branches are gone with only two big ones remaining - one of them still is a bit over my garden but very high up. I'm not sure if they'll take it all down or leave it like that but it's already a big improvement in terms of light. I gathered together the trimmings that fell into my garden so I should have plenty of kindling and a few logs when they are dried out.

Browsing through another gardening catalogue I came across two things that piqued my interest: first, curly kale. I always liked to eat it but have never grown it. Second, grafted tomatoes (a tasty variety grafted on to a vigorous root stock). Who knew such a thing existed! I will stick to normal seeds though.

In final news, I have spotted garlic shoots (along with shoots of the hyacinths and daffodils). It's nice to see something growing in this cold and damp season.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dead of winter

Lots of snow this year and cold too. At least next growing season there should be fewer snails and slugs (hopefully).

The garden is mostly shut down. I left some white beetroot leaves out there, not sure if they survive or will be any good. Raspberry canes have been cut down. Plenty of material from guinea pig cage cleaning is being dumped on the beds. The ornamentals look a bit bedraggled but that is to be expected in early January (especially as there are some where frost-hardiness is doubtful; at least I managed to bring my pelargoniums inside).

I still need to go through the seeds which I ordered and that have arrived (rhubarb will arrive for planting in March). There are some items in there which I may be able to start off early inside. I am also contemplating getting a cheap greenhouse, which means I can move things (like tomatoes) outside much earlier. This year I am going to try the individual growing medium, having not had much success with the toilet roll method and also the normal seed trays.

Still haven't had a chance to build myself a better compost bin - lack of light/time and surplus of snow has been against me. As soon as it warms up a little bit I shall try though.

Probably not much happening for the rest of January...