Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Garden report - February

Over the past week the nights have been extremely cold (-5 and colder) but the days have been gloriously sunny. In our greenhouse which has a little frost-free fan heater, the max-min thermometer registers a range from +35C to +3, that's pretty challenging if you're a plant!

Here is a round-up of garden highlights during our 'extreme-February' . . .

'Bunyard's Exhibition' Broad Beans sown direct outdoors on 21st November last year, are now growing strongly.

These Tuscan Kale seedlings germintated in a large heated propogator, they are now on the greenhouse shelf where they get lots of light. I'll prick out some to grow on in the vegetable garden and use the rest as micro-greens.

I am recording all the vegetables I am growing this year and their progress here.

Last year's un-naturally wet summer resulted in the 'Timperly Early' rhubarb plant rotting away completely. So I have bought a new rhubarb, 'Victoria', and it's planted in a new corner bed next to the greenhouse door. The under-gardeners enjoyed helping to dig out the new rhubarb bed and mix in the well rotted compost. I'm looking forward to picking home-grown rhubarb again (maybe not until next year) and I'll definitely be trying some of the delicious rhubarb recipes tested by Freddie on the Great Big Vegetable Challenge.

And here are some of my favourite things . . .

A tiny red flower on the 'Kentish Cob' equals a promise of nuts in autumn.

Cornelian Cherry flowers (cornus mas), perfect spring sun-bursts.

A rosette of beautiful green and red finely cut leaves of geranium rubescens, this is a well behaved biennial geranium from Madiera. It's like a giant Herb Robert and self seeds in dry sheltered corners, the bright pink flowers held on giant branching red stems will mingle perfectly with other plants. I love this plant!

Wild-thing Chloe (studio and garden assistant) loves bouncing over and around the box hedging!


  1. this has given me hope in the dead of winter!

  2. How exciting, spring is really happening at last!
    Love the idea of micro-greens. I've been eating pea-shoots recently, just cutting off what I need and letting the plants recover until the next time. They are delicious, the very essence of 'pea-ness'.

    Thank you for the photographs.

  3. I trust your biennial geranium doesn't self seed quite so prolifically as Herb Robert, I am forever pulling up the latter from my garden! I bought a rhubarb crown and mine rotted too, I then went on to find a pot grown plant, which touch wood up until now is still alive, the under-gardeners are certainly good compost for yours! Wild-thing Chloe, doesn't look wild at all, she looks so sweet, I love cats. x

  4. you're so fortunate to have such garden-friendly weather. Those kale sprouts look so appealing. It seems so strange knowing something like that is sprouting when we have cold weather and so much snow. Our turn will come! :)

    Alberta Postcards Moved to Wordpress!
    Diane's Flickr photos

  5. Wow, I'm impressed - not only are things growing, but they're germinating!

    Our Raisin looks a lot like Chloe - maybe they're distant cousins...


  6. This is exciting - I like the idea of keeping a record of everything planted. I haven't heard of micro-greens before ... need to check them out.

    Your mention of Rhubarb has me craving some. I love rhubarb.

    Thanks for your comment in my blog, Celia!

  7. Hasn't the weather been glorious! It was almost warm in my greenhouse. I am hardening off my broad beans and purple peas and will plant them out in the next couple of weeks.

  8. What a fabulous garden you have Celia (I'm just a tad envious!)
    I loved your "Emperor" drawings in your last post.


  9. Totally inspiration as always, Magic Cochin. You have inspired me to look out my propogator and start sorting out my seeds!

  10. Jude - gardening is all about hope.

    Toffeeapple - what a graet way to enjoy the flavour of fresh peas in winter.

    Louise - geranium rubescens can self seed freely, but I think it's such a lovely addition to the garden. Good luck with the new rhubarb.

    Diane - I was amazed how quickly the Kale germinated.

    Melinda - thanks for visiting. Raisin is a perfect name for a tabby.

    Kate - do check out micro-greens, a great idea for fresh salad.

    Matron - it's glorious isn't it! Is there a sting in the tail? we'll have to wait and see.

    Gina - the blog only gets the edited highlights of the garden. Welcome back from your holiday!

    CS - bottom heat in a propogator really gets seeds germinating and helps to get spring underway!


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