It's been a glorious week for gardening, in between ticking off the work on the 'to do' list in the studio, I've been working hard in the vegetable garden.
Ta-daaaaa! Just a teeny tiny corner to finish off and it's all spick and span. This has been achieved without any help from the under-gardeners – in fact, it looks so tidy because the hens have been banned from working in the vegetable garden. They couldn't resist scratching the soil back over the paths, I had to put my foot down with a firm hand!
Some of the beds are already planted with shallots ('Pikant' and 'Golden Gourmet'), tree-onions, garlic chives; but no large onions this year, they've been a struggle to grow successfully in the recent wet summers.
This bed is planted with 'Crimson Flowered' broad beans which were started off in the greenhouse. I saved seed from last year and planted only the pale green beans as these tend to have the best crimson flowers. At the other end of this bed is the strawberry patch.
In the heated propogator in the greenhouse the tomato seedlings are ready for pricking out. No sign of 'Lisa King', never mind. Lots of 'Liguria', these have a fantastic flavour when cooked; and this year's pick from the HSL catalogue 'Tiger Tom' is looking good too.
This year's strategy is to sow little and often and keep the crops coming right through the summer and continue into winter and plan for next spring (I've said this before, will I succed this year?). Here's a small batch of chard 'Bright Lights' ready to prick out.
It's not just veg – the salvias grown from RHS free seed are doing well. The hardier varieties are in the cold frame and the tender ones are still in the greenhouse benefiting from the heat of the propagator during the chilly nights. They are in their second year and I'm looking forward to creating a salvia border – it will be well protected with twiggy sticks to deflect the attention of the under-gardeners!
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