Monday, 2 April 2012

Seedlings and new spring bulbs

Well, I can honestly say that there hasn't been much going on in the way of any knitting, crochet or jewellery-making lately! Gardening and the starting off of seedlings has had to take precedent as we intend to to grow quite a bit of our own veg again this year and, since the good weather seemed like a good environment to get things moving ................we did!

Runner beans are excellent and we grow them most years. Our garden is really small, so the best way for us is to grow them is in pots which also means we can always move them to where we need them to be as well! Their flowers vary from variety to variety but are quite beautiful and a such an attraction for bees and hoverflies.

Runner bean - variety 'Enorma'
Fresh herbs are always so lovely to smell and are nice picked fresh and added to salads. Basil, mint and thyme have been our first this year but we usually continue with successive sowings of basil throughout the season.

Rocket grows really well in pots too and tastes great with the basil and tomatoes (the seedling of which have only just started to come through today).

Peas grown in the previous year's potato growbags were surprisingly successful last year. Not only did we get the best crop ever but planting them up out of the way means that the invasion by slugs and snails is greatly reduced - we will probably always grow them like this from now on. Started off in small pots they transfer well and soon settle their roots to make good growth.

Peas - variety 'First Early'
Broad beans will be a new one for us this year so I can't tell you much about those other than they will be going in the ground and we'll have to keep a look out for black fly! The sunflowers have made a start in pots too, also to go in the ground.


I thought it might be worth giving some flowers a try this year too. Not being particularly fond of the usual Busy Lizzies, african marigolds and salvias, I chose the following 4........

Cornflowers make excellent cut flowers and equally as good dried flowers. Nigella has beautiful architecturally structured flowers which leave the most amazing seed pods afterwards. Cosmos flowers are like big floaty saucers and can last well in to the autumn. Calendula (English marigold), as well as being shades of deep rich orange though to gold and yellow also has medicinal properties and will freely self seed if you let it.

We installed a new birdhouse too - a little late in the season really but it was such a bargain at £4 and the prospective new residents will get used to it soon, nestling into the remains of the dead ivy which should be full of nice bugs and spiders.

Also, a little trip out to North Wales on Saturday took us past the market in Mold (on the way to Moel Famau) and that was where I found these!

Hyacinth - white

Hyacinth - blue
I have had to make room for them on an already busy fireplace, but that is where they are living so that they can get the best of the sunlight in the morning.

Can't wait for the lovely perfume but it should be a couple of weeks away yet - so nice to look forward to and a lot quicker than all that veg!!!


  1. Your gardening is inspirational! I am seriously impressed at all these vegetables growing from seed. I have planted some basil too but it's too cold at night even in the greenhouse for their liking so although they have come up, (just!), they are not doing much! The grow-bag idea for the peas is brilliant - am going to copy this. Hope you don't mind. By the way I love the bear sitting on your mantlepiece by your new bulbs - is he wearing a hand-knitted jacket?

    1. My husband needs to take most of the credit for the veg - the flowers will be mine once they get going. We did have to start the basil off indoors as it is notoriously hard to germinate but as soon as it began to put in an appearance, out in went into the greenhouse so that it didn't get too leggy.

      Please feel free to experiment with the 'peas in bags' - do let us know how you get on! The bags we have are quite deep (18"?) because they were originally for growing potatoes (and what a dismal failure that was, two years on the run) so as well as being too high for hungry snails it also means that they don't blow over either. A deep pot would be just as good.

      The bear on the mantlepiece is Lionel! I knitted him and his scarf last year as a way to learn a lot of things that I didn't know about knitting. I had intended to include his creation as part of my blog about Wee Mouse but just didn't get around to adding him - he remains a 'blog in waiting'. Glad you like him!

  2. The seedlings look great already! I have yet to put anything in yet this year but hopefully I'll get some time this weekend when I call in on Mum and Dad and get to borrow their greenhouse!


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