Saturday, May 28, 2011

At long last....

We have finally had some rain, great drenching cloudbursts with thunder and lightening that flattened the plants and soaked the washing and I am oh! so grateful!
 Hattie, our beautiful welsummer went off lay for a few days (or so we thought) but it seems that with three broody pekins hogging the nest box she was sneaking off to build her own nest! A couple of times we've been unable to find her in our small garden, even with three of us searching. I followed her the other day as she toddled round the rhubarb and through the solidago to a spot just behind her favourite redcurrant bush and found her stash of eggs.
I'm so impressed that this bird, hatched in an incubator somehow knows how to do this...and do it so well! We would never have found this secret place!

I think I have amassed enough seedlings now and the threat of frost is pretty much over (touch wood quick) so it is time to start planting out.
Earlier this year I went to Seedy Sunday with my friend Dom and we chose some weird and wonderful seed varieties to try.
Dom has a conservatory and a greenhouse so agreed to start off all our tomatoes and squashes etc. while I concentrate on hardier stuff. I've been transporting seedlings back and forth between our houses and I think we each now have a pretty good mix. So now I know what my family will be eating this year and barring catastrophes we should be eating very well!

Dom has sown a lovely selection of tomatoes. We are growing;
Tigerella (my absolute favourite) 
Black cherry
Mille fleur
Purple Ukraine
Gardeners delight
Costoluto genovest
Cuor di buie
I also swapped some cabbages with another plot holder for a Marmande.
There are also a tray of unidentified toms (labelling issues) so maybe some surprises.
We have five different types of winter squash, three types of cucumber, sweetcorn, assorted beans and peas, grain amaranth, cape gooseberries, various colours of carrot and beetroot, fancy lettuces, spuds, all manner of cabbages and cauliflowers and the regulars, garlic, spring onions and leeks, perrenial friut bushes, raspberry canes and such.

  My parsnips failed to germinate in the dry heat of March so, inspired by my friend Flo, I'm soaking the seeds on kitchen paper until they shoot then transplanting them quick.
I'll let you know how they get on (bet you can't wait) well, just in case you're as weird as me!

And for those of you who aren't enjoying picture after picture of seedlings, here's a shot of Teddy stealing kisses from Little flower as she grooms him. I'm off to try and find room for forty odd tomato plants, 20 squash plants, 20 sweetcorn..............

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