Tuesday, 27 May 2008

When Worlds Collide

Just at the moment, the outside world is interfering, not so much with my gardening thankfully, but with me sharing it with you. So I am taking a moment to say hello, and show you some kind of progress.

The potatoes are, well, mental. I didn't get to earth them up over the weekend but that is top of the list. It is necessary as one, apparently, gets more yield that way.

I'm pretty darned happy that they've all come up, though!

I did cut the grass. Ah, Saturday was beautiful, as promised. Sun, hot sun even, hardly a cloud in the sky all day, just a perfect gardening day.

I have put the final two tomato plants down. I put three in a couple of weekends ago, when the weather was, again, very fine. When I went to the garden centre, I was shocked to see that there were very few tomato plants left! So even though I would normally have waited until the end of May, I thought I'd best grab some and get them in. The woman at the till said it didn't seem too early, as there would likely be no more frosts down here, and every tomato plant they've had in has just gone like hotcakes. Hence two weeks ago I put in a Moneymaker, a Beefsteak, and a Marmande. This weekend I put in an Italian Plum, and a Shirley. I wanted the various varieties to see how each one progresses, and to find some favourites. It's been several years since I've grown tomatoes. I don't know why as in my previous two "container" gardens I could have just had them in a grow bag, but there you are. They are down now!

In celebration of the fact I would like to share this song with you, which I have known since childhood, and which is the absolute truth, in terms of growing your own tomatoes.


Let's look at the left border now. All those things that I was waiting for to come up - they didn't come up. I succumbed at the garden centre, and bought plants. Poppies, a Lupin, another Phlox and a Lily. I was happy to see that actually one of those Lillies I put in is coming up, but nothing else.

Slight calamity. That soil over there is a large problem, and will need to be addressed. It gets worse the closer you get to the house, and better up by the shed. I believe this is because the sun, when it does come back around, hits the upper part of the border first, whilst down by the house, and the compost bin, it was, during the winter, almost waterlogged. I would have to hold up my hands and say, this is not well-drained soil.

In fact, to plant the poppy, I actually had to get out my neighbour's pickaxe to break up the soil. Now that can't be a good thing, can it? The fork wasn't going in, the border spade, the hand tools, I would have broken them all if I persisted. I need to seriously work on that, and any suggestions are more than welcome.

Thankfully, though, all the plants I put in last year are thriving. The Rose, ah the Rose, is blooming. The blueberries are coming, and the pinks are about to pop. The Delphinium is profuse, and an absolute joy. Even the new Red Verbena is blooming now, and I expect it will be large like the purple on the other side, in the herb border.

Thank goodness for gardens, I say.

And cats.

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