Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Aspargus update




At the beginning of the warmest, dries April I've known for some time the Asparagus started to emerge from under the winter mulch. I carefully cleared all the mulch away and look what I found.

So by late April as the warm dry weather continued most of my Asparagus is already past the eating point so I can stop sitting on my hands and enjoy the wonder of this strange but very delicious early cropping vegetable.

This is the Anniversary of the Asparagus being planted. They were cute little one year old roots when we put them in last year. This year we can take a few stems but what's the point? As Smoky said. "A taste of honey is worse than none at all".



Next year we'll be able to eat loads of this stuff and I'll be sure to post some nice inventive recipes.



This year I just get to water and feed and nurture my crop. It's tantalising.

This all started with a dead lavender plant


The herb patch is now finished it's winter construction and the path is looking smashing. Some of the unsightly blue water barrels that have been lurking at the top of the patch will find a more suitable home where they can earn their keep.



One herb patch casualty of the winter has been the lavender. Sad, but Coryn sprang into action and bought a replacement. Top work Coryn!


The new lavender is outside of the main herb patch so I have more room for cooking herbs. Great.




However, together with the lavender came something else,



and another thing,


and something that she had at home,


this one was a 2for1 deal,


and one I've had this at home for years and it's never really taken off at home so I thought it might do better down here.


Don't let your guard down fellas. The first sign of weakness and you'll have yourselves a cottage garden just like mine. It's my own fault. I got a bit flouncy with the sunflower seeds. In stead of getting Army issue "FLOWERS"Sun, for the use of. I had to get Italian Whites and Dwarf Sprays. Slippery slope.

This is a slippery slope. Slippery slope is not a type of sunflower.


Flipping things should come with a warning. Caution: Sun flowers may turn you into a florist not a vegetable gardner! They are a gateway flower.


Sure I grow a few sunflowers. We keep them for the bees. It's no big deal I can handle it. Those? Oh they're Nestersions. Yes they are flowers but they're edible! They are lovely in salads. Very Sweet. Ah! No. That's a pansy. No you can't eat them. I just think they look pretty!


Now look where I am. Cut flowers up the Waszoo. Which is also rugby tour punishment. Oh, now I'm just over compensating.


My name is Rad and I grow flowers. It would appear.












Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Chicks Man

We have some keen chicken fanciers in our Society. With their help and the kind donation of a quarter plot from on of the senior members we have a chicken coup.




Our shed is finished. Bits have been begged and acquired from all sources. It cost us about £45 each so far which between six of us is pretty good. Orange. huh! Seemed a bit odd when I first saw it. I quite like it now.


These are our chicks.
Not sure what variety the white one is, but those red heads are the Buff Orpington. We have 15 chickens in all. No boys allowed on the plot as the cockerels will drive the neighbours mental with all their noise.


Two are obviously roosters. However, if any more of these juveniles turn out to be boys, and it's so difficult to tell at this stage, its a piping hot stock pot for them just as the garlic coming into season. Great timing. Coq au Vin is a very rare treat.
I have stupid chickens. More pictures and tales of their monumental stupidity will follow.




'Erbs man!

The bed is really taking off this year.

(pics to follow)
After my tentative but determined start the bed will be fuller and busier this year.

(pics to follow)

More Thyme, more Sage, more Chives and more Parsley. This is the stuff I use all the time.

(pics to follow)

The Lavender bit the icy bullet this year so that's coming out. Don't look.

(pics to follow)

The Tarragon survived the icy blasts from the East this winter much to my surprise and delight. I think I will propagate this one this year.

(pics to follow)

The Rosemary is looking quite chipper following its winter surgery.

(pics to follow)

Some of the space I will use for pots. I've got some coriander hardening off outside. That will stay on buckets as the slugs love this stuff.

(pics to follow)

The mint is one I bought for my pea soup I made for our come dine with me extravaganza. Yes we did a CDWM.


Anyway, The Mint I had was dying and I bought this one in Sainsbury’s and kept this one in the bucket over wintered in the green house. It survived and I hope that it will grow a little faster now that it's in its final position. You have to keep these bucket bound or the mint will just take over every where.

(pics to follow)

Sweet pea Jungle has been started off in route trainers so I'll have my summer fence in position in a couple of weeks.

(pics to follow)

Spring Fever

It's getting hot in here.

Spring Fever: Noun: The overwhelming urge of all gardeners to plant everything they can on any available bit of land at the first sing of spring.




I love this time of the year!




In the greenhouse everything I touch turns green! Doesn't it feel brilliant?




Seed, pot, compost, water. Every one's a winner.





Everything has come up and I'm feeling good.




Salad panted on 1st March is now up and running







The Asparagus has landed. More on that fascinating occurrence later.




The potatoes are chitting and thanks to Harry the earlies (Swift Variety) are already planted and kicking on a pace. I expect broken ground any day now.




Look at my lovely tomato plants!



Sorrel.


Yep Sorrel. French, small, bitter and not well loved, It's the Nicolas Sarkozy of the salad world. I however, perhaps because of my vague French background, love the stuff.

If you get a chance, bung some in your salad mix. It's slower growing than most leaves, and whilst most herbs are very easy to cut sorrel is far more difficult.

It's a wewll known fact that .......... wait for it.





Sorrel seems to be the hardest herb.

Sorry.








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