Sunshine at last over the weekend, so I was able to make progress (despite feeling rather tired and sore from over-zealous digging in the garden at home – finally eradicating the extreme network of roots put out over decades by an injudiciously planted Rosa Mundi!).
The cold frame is full of plants that have now germinated, but still awaiting the right time to plant out. But in the meantime, I was able to fill in the gap between autumn sown garlic ‘Chesnok Red’ and cheery looking shallots (Jermor). So we now have a row of zinnias (one looks a bit unhappy, but hope she will come round), several rows of seeds – purple spring onions ‘Lillia’, rocket, orange & yellow carrots and coriander ‘Confetti’ (sounds nice and will I hope again confound the carrot-root flies :0). Then another row of still rather straggly antirrhinums, The Bride, which I hope will end up as a regal row of white loveliness, helping somewhat to mitigate the poor snapdragon’s lowly reputation.
I also spent a happy hour or two on my knees, edging and weeding and generally primping the little herb/flower beds that I’d dug out at the end of the fruit cage in a frustrated effort to create more planting space. It’s this sort of thing that deeply compromises any aspiration I have to allotment precision and order, as exemplified by my next-door-neighbour! I must face the truth that my little plot will always be on the quaint side …
A happy discovery too; the box hedging that my Darling gave me last Christmas, planted as bare root into lovingly dug and manured trenches around a new square bed I’d rescued from nettle-throttledome, is putting on new growth, with lots of tiny green shoots appearing. I had been very concerned to see last year every leaf develop a nimbus of yellow, causing me to fear the arrival of box blight. The lady at the RHS information desk at Wisley had said it may be trauma due to planting and the dreadful wet summer – and so it has proved to be. I’m very pleased, and to celebrate did some forensic weeding around the roots and treated them to a little sprinkle of fish & bone. I’ve planted wild strawberry ‘Alexandria’ (grown from seed from ebay last year) all around the internal edge, which I think will look lovely when it’s had a bit of warmth to help it fill out. Then the plan is potager-style rows of different lettuce and parsley, perhaps beetroot too if there’s space. We’ll see.