Saturday six after a gardening week

I have been on annual leave for the last week. So where have you been I hear you asking – lying on a beach in sunny Majorca? Windsurfing in Barbados? Swimming in Tenerife? Icecream in Rome? (Well I have done that one in the past but not this week). No – in fact I have spent most of the week either sowing seeds, potting on, pricking out, planting out, weeding or helping husband and family demolish and start to rebuild my allotment shed. In fact I am realising that short of retirement I think that this might become a pattern for the first week of May every year, at least I can catch up with my planting. Last year we went away and I never felt like I quite got on top of things all Summer. Not that we are on top of things of course, there’s the polytunnel new covering to go on, the fruit cage to repair, the greenhouse to clean out and prepare for tomatoes, and the weeding of couch grass out of the paths and in the one bed we haven’t quite got under control in spite of no-dig. Anyway here’s my #sixonsaturday #six-on-saturday.

1. Spring flowers – I am not a flower person, and have focussed on the fruit and veg and the allotment for the last couple of years. My garden has suffered a little and this year I decided to grow some spring flowers for a change along with some Muscari (grape hyacinth) and Ipheion (below, Alberto Castillo with a lovely evening fragrance) – I am so glad I did.

This tulip (Victoria’s Secret) has been fairly spectacular and has a lovely if faint scent, and has been flowering for a good month, well worth the money.

2. We have bluebells in the garden, I have double checked and they are native ones, however we also have hybrid ones too, although they are now no more. Although they are lovely (and we might be too late admittedly as those bees have been busy this week) the flowers have been picked and the bulbs will be pulled.

3. Hopefully the last frost – as we are now in May I am rather hoping there is no more frost. I noticed yesterday that the potatoes had been frosted although I believe they will be OK. As it was forecast earlier in the week to be frosty I went and covered some of the fruit that was in blossom just in case, here is the mini apple tree and blueberry bush in my garden tucked up with a bit of fleece ready for the cold night.

They survived the night and here is the apple blossom today.

4. Am hoping you can see the buds on this medlar. I was fortunate to win one last year for my son and his partner for their new house. However I didn’t think it had survived its first winter so last Spring I bought another only to find that my sons had in fact survived (now nicknamed Groot after the tree character that survived getting blown up in Guardians of the Galaxy film). I kept the new one and have it in a huge pot and yesterday I noticed that it has buds, surprising as it is only its second year, obviously another tough cookie.

5. Strulch – Slugs are every gardeners nemesis, in fact they can be so destructive in such a short space of time they can undo weeks of growth and set you back by weeks. I live in Wales, we are not renowned for our dry summers and slugs proliferate at such a rate. I am taking a multiple approach this year, some nemaslug, some beer, pellets if I get desperate, squishing on sight and for my strawberries – strulch. Strulch comes with great credentials as a mulch, the packaging says used by the Eden Project, maintains moisture, adds nutrients to the soil among others benefits. Finally strulch is said to deter slugs and snails and active for up to 2 years – fingers crossed it works as described. Let’s hope this multipronged approach will work and any slugs confine themselves to the compost heap, or can’t we breed them to eat couch grass instead of our favoured plants? Now that I would pay good money for.

6. She-shed at the allotment update – there is no new shed … yet, but its coming. The old shed is gone, the ground is cleared and is in the process of being flattened out and there is the shape of the new shed. V. exciting.

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13 thoughts on “Saturday six after a gardening week

  1. Medlars are such an unusual fruit here I don’t think anyone knows what to do with them. Well done on saving the apple blossom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The medlars are new to me, tbh am growing them due to interest and for the same reason am growing quince (although I know that qunicd makes an amazing conserve – a friend brought me some back fro France a couple of years ago). The apple tree is special as it was a gift from my son so of course is treasured, it only produces a few small apples each year but they are delicious, sweet juicy and a little sharp.

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  2. Thank you for including a photo of fleece. I had heard other gardeners mention it but didn’t realize it is what we call floating row cover. I had pictured something much heavier and, well, fleecier.
    I also struggle with slugs. I checked on Amazon but no response to Strulch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mala, where are you? Possibly it is only UK atm, I have seen it in garden centres here as well. Its not cheap but then strawberries are one fruit definitely well saving. Glad I cleared up the fleece question, have a lovely weekend. 😊

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  3. Good luck with the shed building!
    I’ve never heard of Strulch before, but I’ll be checking back to see if you have success with it – my strawberries weren’t eaten too much by slugs and snails last year (each one I find, gets ‘rehomed’ to the rhubarb patch, where they can eat leaves to their hearts’ content!), but some years there’s been quite a lot of nobbled fruit, so I really should do something to try and deter them from those raised beds!

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    • Am hoping there will be an update next week with a partially built shed, it is moving forward nicely. I ‘rehome’ snails they are launched but avoiding others allotmenteers plots but slugs am afraid just get squished.

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  4. Fab re: bluebells. I share your dedication to the cause! Do you make jam or jelly with your medlars? My ‘Victoria’s Secret’ has only just started to flower, much later than many others. Hope it hangs around a while, and will go and sniff it later!

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    • Agreed a fabulous colour, definitely something to preserve. Although when cycling in North wales last tear all the bluebell wood areas were natives bluebells so hopefully not lost yet. Woodland trust did a survey last year.

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  5. Blueberries and apples need protection from frost? In May? I suppose the flowers are fragile. We can only grow a few cultivars of apple, and blueberries do not do well at all, because we do not get much chill here.

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    • We are at risk of frost until mid-May here and there have been occasional later ones than that. Although this weekend just gone we have been bathing in unusual heat (almost breaking records) it was only last Tuesday that the tops of my potatoes got frosted the same night I was protecting my apple and blueberry blossom.

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