My Forgotten Mistress

As it’s all systems go on the veg-growing front at the moment, it’s easy to get so caught up in the allotment, the garden gets forgotten. In the background she continues, without fuss, without complaint. While runner beans and sweetcorn rear their heads above their pots, the garden has her own delights to share.

The fig tree I bought a short while ago, shows promise… and fruit. Fig Collage

Right now, our garden is awash with Spainish Bluebells. For many, there seems to be a love/hate relationship with these perennials. They certainly don’t compare to our very own native variety, yet I have a fondness for them. This year, we not only have the regular blue variety, but its white sister, also. Bluebell Collage

Being a north-facing garden, woodland plants thrive and things can be a little slow to take off at times. Nevertheless, it means we get to enjoy the spring flowers, such as these Hellebores for an extra few weeks. Hellabore Collage

A few years ago at the Chelsea Flower show, Agent Soph took a particular liking to an unnamed Aquilegia. As it was the last day of the show, they rang the bell at four o’clock and everything was up for grabs at a discounted price. It was a bloody battle to keep the other keen gardeners off the prize that Sophie had set her sights on; I still carry the scars to this day.

Sophie was unaware of how promiscuous Aquilegia can be, and every year, right on cue, this plant is the first to appear, in her ever-burgeoning numbers. .. Aquilegia Collage

In our compact front garden, I wanted the season to start with a bang, and to my delight, it’s full of shape and colour. Not only are there tulips and wallflowers, but the alliums, clematis and Fritillaria imperials are starting to rear their heads. 1wallflower

My garden and allotment are very different ladies, however, both have very many merits, both are equally loved.

All I need now is an orchard…. 🙂AdeSignature



The Ultimate Parsnip

It seems there’s never enough time to get all those allotment jobs done. You spend all week planning how to get the most out of those precious weekends on the plot, that when it comes round and tasks are completed, several more are only too keen to rear their eager heads. But that’s what gardening is, a continuous cycle. We do, we learn, we move on.

For me, it was a weekend of turning soil, sowing seeds in the polytunnel, warming beds and chopping and digging over the green manure.2 Collage

However, something I am doing a little differently this year is germinating my parsnip seeds at home in a propagator. I always find parsnip seeds are a bugger to get going. Once they’re off, it’s a different matter. Although the finished result can come in a multitude of unusual shapes and sizes, they still taste great. So now I’ve challenged myself to grow the ultimate parsnip. 4

It took a week for the seeds to germinate, but with their first shoots emerging, I took them up to the allotment.

On the plot I decided to create holes with the dibber then backfill with sifted soil, place the germinated seed on top and lightly cover. I could be way off the mark here but my thinking is, a clean route down will mean less encounters with stones thus preventing forking. Who knows? I’m committed now and the quest for the ultimate parsnip has begun. Wish me well as I set sail on the voyage of parsnip discovery. 1meHowever, if you can keep a secret, there’s another project I’ve been working on, locked away in my garden shed.  But before I return, under the cover of darkness to proceed with my covert operation, I wanted to share some pictures of my wallflowers and our sole Fritillaria meleagris ‘Snakes Head’.

1 Collage

More of Operation Build soon.. Over and Out! AdeSignature