The old saying "Ne'er cast a clout 'till May be out" came to mind last week when we had a frost which actually caught some of my courgette plants. The origin and meaning are doubtful - particularly whether May refers to the month or may blossom (hawthorn) which is out now! See more at:http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/till-may-is-out.html Happily they have survived but are struggling by comparison with those in the greenhouse which are flourishing. The broad beans are much hardier - after all they germinated in freezing weather!
All of the dahlias I bought from Sarah Raven have started growing. Secret snail-visits have resulted in the paper labels being consumed (they must like the glue!) so I have found a good use for wooden coffee-stirrers. They make great labels!
It's been so dry I haven't had to cut the grass in over two weeks but, of course, the bank holiday has brought much-needed rain. Although everything has been flourishing in the sunshine the lack of rain was beginning to tell and I had started to water a few things. The up side of this is that everything has been very well-behaved and stayed quite neat and tidy with comparatively few slugs and snails. Now I am expecting a great rush of growth with associated propping and tying up - and judicious placing of slug pellets.
The cold weather seems to be keeping some of the bugs at bay too - famous last words! No lily beetles YET - so many buds this year look promising.
The tulips turned out fabulous again - in spite of the "Brown sugar" error. Interestingly, parrot tulips Princes Irene not in pots did not grow as tall as most of the other varieties but are still gorgeous. In another life I could spend a whole week just photographing them.
In terms of growing things from seed, the broad beans, courgettes and french beans are doing well and I am experimenting with mixed salad leaves and herbs in a wooden box which I can move about (currently in the greenhouse). My sweet pea seedlings have come up a bit spindly and I should have thought to plant Cobea scandens sooner as apparently they take about a month to germinate, although one seems to be struggling through after only two weeks. Apparently they are perennial in some climates - how good that would be....
Last but not least, I sometimes despair over the rampant growth of my one comfrey plant, but who can deny the beauty and elegance of its unfurling flowers.
Small Garden Story
Over some 15 + years, I have been photographing the evolution of my small (85 x 15 foot) garden and it seems a waste not to put these records into some sort of context. Beginning here in April 2010 this Blog is intended to both act as a diary and to share past and present successes (and some failures), pleasures and disappointments with fellow garden-lovers. In due course, I intend to fill in some of the background and early days but that will have to wait until the winter months!