The garden

Our apple tree has already got a load of apples on it.  If I were a better, more committed gardener, I would thin them out.  However, I’m not so I won’t.

Apples – these should be ready before October
Guelder rose has berries
I love cotoneaster – this is covered in bees. It will look super when the berries are out

Unfortunately, our carrots aren’t doing very well.  They were looking great but it seems that they occupy the easiest spot for the blackbirds to dig up worms. So the blackbirds have dug up all but six carrot plants.  My husband’s mum suggested that we put chicken wire over it (which we may do next year).

Carrots

We’re a bit later than I’d intended but a couple of days ago, we sowed our carrot seeds.

Bed for carrots

The bed wasn’t too weedy as I’d covered it in wood chippings over the winter.  My husband spent far longer than I would have raking through the compost and breaking up the clay.  Still, we will probably get better results.

The seeds we sowed were one set of easy-grow, early cropping orange carrots and one set of multi-coloured carrots that I suspect won’t grow as easily.  There were about 2,500 seeds in the first packet and 200 in the second so I should think we’ll get a lot more of the “standard” carrots in any case.

I really need to sort out a couple of flowerbeds.  One in particular is a weedy, grassy disgrace.  I wonder whether it would be worth putting a load of lavender and herbs in there?  I had meant to make it more “fancy” but anything is better than what I have at present.  And oregano would be great at going to battle with the weeds.

Sowing carrots

One thing that the children (visiting and my own) did was sow some carrot seeds.

Here
Here

Last year we grew a variety of especially short, fat carrots but this year we are having a go at growing multicoloured “heritage” carrots.  I have no idea whether they will work – we’d had the seeds over a year so I hope they weren’t off.

One advantage of growing vegetables is that it encourages children to actually eat what they’ve grown.  At the moment, my children are a bit wary of stuff that looks even slightly different from what they’re used to so perhaps this will cure that a bit.  If they work.

My garden

Yesterday morning, my son got me up at 7am and DEMANDED to inspect his spring onions right away.  They aren’t looking all that great – although we did find one tiny carrot.

Spring onions - a bit weedy
Spring onions – a bit weedy

We are planning to sow carrots next but our builder needs to dig the bed up (including my herb garden) to locate and fix a leak in the basement.  He can’t do that until it has been dry for about a week so I can’t decide whether it is worth just going ahead and sowing them on the grounds that it is NEVER dry in the Isle of Wight for a whole week.  So it will never happen.

Looking round the rest of my garden, it’s looking okay.  Quite a few of the plants I whined about last month have started perking up – so they aren’t all dead.  However, I have a lemon thyme and some marjoram that needs replacing.  Also, all that calamintha nepeta I had at the front really is totally dead.  I’m considering putting a Californian Lilac in their place – bees like that well enough, right?  Or, perhaps a hydrangea?  Something like this?

One of my rosemary plants has suffered quite a lot in Storm Katie – massive great branches of it have been ripped off.  I hope it survives.  Yesterday, I saw a bee on one of my other (horizontal) rosemary plants, which made me extremely happy.

My son and I had a go at scattering some poppy, cornflower and wetlands seeds in the wildflower meadow.  I don’t know whether they will all take (particularly as my son tends to throw the seeds on top of existing plants, rather than the soil) but that is okay.  The wildflower meadow is an interesting one – some things seem to be doing really well but others (like the white rosebay, which I had been told was RAMPANT) have disappeared altogether.

I’ve had some fun putting compost around my plants and generally having a tidy up.  My new buddleia plants are doing really well but the hydrangeas don’t have leaves out yet – perhaps I pruned them too hard.  The plan for this weekend is to plant some sunflower seeds with the kids.  They should be more rewarding than the spring onions.

Spring onions?

Last September / October, my son and I sowed a load of spring onion seeds in the bed we’d used for carrots in the summer.

This is mainly grass I think
This is mainly grass I think

I think some of the spring onions have come up but most of it looks like grass (horrible stuff – gets everywhere).  Meh.  Once we get to March, I’ll dig it all up and sow more carrot seeds.  I have some marvellous looking heritage carrot seeds (the multicoloured ones) that I think my children will find interesting.

BloominBootiful

There’s a fab new blog about gardening called BloominBootiful which I’ve enjoyed having a look at.  I think I’m inclined to like gardening blogs, at least in part because they are beautiful.  If you are interested in gardening, go and check it out (as well as Kal’s Gardening).

There’s one post where the author says that she is considering what vegetables to grow next year (she had a disappointing load of veg from the supermarket).  I really enjoyed growing carrots this year (I think they are probably the easiest thing to grow) and am planning to grow some “heritage” carrots (multicoloured ones) next year.  Most of our carrots were fairly uniform but we had some pleasingly wonky ones too.

Wonky carrots from my garden
Wonky carrots from my garden