All is still quiet on the growing front. I have dusted off the heated propagator and just for experimentation, have planted those huge great seeds that I collected last year from the Monkey puzzle tree, also some lemon grass seeds. I grew Lemon Grass last year, but unfortunately it is not hardy and so the plant that was growing very well has succumbed to the harsh weather that we have been experiencing lately. The Lemon Grass seeds have sprouted, and I thought I would keep them going indoors for a while to give them a nice long growing season. Not sure what I'll do about overwintering it again tho? It might be an annual, Does anyone know? On a completely different subject, I recently have been thinking about changing my job. I am an auxilliary at the local hospital, a job which I enjoy very much. The current line of work is at the palliative care unit, this is where I have been based for the last 9 years, and I feel now that I need to move out of my comfort zone and expand my knowledge and skills in a new environment. So I have been perusing the hospital jobs vacancy website, and submitted some applications for different directorates. I was fortunate enough to be called for interview for a position that is at the complete opposite end of the scale. Along I went with great trepidation, the interview was running late, and I was sooo tempted to come home again, figuring that I do have a good job, I'm not getting any younger, I work with a great team, and what the hell am I doing here!! Anyway, in I went.... I felt that the I didn't sell myself very well, I was soooo nervous, I answered the questions as best I could, remembering to speak slowly, make eye contact etc etc. I came away glad that it was over, not holding out much hope of getting the position, I had none of the essential experience, although lots of life and hospital aquired skills. I was I at work later when they rang me to let me know that I had been successful!! I must say that I am thrilled, excited, scared, sad, apprehensive, but nothing ventured nothing gained... so wish me luck!! I am leaving the departure lounge and heading on over to the arrival suite!!
Today I took delivery of my seed poptatoes. This for me officially marks the beginning of the growing season. I have already unpacked them and laid them out in trays ready for chitting. I ordered, Dunluce, this is a first early, great for salads and summer chips and was a freebie. Next came Maris Piper an early maincrop, a good all rounder, but makes excellent roasties. Then I had Majestic, another good all rounder, I chose this one because it makes lovely mash. Then last but not least I ordered Arran Victory, this is a late maincrop and again a good all rounder. I also ordered Shallots Red Sun.
Just got back from plot 44 and it was really uplifting!! Thankyou mother nature it was exactly what I needed. We (hubby and myself) dug the runner bean trench, and layered it with some compost from the compost bins at home, we recycle all our teabags, peelings and eggshells etc. Lovely stuff it was too. Then we pulled up the cabbages that were looking well past their sell by date, they were chopped up and layered on top, all that has been left to be exposed to the effects of any weather. Later we will put in more shredded paper and any thing else we can think of. We stood and tried to formulate a sowing plan for this year, yet again we will run out of space if we grow everything that we want! I have just finished reading an excellent book called One man and his dig that was lent to me by my friend Goosey. He wrote about getting his first plot and all the trials and tribulations that ensued. He wrote with a humour and honesty that made for great reading. If anyone would like to read it contact me and I will forward it on to you. This little fellow was coming out of hibernation and making his way up the towel in the shed!The bed of early onions and garlic. This is my attempt at avoiding too much loss through white rot. I thought if I plant them early they will be ready for harvesting before the optimum conditions allow for the disease to take a firm hold. Just a thought....Last few Trafalgar Brussel sprouts. I only grew 4 plants, but had a good harvest from them, delicious they are too.This is one of the cranberry plants, I didnt get any fruit last year, so hopefully this year will fare better The last few spears of callabrese Still managing to harvest a few stallworts of the hardy vegAnd finally photographic evidence that spring is well and truly on its way!! The first cyclamen flower........ Buds on the gooseberries.............. The first Iris of spring..... it really does make you feel better.
Just one more bird I spotted this morning, a beautiful Thrush. This bird is a regular visitor to my garden. Two things puzzle me though... why do sparrows ague over one single port feeder when there are several multi port feeders in close proximity, and why dont the birds use the fabulous feeding station that I have provided in the back garden in the sunshine with fresh water!!!!!
One of my pastimes is feeding the birds. They really need our help especially during this cold spell, this gives me a good opportunity to get the camera out.. again, not much about, plenty of Goldfinches, I saw 1 starling, 1 pidgeon, I think I saw a thrush. I went out early to put some warm water on the bird bath to help defrost it, within an hour it was frozen again! So back out I went with even more... I cant remember it being this cold, for this continuos length of time for years! Dont get me wrong, I am not complaining, far from it, but living so near the coast, we usually get away lightly from any severe weather. I do think it would be nice to see some snow, real snow... not a little light dusting, but proper real deep white stuff!
I cant believe that I have posted twice in one day!!! I must be feeling better... I really do believe that I suffer from S.A.D , I am soo looking forward to the spring.
I know that I haven't posted for a while, okay, for ages, okay okay, MONTHS!.. but...... I have been popping down to plot 44, there just isn't much happening at the mo. Anyway , I do feel that we are turning a corner. The weather is actually doing what the weather should be doing, ie.. very cold! That is excellent news as far as allotment holders are concerned, breaking down soil, killing off the eggs of pests, encouraging fruit buds to form on fruiting trees and shrubs. We have endured the shortest day, and the days are slowly getting longer, things can only get better! I am still harvesting brussel sprouts, leeks, parsnips and .. thats it. Hubby is on a mission to get as much free horse manure as he can.. today he came home with 12 large bags which we duly spread over and around various beds and plants. Potatoes, shallots and fresh seeds have been ordered.. what else can I say... BRING IT ON!!