|Somewhere in here are parsnips, shallots and onions!|
|The after shot after much hand weeding|
Many of my weeds are edible: in this mess are magenta orach which is edible, borage, dill, a potato (they haven't been grown in this plot for 4 years so how one still got through I don't know!) and a 'Red Salad Bowl' lettuce....
|Can you spot the rogue potato and the self-seeded lettuce?|
|I found another self seeded lettuce beside my onions|
so I had to remove some leaves as the poor onion is a bit stunted!
|I have about 5 varieties of lettuce coming up |
which we are eating the thinnings of along with the orach
Finally got to weeding my five strawberry beds! Had started spreading straw around and thought there was no rush until I noticed a few already starting to turn red, so fast work has been done over the last two days to get the rest of the straw down and netting over before the birds start helping themselves. I ate that strawberry yesterday and delicious it was too. Actually I ate half, and I'm so nice I gave the other half to my OH. Is that love or what? :-)
|Several pollinators doing their job although I'm not sure |
if the micromoth was pollinating or just sitting there!
|Spuds. The before and after, all nicely hoed and earthed up now.|
Just need to watch out for blight and colorado beetle.
Year 2 of my original Wildflowers for Pollinators Meadow. There was one plant which dominated which has grown enormous and burst into flower whilst I was away. I didn't know the plant but was pretty sure it was part of the Brassica family and after a bit of a google managed to ID it as Hesperis matronalis, very pretty and slightly scented, and a hit with the butterflies as well as some bees. There is also Phacelia flowering here now which self seeded from last year's plants during the mild winter and is much loved by the bumble bees.
|Butterflies enjoying the Hesperis matronalis - left an Orange Tip |
and right I think it's a male Small White but the markings are
not as apparent as normal.
|All sorts of bumble bees and solitary bees are enjoying|
the flowers on the purple curly kale, which I always leave
to flower especially for them.
Due to a reasonably mild winter some borage and calendula managed to survive so I'm very pleased that they are already flowering. The larger green plant is a flat leafed parsley (I have two here) which I'm leaving to go to seed as I hope the pollinators will enjoy the flowers. Lilac flowering in the background and as usual my ugly propane tank gets in the picture!
|Blackcurrants loaded with flowers and fruit as usual.|
Currants are a very reliable fruit crop!
Raspberries are flowering away and the thornless cultivated blackberries are looking good but as for the poor young gooseberries, although I checked them a few days ago and they seemed fine, yesterday I found them already with a number of leaves munched by Gooseberry Sawfly larvae which have been squished, so I'll have to be very vigilant!
Overall I'm pleased with my progress in tidying up as I've been working at half my normal energy levels due to having a cold; however one thing I've found is that I feel so much better being out in the fresh air than indoors!
I have now to get to a garden centre to buy my tomatoes and some other veg which is a bit late to start sowing now, such as French haricot beans, courgettes, cucumber and squash/pumpkins, not to mention the bog standard ivy leafed geraniums for my tubs and planters. Just hope there are some left which are not dried out leggy specimens.... but really it's just been too cold here to put those tender plants out anyway, so wasn't worth rushing to get any. With going away when we did, I felt the easiest way was to cheat and buy ready grown young plants. That's also why I have no peas or broad beans this year and even more space being used for wildflower meadows. But they keep me amused and my pollinating friends will be happy!