Sunday 16 June 2013

Contrary Gardening part 3

This is day 14 in the Contrary Garden Diary Room. What news, gossip, naked showers, sexiness, excitement has there been over the last week? In between munching the salad (not a euphemism) and watching the weather forecast avidly (I've turned into my gran) nothing much has happened. There has been the usual chaos with the erection of a mini greenhouse, broad bean S&M, a plant buying addiction, the explosion of the brightest coloured geraniums you've ever seen and more compost. Oh and some stuff has sprouted.

So apart from that it's been an uneventful week.

The weather has been truly appalling with the coldest wettest June week in living memory. This may be an exaggeration but even the Met Office has met this week to discuss the impact of the weather on my roof garden. Alright, so they are looking at the bigger picture but I'm sure my garden is what has precipitated these events. It seems once you have a vested interest in looking at the impact of the weather, news of it appears everywhere. It also makes you appreciate how bloody difficult stuff is to grow!

I've been on to the roof every couple of days to splash some water around. This is quite amusing in full smart work regalia - actual 'lady gardening' - and am not sure if strictly necessary if it's been raining. My view is that the rain doesn't provide plant food so extra damp and nutrients can't go amiss.

What stage exactly are the roof plants and what is their status?

  • Carrots - no show yet
  • Beetroot - a couple of shoots
  • Broccoli - plentiful pretty purple shoots
  • Peas - satisfying rows of pea like shoots
  • Broad beans - they have reached the stage where I've had to tie them to sticks to keep them upright. They appear to enjoy being made to stand to attention
  • Cauliflower - the large droopy leaves have died off a bit but the centres are ok
  • Sprouts - likewise, as the cauliflower
  • Radishes and lettuces - are ok, struggling a bit
  • The fruit bushes are happily fruiting with leaf growth on the rather straggly blackcurrant

This morning I have transplanted a few struggling garlic shoots which have been fighting for space with the flowers in the balcony pots. I didn't know they were going to grow so well! Anyway one came up with a good root system so should be quite happy. A few more radishes went upstairs too.

Let me explain the greenhouse. Not content with the growing capabilities of the balcony V decided to go professional. No, not in that way, but to actually have a proper space for seedlings to grow. Watching her erect this marvellous piece of engineering was hysterical; at one point I think she was measuring it up for a dashing green waterproof rain coat.

Contrary to popular expectation and in front of a cheering audience, she managed to get it up and fastened to the balcony successfully. It now contains:
  • Chillies and pepper plants. Much happier to be in the warm, definite growth there this week
  • Mint plant is almost mojito ready again
  • Lettuce is sprouting after a week which is fab. This is proper hearty lettuce, not the simple leaves we have been having with meals recently. I hope to transfer them upstairs when they are bigger
Which brings me nearly up to date. Yesterday J needed his daily cheese fix so whilst in our nearby superstore, they were selling Bizzie Lizzies off at 94p per tray. How could I refuse? We have no room for these waifs and strays but they looked so sad yet hope peered out of their little flowers. So more compost and mucky hands later, they are now ensconced in a hastily rearranged trough. The few that were left over were popped on the roof to keep the fruit trees company and add colour to the garden.

Finally I used the small plant pots and new compost to plant some onions seeds. These can either be harvested as spring onions or we could move them upstairs. Given that we go through about 10 onions a week, I really don't anticipate the 12 I've planted lasting that long! These are now also in V's propagator. Also I had no idea that spring onions were baby onions...who knows this stuff?

So I can't wait to see what is going to happen over the next week.

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