Blimey, it seems like I only just did April!
Here’s the view from the back doors at the start of May…
But there’s no time to admire the view, it’s time I got the maincrop potatoes in. They have been chitting in the garage since March and if we have a late frost they will be small enough to be easily protected with a bit of loose soil drawn over them.
This is a particularly fine piece of chitting, even if I say so myself:
The variety is Romano; I don’t think I’ve tried growing them before so we’ll have to see. Or perhaps the purchasers of the house will get the benefit, who knows.
The soil on the veg plot is in fantastic nick this year, the result of lots of composting in previous years and lots of weather in the winter. So it’s half a handful of pelleted chicken manure for each spud and in they go. I had a robin to keep me company today, perching on a bamboo cane and occasionally darting down to catch a minibeast.
The earlies I planted in April keep showing through, so each weekend I cover the leaves up with soil. The ridges are getting pretty high now, so I might struggle to do keep them covered soon. You can see the ridges in the background of this picture (the bare part at the front is where the newly planted maincrop is):
I’ve used up last years seeds to fill up space in the veg plot. There’s some lettuce (little gem), mixed salad leaves, radish and beetroot. Also french beans growing in pots in the frame along with some tobacco plants and snapdragons to go out later this month…
The stuff in the old growbag is mange-tout, couldn’t resist them in the garden centre last month. It will be interesting to see how they get on. I can also see some sweet pea seedlings tucked away behind the frame. These are the leftovers from the ones I planted up against our fence last week:
The purple flowers are Honesty, another plant that seeds itself around the garden. I like it despite the faint echoes of My Little Pony from the colour: it’s bold and cheerful and a food plant for the caterpillars of the Orange Tip buttefly iirc, one of my favourite garden visitors.
The frame is up on the terrace outside the back bedrooms. It’s a nice spot when the sun is out, just like it isn’t in this picture:
You get a nice view of the garden from up here, too:
As well as a view over the fence to the common land on the south of the property:
Back on the ground again, here’s a picture of some bluebells growing on that patch of land that I never quite get around to clearing:
I like bluebells, they remind me of my childhood and those family expeditions to the woods near where we lived to go and pick huge bunches of them to fill the house. In those days it wasn’t illegal like it is now and I’m sure the more you picked the stronger they grew next year.
But the ones we used to pick were proper English bluebells, blue with just a hint of purple, strongly scented and drooping over at the top so that all the flowers hang on one side of the stem. The ones in this garden are bastards, corrupted by interbreeding with illegal immigrant Spanish bluebells, with their sturdy upright posture and the flowers evenly spaced around the stem. Now I might be imagining it, but it seems to me that as they multiply and spread they are reverting to the English type. Who knows, if left undisturbed for another 50 years or so they may once again look like the ones I remember.
Okay, fast forward to mid May. What a month – frosts in the second week held everything back then suddenly it got warm.
The potatoes have shaken off the cold nights and taken off now:
The lawn has stopped looking all scraggy as well. I haven’t done a lot to it, just sprinkled a bit of lawn sand on it last month and mowed it:
The rhododendrons don’t seem to have minded the cold nights either: