Who would dig up a cucumber vine?

I had intended to plant out one of the purple sprouting broccoli plants when I got home this evening. However, it was already starting to get dark. And I got sidetracked by the sight that presented itself when I went outside.

Now, I have no explanation for how the gate, which has been laying against the fence in the herb garden, would decide to fall over today. Why didn’t it fallen over before, when there were gusts of wind? Today it’s been 2mph.

Fortunately, the bay tree seems to have survived the unexpected heavy object falling on it

and the self-seeded chard will probably bounce back. The cucumber vine which I found amongst some weeds which had been growing under the gate, however, will not. All that was left where it had been planted as the pole it was growing up.

The silver lining in all this is the discovery of a flower, which looks a bit like a snap dragon. I’m glad I found this.

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Walking onions

My dad found some walking onions at a garden centre. They were in a sorry state, apparently, being the leftovers from a more vibrant stock, but he’s always been fascinated with them since he was a child when there were some in his family’s garden.

So, he bought the two plants – a challenge is a challenge after all – one plant for him and one plant for me. Or should I say I have some sproutings from the original plant and some bulb heads to be dropped on top of compost in a pot. 

I need to think about where to put them in the garden, once the plants are established. There’s nowhere at the moment but who knows in a month’s time….

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The National Garden Scheme

Since learning of the National Gardening Scheme, I’ve been looking out for a place to visit. It would seem that not all gardens are advertised on the NGS website, as I have seen signs in the Leeds area when there was nothing on the Internet.

However, today by chance I was inspired to look for a garden near my parents’ and ended up taking my mum to see what used to be a quarry and then a horse paddock.

glad I’m not the only one who has piles of pots standing outside

I’d never heard of the village we visited, let alone been to it before, so it was great to add that to the list of reasons why the NGS is a good scheme. Of course, the fact that the entrance fee goes to charity is excellent and chatting to other garden enthusiasts is a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

any idea what this flower could be? the owner of the property we visited today would love to know….

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Half a spade deep

Yesterday, I took advantage of the rain to move the fuchsia. It’s got quite big now and is preventing me enjoying the smaller plants around it. Besides, it seemed a sensible idea to place it in the part of the front garden which will be in deep shade in winter, when it is bare, and leave the brighter edge for stuff that might appreciate some sunshine.

The soil in the front garden was easy to dig, possibly because in addition to the rain it has plenty of ground cover (but not roots drinking water) to protect the soil. However, I could still only go about half a spade deep before hitting the subsoil.

At least the fuchsia didn’t need as much space for its roots as the yucca I planted last month. Nor will the latest kale plant, which I popped into a space where I’d cleared away dying clover fronds.

One of the teachers on the PDC had recommended I didn’t use clover as a green manure (I had already planted it the previous summer, though). I can see why. It has strong roots, so it seems it does need to be dug in rather than pulled out. Not that I could dig it in, even if I wanted to: by the wall, where the clover is, the soil is so full of ornamental pebbles, the half a spade deep elsewhere starts to seem like heaven!

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Potatoes and adzuki beans

I gave up on the idea of growing my own potatoes in favour of crops which were more productive in terms of space and/or outlay (eg compost, in view of the difficulty root crops have in my soil). However, potatoes don’t stop coming up here and there.

I doubt I can eat the offerings featured above. They look far too green to me. Equally, it is unlikely I will get anything edible from the plants in the next photo.

These I did actually sow. At least in the sense that I found a packet in the cupboard and rather than put the contents in the compost bin, I broadcast them in empty spaces. 

Adzuki beans are not my cup of tea but perhaps they will add nutrients to the soil/act as a cover crop. And seeing that they are grown in the Himalayas, who knows how they might have fared had I sown them earlier.

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Soil pH

At the weekend, whilst doing a spontaneous bit of decluttering, I came across a soil testing kit. 

Now, I’ve long suspected that the soil in my back garden is neutral, considering the fact that blueberries and brassicas both do fine. But I thought it would be interesting to see if this was correct.

I have to say I’m most taken with the light green.

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While the pumpkin grew…

Having got free tickets for the cinema, we had a lovely trip into town yesterday, which is how we came across the following:

The latest addition to Leeds transformation, this isn’t real grass and is presumably only here for the duration. At least people are out enjoying the sunshine.

Anyway, later in the day, determined to finish making a pair of pyjamas for my daughter, I ended up stripping down the sewing machine to get it working again. So, that was the rest of the day gone.

However, the pumpkin didn’t care. I think there might actually be two on the vine, so I hope the plant is strong enough for both. These are the scrummiest pumpkins I’ve eaten so far, so I planted four vines. Unfortunately, three of them got smothered by mangetout peas and parched almost to death. Hopefully, now they will make a comeback but I’m so happy with what has appeared while I’ve been pre-occupied elsewhere.

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