Sunday, 10 April 2011

Friends + Fresh Air = Fun!

I had a really enjoyable Saturday morning up at the care home as part of the dementia project.  With the garden redevelopment well under way I thought we'd get the residents and young people growing plants to go in it once it's finished.  There was quite a group of us; staff, residents, young people from the local school and one of the relatives, whose a gardener, ran the session and had us sowing seeds, pricking out and potting on.  Obviously tea, juice and biscuits were involved, and with the sun shining and a slight breeze we spent a great few hours outside as a group of friends, laughing, chatting and helping each other. You can't help but come away from those moments feeling positive and proud.

I came home and got stuck into transplanting my own small plants, from seed trays to small pots and then moving them out into the mini greenhouse.  Was I inspired by the morning session? I guess so!  I spend a lot of time in my garden by myself.  Not that I mind, I find it's a place where I can think whilst I'm busy with my hands and gardening is very good for the soul of course. But I think the time that we spend with friends outside are some of the best times we have.  Whether it's in each others gardens or a day out together these times are often creative, inspirational and fun. I look forward to having many more of these days during this project.

So, how are my plants doing?  Well, the second lot of cauliflowers are looking better than the first; only 3 survived from the first batch. I'm not sure what killed off the first ones, so as a precaution against slugs and snails I've battened down the sides of the little greenhouse with planks of wood underneath which I've buried the 'skirt' of the greenhouse and then packed the wood in tight with soil and straw. If anything crawls over the wood it's only going to come across the plastic barrier. In addition to that, I've also sprinkled some anti-slug granules around the edge of the greenhouse - see if that works.  That's the theory at least!

An almost full 'greenhouse' housing sweetcorn, broccoli, leeks,
cauliflower,tomatoes, a couple of sad-looking brussel sprout plants
and a tray of, what I believe are Asters

I took a wander up beyond the vegetable area to look at the apple trees this weekend.  The two Sunsets are in full bloom and look amazing. At least double the flowers on them this year than last, despite the fact that I left half a dozen on last year just to taste my first home-grown apples! Not so the Plympton Pippins.  One has a few flowers on it and the other has nothing at all.  Oh dear! what's going on there?  To add to my disappointment I've found some bark damage on the one that has a few flowers on it. Not sure what that is but I've put in a plea to my friend Dancin' Fool who also runs a blog called The Green Man and her partner Mr. Dancin' (my brother!) to identify what the problem is and what may have caused it.

A Sunset apple tree in full bloom; planted last year
Not such good news for one of my Plympton Pippins
 - what's been having a go at this?

No more has been done to the fence around the raised beds.  Sadly that's going to have to wait until next pay day before I can get any more wire mesh.  Fingers crossed it won't be too long before it's finished and I can get some seeds sown into the ground, as well as getting my greenhouse plants actually into the ground. I don't want to miss the growing season another year.

I'm going to end this post with some lovely pics of flowering plants that are growing well in the garden at the moment.  Always end of a good note!

The first bluebells appear

Dainty Bleeding Hearts

Lost the label for this one but I think it's an Eridium
Forget-me-nots are in abundance this year due to full-on strimming
of The Field last year!


themanicgardener said...

So pretty! and you're so far ahead of us--ah well. Enjoy!

themanicgardener said...

P.S.--great blog name! --Kate

Dancin' Fool said...

Hey! Wow you have been busy! The bleeding heart flowers were lovely to see, we are not there yet up here but there are still a lot of flowers about. Spring!!!! Yeah!!!!!!

Anyway chuck I wanted to invite you to join In Bloom and share some of your lovely images. Follow me to find out more. Bye for now!

Sensory Dragon said...

Hi Dancin' have been onto the green man blog and added my little picture...Forget-Me-Nots growing at the top of the field. It's a great idea;World In Bloom. I hope it's a winner and you get lots of images.

Sensory Dragon said...

Hi Kate, how's it going over there? Your blog about the gardening classes really made me laugh. You have a great way of describing your adventures! Glad you like the name of the seems to appropriately reflect what goes on in the garden - and sometimes life. We may be ahead of you plant-wise at the moment, but take comfort in the fact that our plants will also hit their dormant period earlier whilst you will still be enjoying yours!

Dancin' Fool said...

Hey! Thanks so much for joining in! Hopefully it will take off, the successful ones are a great way of networking and helping other people find your blog and it is such a cool way to travel the globe looking at other peoples images. Lovely picture Bud. xxx

Sensory Dragon said...

Hi Dancin' - hopefully you'll get more pics as the days go by. By the way, got your message via your the test worked! Getting very technical aren't you!