Tuesday, 17 April 2012

My robin in the flowerpot

Tidying up all my flower pots the other week in preparation for big time planting sessions ahead, I disturbed a robin sitting on a beautiful moss lined nest inside one of the big black plastic pots. I don't know who was more startled - her or me.
I was so afraid that with the fright I gave her, she would abandon the nest, and I have been giving it a very wide clearance ever since.

So what happened?

I am delighted to report that the eggs have hatched and two robins are now busily flying backwards and forwards with beaks full of grubs and flies to feed the young! 

Friday, 13 April 2012

What a week!

What a week it's been.After the false summer we had in March, enjoying temperatures up to 25 degrees, this week has seen sunshine and showers, wind and rain, hail and thunder, and temperatures little above 8 degrees during the day with slight ground frosts at night.
But I just had to plant my potatoes today. Legend says we should plant them on Good Friday, which seems a bit daft given that Easter dates vary significantly year on year.
So up to the plot I went, and whilst there picked some vegetables for the weekend; spinach, swiss chard, leeks and sprouts - plenty to eat for several days. And I looked across at other plots which are just bare soil, (below right - just a few leeks planted recently) compared with my "cottage garden" plot still full of produce. I still have parsnips to dig, and cabbages hearting up nicely, especially now I've covered them to keep the butterflies and pigeons off them!
And I did get the potatoes in! I first dug a trench and lined it all along the bottom with compost from one of my bins at home which I have just emptied. Last time I did this, I had a bumper crop of spuds. Let's hope history repeats. And I also wanted to use this strip of land which has been a strawberry row since the allotments opened, so the soil is not well worked, still full of stones and very heavy with clay. The potato row should do the trick in improving the soil here with all the earthing up that will be required - and the thick potato foliage will keep any weeds at bay.
All we need now is some warmer weather - no sign of the broad bean seedlings yet - I hope the field mouse hasn't dug them all up!

Monday, 9 April 2012

My Banana Tree is flowering!!

Huge excitement in this household over the last week - the banana we have grown indoors from a tiny plant is flowering - after 8 years!!