Monday, 26 April 2010

Beautiful Blooms

And so, the gardening has started with a spring: I've spent two days turning soil, adding feed and mulching in compost, all ready to bed in my little seedlings. I've bedded peas against the fence, protected by cherry radishes and fronted with red and white onions. I know I've overcrowded them a little, due to our garden being virtually doll sized, but I have plenty of time to lift and move them as required. Sod's law states that I won't actually get any of it come harvest, but it'll be deeply satisfying until the ants, slugs and birds eat all my hard work. But this year I have defensive planting on my side!

Onions are great at discouraging cabbage whites, in much the same way that sage scares off carrotfly (which reminds me, I must buy some sage), so I will be using some of my little plantlets to surround and guard my delicate brassicas when I set in the broccoli.

Chives do much the same job but are also said to keep away slugs, aphids and carrot fly, which is why I have a big pot of them in the middle of my other pots, next to my pot of globe carrots and three different kinds of peppers. I've potted some fresh green mint which repels cabbage fly and ants near last year's strawberry plants (and encouraged some to grow near my normal strawberry patch), in the aim that the ants will be discouraged. I also found some marigold seeds that were given to me as a present a while back, so I've scattered those amongst my seedlings, in the knowledge that marigold has to be one of the most powerful defensive plants going when it comes to gardening - they produce an amazing natural pesticide from their roots, and they're known to be effective against starchy weeds like ground ivy.

Nothin' more satisfyin' than a good cuppa after a long hard dig, so after a trip to Homebase revealed a 10% off sale, where I picked up a stack of brown glazed clay pots to go with my greens, blues and blacks, His Lordship made me a wuhunderful cup. Though it seems I underestimated my requirements, as I still need to get pots for my lemon thyme, chocolate flowers when they arrive, and my garlic.

We also discovered why we didn't get many flowers from all the bulbs I planted along the fence. It turned out that the local municipal mowers have been going riiiight along the edge of said fence (scraping it a bit too) and mowing them all down. More frustratingly, there are DOZENS of Daffs across the road in full bloom in a nice grassy, neatly mown patch. *sigh*

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