Sunday, 22 April 2012

Too much like England!

  Well, once more time slips away. I had not realised that it is two weeks since I last posted. The weather over the last two weeks has been a typically English spring. Cool with rain showers but in La Creuse throw in a 5 to 25km wind! There has been the odd showing of the sun but nothing like what I was hoping for. Still, the weeds and the grass like it.
  In the outside garden much has gone on. Potatoes are showing but the chickens have taken a fancy to the beds they are in and are causing havoc in places. A row of Evesham Special brussel sprouts under the cover of fleece has been planted out with a couple of left over Golden Primo. I must get into the habit of throwing these left over plants away instead of trying to find a space for them. My peas are still covered up and the chickens have shown also shown interest but fortunately have not been able to get past the covers. These birds are persistent! I have risked sowing a row of Borlotti beans and Haricot Vert. It is a gamble but hey the dice may land in my favour though I think that this spring will have nature getting the better of me. The asparagus has not been as good as I was hoping but at least some of it has survived and fingers crossed will improve over the years. I planted some herbaceous perennials into a border in the house garden that had been taken from a remade herbaceous border in the large garden which had survived being divided and left in pile over the winter and were starting to grow! These hardy plants are big enough clumps to defeat the scratching chickens!
  In the poly tunnel it is all go. It is nice to be working in the warm poly tunnel out of the wind and rain showers. Melons are up and today (Sunday 22nd April) I noticed that celery had germinated. Some cabbage (Golden Primo, All the Year Round cauliflower) planted out. Lost a couple of sweet corn plants to frost along with a couple of tomato plants. Strange how one plant can be frosted yet the one next to it is completely untouched. I wonder if it is the condensation dripping from the roof in the early morning? Melons have germinated and butternut squash is growing away. I noticed that shallot seeds has finally germinated and the onions grown from seed are looking good. The third lot of 18 Day radish are up and the second sowing is ready to pull. Hopefully I am getting into this succession lark! I have salad bowl lettuce that can be picked and a couple of De Merville lettuce all but ready to pick with Batavia Reine Glace following up. Herb cuttings (Golden Oregeno, Blue Sage) have been transplanted to larger pots. The Oregano particularly have excellent root systems already. I lost all but one of my Rosemary bushes to the winter weather and I have bought a new bush from which I have taken some cuttings. The apple trees continue to blossom and the later varieties now have buds on them.
 We have five lambs now and all are doing well. Socks, the lamb who was rejected by his birth mother, is doing fine and has been accepted by the other ewes and lambs. He is still being bottle fed. A Great Tit has been spotted gathering chicken feathers for its nest. Spring moves along at a gathering pace.
   I now need a couple of dryish days to allow me to cut the grass. I was on top of it but it is starting to get on the long side and needs doing. I hope by the next post to have done that.
Well, that sums up some of the work I have been doing over the last couple of weeks. I am sure there is more I missed but I hope it gives you a flavour of how busy it.

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