I love combining rose with cardamom – it is a lovely Middle Eastern combination and puts me in mind of all the exotic places I visit \vicariously through the internet and travel books. Actually, the first time I combined these particular flavours, it was when…
Spring has sprung! Woohoo and Happy Spring Day to you! This was quite a busy week, what with it being slightly warmer and less rainy, and the best time to sow and grow according to the moon calendar I use. For more ideas on what to sow and grow – see my September calendar which was published with the latest newsletter.
In my garden
The roses are all budding profusely, and I’m getting excited about the flush of flowers I’m expecting. My new rose, Scentimental, has already formed some flower buds!
I also planted more peony poppies, larkspur, delphinium, cosmos and sunflowers, and sweet peas in the bee and butterfly garden. I’m enjoying the fern-leaf lavender and rainbow loveliness dianthus, and of course, all the lovely spring flowering bulbs.
Golden moss feverfew, calendula oopsy-daisy, and lady’s mantle are all new additions in my rose garden.
While in my orchard, I made space for two new lemon trees coming – from a friend who is moving to Germany – and I’m still hankering after the two crab-apples I saw last week… The dwarf apples are not budding yet, but I am starting to see fruit trees in blossom all over now.
In the berry patch, the blueberry flowers are fully formed now, promising a good harvest of juicy little berries in summer. The raspberries have finally poked their new growth from the ground and are coming up fast, and my strawberries are flowering (still!). No sign on my red currants yet, or the cape gooseberries, but still holding out hope. I have sowed new cape gooseberry seed just in case.
In the vegetable plot, the constant available harvest of Carouby snow peas and heritage blue shelling peas are the main features. I am letting some rocket and radishes go to seed, as well as my red coral mizuna. This is of course to save seed, and to have some “freebies” pop up all around my garden through summer.
Two of the main garden beds have had their horse manure and bokashi added, and are now lying low for a bit till I start planting them up in a few weeks. The rest of the garden beds will follow soon.
In the nursery
I got some great little F1 seeds of a dwarf variety of capsicum in – especially for those who are pressed for space, and can only grow in containers. The three varieties I chose was an orange sweet pepper, a medium heat green Jalapeno, and a hot yellow Cayenne, and all going well, will be sold as a set of three.
Besides some more heirloom tomatoes, I sowed an F1 hybrid called Tomato – Rapunzel – apparently the trusses can carry up to 50 fruit, creating long “tresses” of “hair” like the namesake fairytale princess. These were chosen by my daughters (11 and 7) to see who can grow the longest tomato hair.
I did an early sowing of popcorn -black popcorn and my favourite from last year, strawberry popcorn. These are already poking up little green shoots. Always interesting to see the difference between a monocot and a dicot when they germinate (for those who don’t know monocots have only one germination, or seed leaf, like corn, while dicots have two germination or seed leaves).
My friend gave me more beautiful fresh curry leaf (Murraya koenigii) seeds to sow, and I’m optimistic because the last lot are all up and growing happily!
New and exciting for me to grow – I have a long-neck dipper gourd seed in a seedling pot, as well as some snake gourds!
For my own garden I got to sow more dwarf beans – purple and yellow, as well as a selection of some good looking aubergines (eggplants) – Tsakoniki (my favourite), Ponderosa, Container pick, and Tonda Bianca. I always sow more than I need, so the extras will be available at my markets once they’ve grown.
More pretty cottage flowers were put into seedbeds too – dahlia, cosmos seashells mix, painted daisies, and gaillardia. As well as some more standard herbs like chives, parsley, dill, fennel, sage, thyme and coriander.
Looking at some seedlings that had been sowed previously, the watermelon, luffah, and cucumbers are doing really well and will be ready to be potted into bigger containers soon. Dahlias are up, as well as a lot of little red Rubin basil seeds.
Sowings of bergamot – lemon bergamot (Mondarda citriodora), wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), prairie mixed bergamot (Monarda didyma) as well as Scarlet Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) are showing their first leaves already. Happy to get the bees to the garden soon.
I potted up into bags, almost ready for sale, a whole lot of heirloom tomatoes, purple tomatillo, chop-suey greens, lemon and lime basil, lettuce leaf basil, Thai basil and cinnamon basil as well as sorbet-duet viola, white mignonette, Armenian basketflower, cardoon, green and red orach (mountain spinach) and rockets (wild and salad).
From my main garden, I divided gotu kola (Centella asiatica) and wild creeping thyme and transplanted into bags, and as soon as they get over transplant shock, they’ll be ready for the nursery and markets.
The cuttings of Okinawan spinach (Gynura bicolor) have all now rooted – many have been potted up already, but there’s still lots to go.
New additions to the nursery, are: rose hardenbergia (from seed gifted to me by a friend), horsetail, and bulbine (a South African plant that can be used similarly to Aloe vera)
…and then… I twisted my ankle, and am now in a moonboot, and not able to do too much… and this at the beginning of the most productive time in the garden! Oh well… time to do some admin and paperwork then, I guess, and rest up so I can be back on my feet in the garden as soon as possible!