Those frogs they certainly have been a-wooing… Our fantastic, heart-shaped, communal pond has drifts and drifts of frogspawn on its beach. And shiny eyes can be seen popping up everywhere, plopping away if you step too close. I like frogs – my plot has lots of shady damp nooks and crannies for them to shelter in and I want to have a small pond of my own on #100. We lost most of the tadpoles last year. Three mallards and a heron holidayed on our site, gobbling up the little wrigglers in each and every pond like they were all-you-can-eat buffets. As soon as there was nothing left, they were gone too. This year I’m ready for ’em. I’ve special Committee dispensation to get some netting, and greedy bird barricades are going up tomorrow.
Monty said that today would be great for gardening and he was right. It was fantastic. But either the sun was stronger than my SPF’d moisturiser or I’ve become photosensitive over winter. My face is burning.
The strawberry bed needed attention – or rather the space where my strawberry bed will be. I stupidly (again) paid no attention to their waving runners last year and they sidled into the old squash bed. I didn’t notice them then under the leaves, but now I can see they are EVERYWHERE. The horticultural equivalent of rabbits. Because I hate composting good plants, I have been plaintively asking any (every) passer-by if they want some runners. 32 shifted today. And I am starting a new gardening apprentice on Tuesday so I bet she’ll take a bucket of them.
The bed’s more than a bit sludgy and I hope that my gentle forking about in it hasn’t done much damage. It was a joy to weed. Docks, couch and buttercups came up without a murmur. I have an extra session at the RDA tomorrow, so hopefully I can repair any possible awfulness with a blanket of manure.
I also made my own potting compost today. Oh yes, I did. And I liked it so much I videoed it. Saturdays are rivetting stuff chez Bez. Before it’s pointed out that this is an incredibly light mix and could do with a trowel or two of garden soil, it’s only meant as a medium for bigger seeds or sturdy seedlings to play in while their palatial resting places are prepared. And I have a tendency to overwater, so light is good. Bear with, it’s only 30 seconds long..
I sowed a fair amount today – various packs of Robinson’s pea plus Sugar Magnolia & Sugar Lord sugarsnaps (the clue’s in the name!), Babbington leeks and the potato onions from the A4A seed circle. At home the propagator is bursting with trays. I have many tomatoes in there, plus resowings of several chillies (grrrr!) and the initial flower sowings under cover – larkspur, cosmos Brightness Red and Xanthos, marigolds, cerinthe, sweet sultan.
Tonight I am reaping the rewards of having neighbours who don’t like everything in their veg box. Fennel and beetroot to be specific, which means I can palm off some of my swede and kale mountain in their direction. Happy days!
Categories: Diary 2017, Plot videos
Compost looks great!
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Don’t laugh but I’ve got two plastic “mallards” floating around in my pond. I used to get regular heron visits and someone suggested bright plastic ducks and it’s worked. But you lied! It’s 32 seconds though looks really good stuff. I pot everything on into coir now – that’s even lighter but I find root development is much better than in heavier composts. I don’t think lightness does any harm at this stage in a plant’s life.
I’d love to see the foxes if we had fake ducks on the pond! Apologies for the terrible fibbing and thanks for the vote of confidence.