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January 12, 2015

Itching to get started on the allotment I decided to start with a seed list but then I looked in my box of seeds and decided to wait. DSCN3743


They are now in immaculate order of sowing times and to see what seeds are still viable I’ll put up the pop up greenhouse in April and sow salad leaves, lettuce, spinach and kale to see what comes through. At the end of April I’ll sow all the beans in pots here too and apart from parsnip most seeds should be good for this year since they’ve been stored in the dry. The flower seeds will be sown direct in rows in the cut flower bed on the allotment in May and thinned in situ. If you are anywhere near Brighton there’s a seed swap early in February seed swap brighton 2015 and many more round the country. My collection looks a bit scruffy so I’ll have a  seed swap with friends both here and on the allotment.

But there’s still plenty to do and as soon as there’s a dry day I can get ahead with improving the soil. Two of my three compost bins -full to the brim in October- have sunk to half and the contents can be distributed as mulch.  I use three huge cone-shaped green ones  bought from the council when they were selling them cheaply and they are very easy to use. I love those purpose-built compost bays with a separate space for leaves that serious gardeners use but for my size allotment these are more than adequate. I lift the entire bin off the diminished contents then fork off the top layer which might need longer to decompose. That goes into the third one and can be forgotten about for a few months the remainder should be dark and crumbly and can be forked into a wheel barrow.  Some will be spread around the base of the pruned Autumn Bliss raspberries and the rest will go on the asparagus bed.

Plants need nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in order to grow well and any fertiliser that contains this holy trinity can be applied now.  Well-rotted horse or farm manure can be piled up in a corner and covered with a plastic sheet ready for planting squash and pumpkin in mid-May.


Out on a walk to get some fresh air I came across this living wall adorning the facade of a new and exciting Bristol University building: The Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information. It adds an amazingly fresh and enriching statement to the dramatic architecture and brings it to life. I’ll follow it regularly and capture any changes especially if it springs into flower.


On the same walk this Chaenomeles x superba ‘Crimson and Gold’ draped over a wall was looking gorgeous and I hurried home to see what mine was doing. Many flowers are about to open inspite of it being only three years old and it will get a feed at the base this week along with all other shrubs and roses in the garden.

The sweet pea seeds saved from last year were sown a few weeks back and ten of them have come through and are sitting in a pot in the cold frame.  And here’s a link to a blog with a clear set of instructions for growing these gorgeous flowers plus a detailed list of the best ones to look for.


This week cut flowers from the garden are the prostrate Rosmarinus officinalis, Euphorbia characius and the leaves of Hebe ‘Saphire’.DSCN3744

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2015 7:50 pm

    You’ve done well to go through your seed box first – I get so inspired by what’s on offer that it’s sometimes hard to curb my enthusiasm. So far I’ve resisted but I’m not sure that will last – I’ve got my eye on a new lettuce that T&M are offering this year as well as some beautiful antirrhinums … ! It all adds to the excitement of a new gardening year! 🙂

    • January 13, 2015 10:50 pm

      Yes I love trying new vegetable seeds and antirrhinums are on my seed list for the cut flower beds. Only a few more weeks to wait before getting started.

  2. January 14, 2015 5:48 pm

    Hi Sue, I’ve just posted the ‘Scent in the Garden’ post. I hope it’s all OK? If you want me to change anything about it just let me know. Hope the links etc all are OK? As for seed sorting, well, my seed box hasn’t been touched yet. Thank you for the reminder to tackle it and my seed order. 🙂 Can recommend Antirrhinum ‘Night and Day’ – it’s very pretty.

    • January 14, 2015 6:29 pm

      I’ve just read your gorgeous post and as always I love your detailed research when exploring horticultural matters. And I’ll make sure I find seeds of A. ‘Night and Day’.

  3. January 15, 2015 3:55 pm

    Coincidence! I have all my seeds spread out to sort and flowers from vegetables and salad leaves separately. There is a huge pile, will I ever sow them all? Will I have space to plant them if they grow? This and other dilemmas are the gardener’s lot!

    • January 15, 2015 4:16 pm

      Yes I tend to do this every year-buy seeds without knowing which ones are still viable from last year. I’ll no doubt report back on which ones come through.

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