Working outside

Looking across the garden in the evening sun

The day started wet and grey but during the morning, the clouds cleared and the sun came out.  As the rest of the week is forecast to be very cold I thought I would take advantage of the sun to plant the onion sets I bought back in December (it might even have been November!)  I hadn’t planted them before because last year when I planted early (ie when the sets come into my supplier’s shop), many rotted off in the cold wet weather we had last winter.  I also felt that as the winter weather is actually very similar temperature wise to Southern England, I would plant them at the same time I used to plant them when I lived there (which was usually February.  I’ve put the onions in the same bed as the garlic and shallots I planted in January.  As you can see the garlic have not pulled back into the soil see previous post to find out why they did this, but they seem to be growing well so my fingers are crossed that it’s not going to cause any problems.  Most of the shallots are still waiting for it to warm up a bit more but a few have begun to shoot.

Garlic growing well

A couple of the shallots are shooting

I have planted the onion sets quite close together mainly because there are so many.  I planted 500g of red and 500g of yellow Centurion F1 (I still have another bag of 500g of white).  The whites will have to go into another bed.  In the 1.2m (4ft) bed there are 6 rows.

Last week we finished moving the pile of compost/weed pile and the foundations were dug on Saturday, I now hope there won’t be too much rain before the concrete is poured – this week is probably going to be too cold to pour the concrete as it’s not good if it freezes.

I am getting very excited now that I can see just how big the green house will be, I’m mentally filling it with more and more plants.  I’m longing to be able to start some seeds; Janet from Plantalicious has very kindly posted me some Kautia.  It will make them doubly special that they are from a blogging friend.

Apricot blossom

With a very cold (at least at night) week forecast, the last thing I wanted to see was blossom on the apricot.  Last year there was a frost and strong winds just when it was flowering and setting fruit, resulting in just one apricot reaching maturity!  I am worried the same thing will happen again this year. Maybe I should have planted a peach instead, they always flower later!


A few Crocuses opened their flowers this weekend, a few days later than those of a friend in North Devon – interesting, I wonder why.  I think my daffodils flower later too, but as soon as its Tulip time mine are 2 -4 weeks ahead. There are lots of tulips pushing through now, so we pruned the Perovskia in the formal beds as it’s too difficult to get in and not tramp all over the emerging shoots if the job is left any longer.  The muscle used the hedge trimmer and did the job in about half an hour – but then it took ages to pick up the cut stems ready to be shredded for mulch.  We cleared two beds but the other two are waiting for our backs to feel better!

Cut Perovskia

Cut but waiting to be cleared

The sunsets are still beautiful, I’ll leave you with one from last week.  Have a good gardening week.

6 thoughts on “Working outside

  1. Well done getting out there and keeping busy! I have been rather diverted with other work but also have been put off by the forecast of minus 4 degrees this week … will this be the end of the cold weather? I have garlic and broad beans plants before Xmas. I suppose the next lot of b-beans shoud go in soon.
    A question: do you grow potatoes? If so, what type succeeds for you, where do you get the seeds potatoes and when do you plant them?

    • I didn’t get around to planting Broad beans before Christmas; you’re right now is the time for planting them for a later crop (I’ll do this after this week’s cold weather). I planted the onion sets on the basis that they won’t start into growth immediately so they shouldn’t be damaged, I hope I’m right. I don’t grow potatoes, I don’t have the space, I think they are the hardest vegetables to grow (you have to dig twice – planting and havesting), we don’t have anywhere cool enough but not damp to store them and we don’t actually eat that many. It was 0° at 6 this morning and thewindscreen was frozen so I imagine it was colder during the night.

  2. I’m not surprised your backs are complaining Christina, that is a lot of cutting back! Can’t wait to see all your tulips, it is going to be spectacular. I was going to ask how big your greenhouse is going to be, but fear I will just be jealous 😉 The biggest you can afford/fit was the universal advice when I started looking in to it. So exciting to see its foundations coming along. Thank you for the seed mention, hope they thrive for you. Once you have them, you will always have them I think, given how prolifically they self-seeded into a handy container with bare compost in my garden. Wish I had more space to grow things like onions and shallots, they look so lovely apart from anything else, those neat rows of leaves. Is it worth throwing some fleece over your Apricot?

    • The greenhouse is going to be 3 by 4.5 metres, the space looks big on the ground; I’ve heard the same as you, Janet, about buying the biggest you can fit and afford too and as this was a payoff for missing out on a holiday to Syria last year I thought “the bigger the better”! My husband also thought about fleece, I think the tree might be just a bit big to make it a reasonable thing to do. So far most of the buds are closed, but with warm daytime temperatures and freezing nights I may have to try the fleece.

  3. You mentioned using a shredder. May I ask which one you use? I’m going to ask Santa for one this Christmas, but I don’t know which to ask for (and I need to be specific!). I’ve seen some videos of a Bosch shredder that looked effective. Whatever I get, I would have to buy it online because they don’t sell them here.

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