April, is it really April. Looking out my window as I write you would be forgiven for thinking that its January or February, only when you look closely and see the brightly coloured Tulips against the snow and the pink blossom of the Rhododendron and the greeness of the garden. Yes its snowing. Crazy April weather. Its May day on sunday!! I thought we had escaped the snow that has been hitting the north of the UK this week, but woke up this morning to a thin covering and its still snowing now. I need to go outside to knock the snow off the greenhouse roof but it can wait a bit. I'll wait till it stops, the showers come and go with bright sunshine in between, and the north wind, it goes right through you. Its no wonder that for the second time this winter I've got a cold. Its all the temperature changes I think.
So I missed posting my last update of the blog in March, as usual its just been too hectic but actually its slow moving on the plot. The cold snap we've had for what it seems like most of April has slowed things down. It will all burst forth soon I'm sure but its still quite bare at the moment. I've been busy at home and in the greenhouse with seed sowing and as usual my greenhouse is fit to burst. Its made all the worse by this cold weather as I can't move things on. I've bought extra shelving for the greenhouse and another mini-greenhouse for outside as a coldframe. But still no space.
At the allotment, my cutting patch has started producing which is the earliest I've ever had flowers, my wallflowers are in bloom. They are a bit dwarfer than I thought they would be, but make a lovely small posy. I've got them in a vase with some chive flower buds, Dianthus 'Green Trick', Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' and some white Spanish Bluebells that have sprung up on the allotment site round the communal hut. The wallflowers are also delicately scented.
At the plot I've planted a few of my hardy annuals, but how they will be coping with this weather I'm not sure. I'm more worried about them getting squashed by the snow and battered by the wind than the cold really. I've planted some Larkspur, some Poppies 'Falling in Love', Echium 'Blue Bedder', Ammi majus and some Calendula. But still got lots waiting in the wings. I've planted my autumn sown Sweet Peas and have tried a new way of growing them this year. I usually grow up a wigwam but you get lots of growth at the narrow part of the wigwam so thought I would try growing up a vertical frame this time. looking on other blogs have seen people recommend jute netting from Agriframes so I ordered some and got it all set up. Unfortunately I'm not sure what happened but this was what I found when I went up to the plot this week.
A big hole!! My plot neighbour think it would be the foxes but I've managed to salvage it and tied it back up.
Veg-wise I've planted my onions and shallots, potatoes are in and lots on the way in the greenhouse. I've had another go at sowing peas and broad bean direct but no sign of them yet, so we'll see.
Another beauty that I've been growing in my greenhouse this year has been a lovely variety of Ranunculus. Its been in a big pot in my greenhouse and I've had lots of blooms off it for the house. Mostly mixing with tulips, white ones as shown here but also a lovely purple streaked variety. Here it is on its own and then with some tulips and pussy willow.
They have cheered me up on a bleak day, hope they have you too xx