B is for borage, L is for lockdown

It started cold and bleak today so we stayed indoors wielding a paintbrush this morning. The weather did improve and come about 1pm it was beautiful as this bee on the borage can testify.

We have borage popping up everywhere this year, we bought some seeds a few years back and it now self seeds all over the garden. It’s a plant well worth growing for the bees to enjoy and for the flowers you can put in Pims and also salads (and it has herbal medicine uses too here) but we love it for the leaves that can be chucked in into the compost heap or comfrey liquid for a bit of extra goodness.

Everything in the vegetable beds are cracking on at a good rate. We are packing a lot into the home-made raised beds but why not? The ones above contain potatoes, tomatoes, peas, carrots, peppers and whatever else can be crammed in. We only have limited space so we’re taking a chance on what’ll grow.

Also don’t be fooled with this present run of sunny weather, next week it goes down a few degrees and it always good to be aware that you may get a late frost which can wipe out a lot of stuff so regularly check the weather forecast just in case.

We’ve still got protection over the top of the tender plants at night (we close them up about 6pm so any further heat that the sun produces can be trapped in until the morning) and it ain’t anything fancy. We’ve got large jam jars, plastic cloches, an old window frame and recycled polythene tacked onto the cold frames. With this gardening malarkey you can’t take anything for granted, especially UK weather!

We hope the growing is going well in your garden. Anyone fancy sending us pictures of what they’re growing so we can post them up on the blog which’ll give us all more encouragement during this lockdown. Do get in contact if so.

#gardeningduringlockdown #lockdowngardening #sleepinginlatertocombatlockdown #sniffindisinfectant

Can’t wait, won’t wait, will try

Patience, that’s what you need when it comes to this gardening lark. Sadly we haven’t got any.

This week we took the dahlia tubers straight out from under the stairs (where they’ve been hibernating since late autumn) and into the ground even though there’s still a chance of frost. We also left a couple of them in the garden from last season as we couldn’t be bothered to dig them out. Why do we do these things when we know we shouldn’t?

We have got protection for them and the other plants that don’t do well when it comes to frosts though. There’s the seed potatoes under the black membrane that was used under the decking and lots of DIY plastic/wood contraptions (don’t throw out your jam jars!) over vegetable seedlings that are germinating so it ain’t that bad.

All the gardening books tell you to be aware of late frosts, they also tell you that runner beans seeds don’t like sitting in cold soils and “for god’s sake don’t put out your tomato plants out early as they’ll suffer if it gets cold” but we still do it (we’ve a couple of tomato seedlings in the ground at the moment we’re ashamed to say.) It goes like this, we see a period of lovely sunshine so the hoe is taken out from its winter hiding place and then it’s all systems go after that. We don’t think this lockdown has helped in holding back either.

Talking of lockdowns, there’s a new gardening-related game developing here. At least once a week on our (very) regular visits to the compost heap a gloved hand will be thrust into the mass of rotting vegetables, old ripped up leccy bills and single tea bags to “feel the heat”. That’s not normal behaviour is it? Early signs of “lockdown lunacy” perhaps?