Wednesday, December 13

No snow just ice

Monday, December 11

Still on plan C ?

I think you could say that we have moved on to the latter part of plan C earlier than expected. I am of course referring to our dilemma over the annual flower seedlings.

I wasn't anticipating the need to move them into the greenhouse just yet but, with stories of expected heavy snowfalls, it seemed a wise precaution. I was more concerned that the snow would flatten the poor things rather than the cold cause any problem. They had successfully weathered freezing temperatures earlier in the week.
So far neither had they suffered from their time constrained in modules.
Cornflowers with some poppies behind
I don't think the young plants are growing as strongly as when I sowed them direct last year so it will be interesting to watch how they progress. To be honest though being shrouded in enviromesh I didn't really take much notice of them last December.

Now, all I need to do is to remember to keep an eye on them. Small pots left in the greenhouse tend to be neglected over winter and dry out. Not that there is danger of them needing watering at present.
Also moved into the greenhouse was a tub of parsley. I may cut and freeze some to be on the safe side. Usually it lasts through winter but this tub looks a bit worse for wear.
A few other plants have also been moved in for a bit of shelter.
The osteospernum is refusing to give in to the fact that winter is now upon us
Surprisingly in spite of the nasturtiums on the plot having succumbed to the frosty weather over a week ago, one individual in the garden held on until the -3C (26.2F) of Sunday night/Monday morning.

This is just one example that shows how plants on the plot have a much tougher life than those having more shelter in the garden.
On Sunday the leaves were flagging but the flowers were tougher.

On Monday morning the picture looked different.
Monday morning
On Sunday, the heavy snow, forecast at the beginning of the week, turned out to be just a sprinkling. A  small amount settled for a short while on our tubs but that was about it.
Still, should any further snow try to catch us out, we and our plants are now prepared,

Did the snow arrive in your part if the country?

Wednesday, December 6

Bird feeder Frenzy

Sunday, December 3

#mygardenrightnow - A winter's day in the garden

Michelle Chapman over at Veg Plotting is organising another project and once more has challenged gardeners to take a photo/photos of themselves in their gardens or on their allotments this weekend to show what is happening across the country, indeed even internationally. She organised three similar challenges earlier in the year. My contributions to earlier challenges are here here and here.

The four projects span the four seasons and now at the meteorological start of winter there is far less activity in the garden than in the preceding seasons.

Every morning Martyn's first job of the day regardless of the weather is to refill the bird table and feeders. He also checks that the water in the bird bath isn't frozen.

The watercress in our pond has survived a couple of frosty mornings so, I am still managing to collect sprigs to add to our lunchtime sandwiches.
The gardener may be more inactive at this time of year but some plants are already busily preparing for spring. Some bulbs are pushing through and the early flowering shrubs are in bud. A few hardy individuals are still producing flowers.
With snow forecast for later in the week, on the plot the main focus for the afternoon was to dig up the frost, blackened dahlias and prepare them for winter storage.
I was hoping that there would be some chrysanthemums to cut to take back home but sadly the frosts has damaged the flowers and so we decided to cut back the plants and dig up the roots to take into the greenhouse for some protection over winter.
Our other aim was to harvest harvest winter vegetables. 
We collected the usual selection of vegetables for this time of year.
What we didn't expect to find were some ripe tomatoes and red peppers hanging on the spent plants in the greenhouse.

I guess soups, stews and casseroles will feature on our menus for a while.
Time is short at the moment with darkness falling earlier and earlier, but to be honest as the light failed we were more than ready to head home to warm up.

 I am also linking to harvest Monday hosted on Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

Friday, December 1

November picture diary

Wednesday, November 29

Indoor hibiscus

Friday, November 24

A dilemma

Some of you may remember that last year I sowed some hardy annuals in September as a sort of experiment. Here's a summary.
This was a success and we were cutting flowers from this bed in May and what's more the plants had much stronger stems than the later sowings.
This year I had intended to do the same thing but circumstances conspired against this plan. We couldn't get to the plot so on 16 September I resorted to plan B. This was to sow the annuals in modules and plant the seedlings out later. I sowed some seeds left over from spring sowing but I bought a couple of varieties to supplement these.

The trays were placed on a patio table and just left to the elements, just as they would have been if sown direct.
The cornflowers germinated quickly taking just over a week to show through the compost. 

By 8 October most of the seeds had germinated with the exception of the godetia which was fairly old seed.
The seedlings looked as shown below on 20 November. It's really the best success that I have had in germinating larkspur.
So for the dilemma. The seedlings still don't look sturdy enough to survive the trauma of being planted out on the plot. It is also rather late to be planting in the now cold soil, so I am now moving to plan C. This is to leave the seedlings in the modules and move them either into the cold frame or cold greenhouse when the winter weather is at it's worst. The danger is that they may be forgotten and dry out, so I will have to make an effort to look after them. If they survive the plan is to transplant them out on the plot as early in spring as possible when I think the conditions are favourable.

I wonder whether there will be a plan D?

Wednesday, November 22

A few drops of rain