Barrow babes

Barrow babes

Almost a full day of gardening on Saturday, interspersed with entertaining the children. Turns out being carted around in the wheelbarrow works for kids big and small.

Sink planters and kids' bench in the sun.

Sink planters and kids’ bench in the sun.

I’m mainly writing this post so I have a record of how the planters are looking at this time of year. The front Belfast sink planters are doing really well. One of the nepeta plants has not come back but I’m hoping it’s just a bit behind its friend in the other pot. Otherwise. there’s plenty of new growth on all the perennials in the pots and we’ve had a great show of anemones and muscari. Raring to go are the tulips and bluebells. The tulips came from a batch of Sarah Raven bulbs I got as a free gift for a magazine subscription. I’ve been impressed by how many of them have come up. Can’t wait to see their colours.

Trough planter with happy lavender.

Trough planter with happy lavender.

This trough planter is on the west side of the house, alongside the sun room. The lavender in this shallow pot seems to be doing well and the bulbs seem to be coping so far with poking through the stone top dressing.

Super seedlings

Super seedlings

Inside the sun room we’ve been raising seedlings, the first of which we pricked out this weekend to prepare for hardening off. Pictured are kale, closest to the camera, sprouts, our tea plant, lettuce and parsley. As you can see we’ve been getting creative with pots, reusing loo roll tubes, egg cartons and old plastic containers as seedling pots as well as the usual plastic seed trays.

We also weeded the herb beds which are showing signs of life but have been battered by the wind. We are working on building a wind break hedge but I’m not sure they can wait all that long. We might have to relocate some herbs and grow extras in pots at the front until wind protection is more established. Finally, I spruced up around the front of the house under the playroom window, partly to see if there is an obvious cause of the sight dampness in the cupboard in there. We decided to prune and move one of the clematis to the other front border but once I started digging I discovered both clematis had been planted in their original pots and one was above a drainage pipe, the other largely blocking a drain. So one was moved and the other planted in a large, deep pot. The clematis flowered prolifically last year which is odd, given that the one thing every gardener knows about clematis is that it hates having its roots shallow and constricted!

Matt, meanwhile, gathered some bracken mulch from the field and more wood for burning. We haven’t bought wood for more than six weeks now and the oil in the Rayburn has run out again so we’re saving a fortune in heating costs. There’s still plenty of wood in the field and we’re planning to club together with neighbours to get a bulk delivery of 3m logs from the forestry commission to chop and process ourselves.

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