Welcome back to the blog and a very happy March to you! Also hello to my new blog subscribers, thanks for following along. It’s mostly all about gardening around here, but you’ll also find posts on the DIY jobs my husband and I tackle around our 240 year old home. There will be posts on my sewing makes, hopefully lots of them this year, as I embark on my new self employed career as a soft furnishings maker. Eeeek!
I can’t quite believe this will be my third growing season at Greenfield. I still feel like a newbie gardener in most aspects, as I continue to learn what grows well in the Scottish Borders. The garden gave us an abundance of fresh vegetables last year, not as much as our first year, but I’m chalking that up to half the amount of sunshine. Although, we’re still enjoying produce now mainly, leeks, garlic and tomato chutney.
I started the year full of gusto to get going in the garden. The greenhouse got a sprucing, before the horrendous weather throughout January and February (Ciara, Denis and then Jorge) left me feeling completely unmotivated to get outside. So I didn’t. Instead, I hunkered down indoors and worked on setting up everything behind the scenes for my new business; the website, suppliers and my sewing room.
I also tackled a few DIY jobs like painting my kitchen and dining room. Best decision I ever made, the kitchen feels warmer and more welcoming. The entire family has been spending more time in here, cooking, baking and just hanging out. The colour is F&B Light Blue 22 mixed in Johnstone paint. It’s the same colour as my dream kitchen at @provencepoiriers. I did a poll on my instagram, on whether I should also paint the backsplash to lighten it up too, but a resounding two thirds of the votes thought the blue should stay! Now that I’ve lived with it for a few weeks, I love it too! Plus it matches the island cabinetry colour.
Andrew also kept busy, he set up a work station in the coal house and made some fabulous planters for three new bare root roses intended for the courtyard near the greenhouse. He followed this tutorial from YouTube.
The roses I chose are Roald Dahl, Jude the Obscure and Claire Austin. They’ve been in a month and there are already some healthy buds on all three. Photos below are from the David Austin website showing (hopefully) what’s to come!
One rainy afternoon I finally pulled out my seed box, had a look at the growing collection of flower and veg seeds, and promptly put everything back in the box. Overwhelmed is an understatement. Eventually, I tipped everything out and sorted the seeds in to piles based on the month they need to be sown in. Well it may sound obvious now, but this certainly made the load seem lighter, with only a few seed packets to focus on each month. The weather was still rubbish at the time, so I set up a sowing station in my utility room; and made a plan to sow a couple of packets a day.
Making a start and two random days of sunshine was enough to awaken my motivation, and get me back in to the swing of things. I’ve continued to sow a couple of varieties a day. And on leap day, added potatoes to start chitting (Athlete-1st Earlies and King Edward-Maincrop) and onion sets (Karmen & Sturon) to the mix.
In addition to the kitchen garden, I’ve also started off some annual flowers for cutting. I don’t have a specific space designated for them, so they will mostly be dotted in amongst the perennial borders, in pots in the courtyard and anywhere else I can squeeze them in. Below are snaps from last years cut flower border, which was half a metre by 3 metres in size. A small space which still gave a steady supply of flowers throughout the summer. Just goes to show you don’t need a large garden to grow an abundance of pretties.
As an almost beginner to growing flowers, I’ve been getting a ton of information from Zoe and Neil from @swancottageflowers on Instagram. Zoe has a ton of experience, and offers advice and grow alongs for us novices for free! On my flower growing list this year are:
- Cornflowers, Cerinthe and Ammi Majus – sown indoors on a heat mat until germination then put in the greenhouse
- Larkspur, Orlaya Grandiflora – sown in the greenhouse
- Ranunculus – sown in the greenhouse, there were no sprouts after 4 weeks so I moved them indoors, and they popped up in a couple of days. I left a couple in the greenhouse which are not up. I was somewhat impatient, so I dug around in the soil and there are shoots under there! 🙂
- Sweet peas – started off a little leggy, but seem to bushing up in the greenhouse. I grew them for the first time last year and they did so well in the cool summer until late September.
- Bells of Ireland, Lupins, Amaranthus, Scabious, Stocks, Zinnias, Cosmos, Dahlias – still to sow
I spent an hour outside today pruning the roses. Yes I know its late to be pruning, but better late than never right! If you haven’t started yet or lack the motivation to begin after the wet and wild start to the year we’ve had; I recommend you start small, sow one packet of seeds a day, do one very specific task in the garden, and hopefully the want to do more will kick in regardless of whatever storm we’re in the middle of. So its official, the 2020 garden season has begun and I am ready for it, roll on warmer weather. I hope your year in the garden is a fun and bountiful one!