2 MAY 2020
Today is a day for outside, the sun is shining again and it is warm, and the soil is beautiful and soft, perfect for weeding! I decide to rally the troops and try to gather the weeding party I was supposed to have last week… I have to say no one was very enthusiastic… I physically had to push Meave outside the door! But I manage to gather James, Aideen and Meave – Result! It is incredibly helpful to gather extra man/woman power to clear beds at this time of year… although it is not necessarily ‘clearing’ beds. Any self seeded, potential companion plant, need to be saved and sometimes there are useful useful self seeded vegetables e.g. parsnips, rocket, chard and salsify. This does make the job trickier, and beds have to be allocated according to the patience levels of the person weeding! Flowers to be preserved include calendula, Californian poppies, larkspur, stock, nasturtiums and sometimes borage (depending on position).
A few hours work from the team give me one and a half big beds clear in the brassica corner, a smallish bed clear in the sweetcorn quarter and most of a large bed clear in the bean/onion quarter. I clear out the remaining leeks which are just about to go to flower (I will make them into a chicken, leek and mushroom pie tomorrow). I then weed the bed and plant out nearly 40 swede plants. I then weed the kale bed, I planted some decorative kale very early in the year which hasn’t done brilliantly, but I will now plant the bed out fully with new kale plants, it’s companion planting of cornflowers has done very well. Today James and Aideen have been notified of a competition run by ‘BBC The One Show’ and ‘RHS Chelsea Flower Show’ where you submit one picture of your garden with a 250 word description. This distracts me all day, whilst I position myself in various spots in the kitchen garden, trying to frame one view that encapsulates our garden, but this defeats me… it’s impossible to sum up our garden in one image! I decide to do another video (this will appear on the website/Instagram in days to come), this time in the polytunnel to show all the different seedling vegetables, before they all disappear outside to be planted.
I notice on my morning perambulation of the garden that healthy amounts of gooseberries are being produced and also figs which is really good news. I am also relieved to see that my two newest white currant bushes that have been looking like bunches of dead sticks are finally showing signs of life!
The best news is that the tiny dwarf walnut now has a healthy shoot. I was convinced it was dead for ages as the base of its trunk seemed hollowed out, but thank goodness it has decided to revive.
n.b For all our current videos of ours please go to the new ‘Videos’ tab on our website (www.churchgardens.co.uk/videos)