Today is about 10 degrees cooler and it has rained overnight and will be showery during the day…this is very good news! It means I can restart planting operations of my remaining plants grown from seed in trays of various dimensions. I start with the most miserable looking – 21 poached egg plants, still residing in a 84 cell tray, poor things! Poached egg plants are much loved by bees but I don’t have much luck with them, probably because I always plant them out too late. Amazingly they don’t look too bad and I plant them amongst the courgettes and zinnias. Whilst I’m in that part of the garden, it occurs to me that it would be good to plant out the lettuces. This is the third crop of lettuces, the overwintered crop in the tunnel have now gone and the second crop that are in my two little lettuce beds which they share with chimney pots, encircled by my favourite cosmos ‘Dazzler’ are growing magnificently – I want to eat these lettuces every time I look at them! The new crop will be fitted in any gaps around the bigger lettuce (I will then need to sow a fourth crop). The lettuce were sharing a tray with some parsley so I plant that out in the quinoa/turnip bed next to the Chervil and caraway. I then decide to plant out two trays of cosmos (c70 plants) that are getting far too tall in their trays. I plant these around the quinoa bed in-between the existing companion planting of pink/purple poppies that will finish soon. I also plant cosmos around the spinach and around the top of the celery bed. – cutting it back to try and stop it going to seed – probably fruitless.
I then plant a tray of tagetes and marigolds around the endive bed and through the middle of the cauliflower bed. I then discover 24 very sad tobacco plants which I put around the edge of the courgette bed. I’m sure these will pick up because they are very resilient and the bees adore them! I then find 12 rather ragged osteospermum in a nice bronze colour, and I plant them on the bottom bed of the vine mount, on either side of the steps (after some quick weeding). I have my eye on some miserable zinnias that would look good (eventually) added to the companion planting that will surround the leeks…the only problem is the leeks are not planted out yet and the two beds that they are going in to (where the peas and broad beans have come out) are not weeded yet!
I decided to ‘go for it’ and weed the beds, it then rains and I take shelter in the polytunnel. Not to be deterred from my planting mission, I plant up an urn and a wooden container for the children’s garden. As the rain fades I take these containers and the small hanging basket u
p to the play house and put them into position. I pull out a few weeds and ‘man handle’ a very heavy rabbit statue into a more visible position and then return to my leek beds. When I finish weeding, I then plant 73 leeks. By this time, it occurs to me that I should ‘put on’ the dinner so I decided the miserable zinnias will have to wait until tomorrow. I do feel very happy that so many plants have managed to move into the ground, the weather is hopefully remaining cooler and damp which will give them a real chance. Maybe I could get all of these baby plants outside by the end of June?
Whilst I am zooming around with seed trays, Aideen and Diane have got their hands on the dumper truck and they manage to move 8 tonnes of sand to the corner of the orchard. The last of the bricks were moved by Patrick and Diane yesterday, Diane has done a brilliant job moving bricks! Patrick and James make a start on cutting the top of the front field hedge. This job requires a scaffolding tower and is a major enterprise, Patrick thinks it has grown 4 feet since he last cut it!