Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fast grow the weeds

Image sourced from Wikipedia

Three big bin bags of weeds and still going.

I was under the impression that I had wild strawberries growing in my garden. Alas, they are not.

They are instead, creeping cinquefoil or potentilla reptans.

How do I know this?

Because I found some wonderful online resources for identifying weeds:

This one has weeds defined by flower colour. Incredibly handy!

This one has pictures of leaf types to help identify what those stray plants actually are.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Rosemary and Thyme

The weather today was pretty fantastic. It got up to 19C!

Unbelievable for March.

So, guess where I was?

Planting lemon thyme, eau de cologne mint, apple mint, common thyme, sage, chives and chervil. I also planted a campanula and another plant - can't remember its name. Now isn't that a good start? Plant stuff and have no idea what it's called?

I had to ask for the water to be turned on so that I could water my plants. Yesterday they wouldn't turn it on so Sebastian had to do some seriously dangerous scrambling to get water out of the canal for me. Today that was absolutely not happening. Seb wasn't with me and I had no intention of ending up in the 'sloot'. I firmly requested that the pump be turned on and finally it was. Good thing I bought a ten litre watering can because it took me about 10 trips to water the few little plants I have. I see a hosepipe in my future.

I continued the work we did on the weekend and dug over some more beds. I discovered a large rhubarb plantation at the back of my plot so I'm planning to move the rhubarb plant I bought over there to keep the others company.

While I was there one of the other gardeners asked me if I had planted some special kind of bean plants. I asked why and he said it was too early for beans. I replied that I had some thermal fleece for them and so if frost was forecast I could always protect them. He seemed dubious about whether they would survive. I felt like saying 'Dude, if they die I'll just plant some more! Get over it!'

One cannot be rude though, one has to maintain one's 'normen en waarden'.

Sadly five of the bean plants got broken off by the wind - four Borlottis and one Contender. I need to replant some to fill in the gaps.

Life is definitely stranger than fiction. Remember I told you about the Chinese girl, Hong, from my class? You can imagine my surprise when she appeared with her mother in law at the volkstuincomplex!

Her parents in law have a garden there. It was so nice to chat to her and meet her mother in law and her baby son.

Another coincidence? One of the ladies who works at the natuurwinkel has a volkstuin in the same complex. So, that's two 'contacts' I have at the garden. How's that for six degrees? We have over 100 000 people in our town and two of them, from totally different areas of my life appear in a third, unrelated area. Weird.

I found a long term weather forecast for Europe which is very useful.

Let's hope the warm weather continues!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday the 25th

Year of Colour - Lemon Yellow

More tulips from 2006

Today we were at the garden. We planted 100 onions (Sturon), one head of garlic (Prinator), 100 shallots (Red Sun), 18 dwarf beans, (Borlotto and Contender), and one rhubarb plant.

Yesterday we planted 12 each of Kelvedon and First Early May peas, and 12 strawberry plants.

The carrots that I planted two weeks ago have done absolutely nothing, even under thermal fleece, so I'm going to buy more seed and try again.

The blackberries are budding, the plum tree is blossoming, and I found out we have an extra bit to our garden containing black and redcurrant bushes.

Tomorrow I will continue digging, plant some flowers and cover the beds with mulch. 16C forecast for tomorrow! Spring is here!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spring on the Balcony

Four days of sunshine... blue skies... no time to blog.... pictures instead. All from the balcony garden.

A forest of hyacinths ...

Spring on the Balcony

Muscari, just opening ...

Spring on the Balcony

Daffodils... no idea what variety, but I love the ruffles....

Spring on the Balcony

The promise of tulips ...

Spring on the Balcony

I love growing bulbs. By the spring I've forgotten which varieties I planted so it's a bit like winning the lottery every time a new one opens.

Now I'm going back outside ...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ponies at the Volkstuin

Volkstuin and Ponies

Today we were at the volkstuin.

Big big news! The ponies were in the meadow!

As you can imagine, the kids were overjoyed, but disappointed that the ponies came to me when I clicked my tongue to call them, but wouldn't come for them. The ponies (and the kids) have spring fever, galloping around the paddock full of youth and springiness. I think the ponies were after sowing some wild oats ...

The Husband did lots of handiwork. Amazing what a few minutes of ...errr...showering together... can achieve. Here he is surveying his handiwork.

Volkstuin and Ponies

Here's a photo of my tiny pea plants! Varieties Kelvedon Wonder and First Early May. I am so excited.

Volkstuin and Ponies

I am even more excited about the slight green spot I spied in the tomato tray. I yelped with glee and The Husband came running. He thought I had injured myself.

Happens so rarely you see... yelps of glee and all that... ahem.

Maybe this spring weather has gotten to me too?

Friday, March 9, 2007

On growing seeds indoors

Plus point: the peas are coming up. Can't say the same for the sweet peas which appear to be mouldy. The basil and tomatoes are showing no signs of anything. I got a propagator and I've planted sweet peppers and beans. The propagator is much nicer than my poor little egg cartons. I realised that planting peas in egg cartons is not a good idea. The seeds push themselves to the surface requiring replanting.

Minus point: the frikking cat wants to fiddle in the egg boxes all the time. Yesterday she was so anxious to get into them that she leapt on the computer desk, knocked over Seb's money bank (Blue Box from Postbank for the Dutch readers) which is full of coins. It fell down the back of the computer, disconnected the power supply, gave her such a fright she launched herself into the air and used me as a springboard to escape. Cue one blood streaked arm and one cat in disgrace.