Spring is here, even if the calendar insists it is not. Most of the trees are budding, the peonies are sending deep red phallic spears into the air, the bulbs are up, if not yet all out (although the hyacinth have been blooming for weeks now). The peach trees have been sprayed against leaf curl and are about a week out from flowering.
Most of the garden is set. It has been weeded, composted, and mulched heavily with pea straw – which the Indian Doves love. I have a pair that nest near here and every year they await with anticipation my pea straw mulch so they can dive in under the straw after the loose peas.
On the minus side a family of rats made themselves a cost home under the mulch, too, until I noticed one of them as they left for a day’s work in the garden.
I have decided to grow more flowers this year and have set seed for double phlox, hollyhocks, cosmos, poppies, stock, a half dozen others. One of my major vegetable beds was last year, during my period of incapacity, taken over by the children of a single but very fertile foxglove and so I have succumbed and allowed the bed to revert to flowers.
But I will have a few vegetables. Not a vast many, but a few. Just my favourites. I have cleaned out the hothouse and set seed for leeks, button squash, zucchini, pumpkin, cucumbers (every year I seem to have a disaster with them so this year am hoping to get at least one!), beetroot, silverbeet (chard). I will also put in salad leafy things once I uncover the veggie beds from their layer of mulch and it warms up a bit.
I will also grow tomatoes and capsicums but will cheat and buy ready growing plants from my local nursery (they sell the old heirloom varieties which I like) this year rather than raise from seed. I’ll give it another 3-4 weeks before I get them.
I also have seed for … walking stick cabbage which peculiar plant originates from the island of Jersey. I had no idea about this until recently when someone mentioned it to me. And then, a couple of weeks ago, I was in a hardware store when I walked past their seed counter and lo! They were selling seed for walking stick cabbage! I will have to try a few of them. This page shows the finished product.
So – I have a garden of mulched beds and lots of little pots waiting for seed to sprout!