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Saturday, 23 April 2011

Spring has sprung

We have been experiencing phenomenal weather over the past few weeks, with temperatures reaching mid summer levels and very little rainfall.

Due to real life and jobs etc getting in the way progress in the walled garden has been quite slow.

The salvaged greenhouse is now glazed and in production.

The Rhubarb beds are looking splendid and promise a huge crop this year. The walled trained Cherries flowered reasonably well and although we are still in the process of training a basic form work they may form some fruit.

The ancient Cooking Apple looks good this year and is packed with blossom. We do not know what variety it is but the tree is approximately 150 years old. It produces some of the very best tasting and textured apples and it would be good to establish what it is, maybe the research establishment at Brogdale could help to make an identification.

The fruit is now forming on the fanned Gooseberries and providing the wood pigeons don't have an early morning raid again should provide a worthwhile crop. The Garlic has grown really well this year and we are looking at harvesting by the end of May. The Potatoes are just showing their tops and now need earthing up. We also have some interesting things in flower at the moment, the Dodecatheons are looking quite good and the new Quince tree is flowering really well.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Big sowing and planting week

The past week has seen the opportunity to get some extensive sowing and planting completed. In open ground

  • First early potato - Witchill

  • Second early - Home Guard

  • Spring onions

  • Lettuce - Webbs Wonderful

  • Early Carrot - Touchon (not a heritage variety but free seed, so why not)

  • Broad Bean - Mr Townends

Under Glass

  • Cauliflower - All Year Round

  • Sutherland Kale

  • Sprout - Evesham Special

  • Sweetcorn - Candy Sweet

  • Perenial sprouting brocoli

  • Leeks - Blue de Solaise

  • Cucumber - Crystal Lemon

  • Tomato - Piglet Willies French Black

  • Tomato - Yellow Stuffer

  • Tomato Yellow Pear

  • Self Blanching Celery

Sowings will continue this week. Hopefully we will have more success than last year with all the rabbit damage to last years crops.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The real gardeners diary

1st March 1884

Weather dry and fine all week. Bright and mild several days, but colder the last few days. Very cold early ????? with frost at night, very sharpp frost last night. Bright and drying today, planted several roses and sown more peas.

8th March 1884

Very cold ????? but hazy and fine since, cold nights and rather cold days but bright and cheerful.
Got more pants for ????? into span house. Potted more ferns on, sown celery, petunias and tomatoes. Have planted polyanthus and primroses and dug up parma violets.

Signs of spring

We now have hellibores in flower which along with the snowdrops brighten up the really wet and dull days we have experienced recently.
The rhubarb beds that were planted last spring are now bursting into life and should provide a decent crop in the summer.
A pergola is now under construction along the path from the house to the central path junction. This will be used to grow old English climbing roses which are in keeping with the gardens period and will be a great feature when they have matured.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

More from the real gardeners diary

February 16 1884

Weather changeable, a deal of heavy hailstorms at the begining of the week, finer and drier since. Cold drying winds today. Potted off ? ? ? ? ? ?. Put in mint cuttings. Panted a few things in ground, put in cuttings of privet, sowed peas in border behind shed.

February 23rd 1884

Weather changeable, showery cold rain but fine for the time of year. Planted a few Rhodo's. Replanted a few shrubs, put in cuttings of privet, potted off ? ? ? ? ? put in more cuttings and sown tomatoes.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Sunday February 6th 2011

The weather today was positively springlike and very warm for the time of year providing the opportunity to progress with some work of a horticultural nature on the plot.
We have finally extended the rows of trained gooseberries. The original row was planted last winter and proved to be a highly successful way of growing them, producing some very large fruit and it has the advantage of keeping the plants themselves tidy and manageable.

We hope to create a new row of trained soft fruit on the opposite side of the path but as you can see from the photo below a lot of clearance needs to take place before planting can commence.
The first snowdrops of the season are now in full flower which is a welcome sight after such a bad winter.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

The real gardeners diary

The following extracts are taken from an old diary kept by a gardener who was in service. The diary covers the period from 1884 to 1889. We hope to publish weekly extracts from this diary to give an insight into the activities of the period and as notes have been made concerning the weather it is interesting to make comparisons with the prevailing weather conditions we experience today. The handwriting is very difficult to read therefore some of the extracts may be incomplete and seem grammatically odd.

February 2nd 1884

Weather fine at the beginning of the week but stormy and unsettled afterwards. Replanting, digging and clearing ground. Putting in cuttings of ????? and potted fernes (fern)

February 9th 1884

Very dry but dull, a little sun on Monday but not all day. Pot up more cuttings and potted off ????. Re potted Smilax and thing?????? Cineraria's coming into bloom, deutzia, hyacinths and tulips. (presumably under glass)