The garden is looking vibrant, with the Barcelona tulips triumphantly returning for their fourth spring – not bad for our heavy clay.
While the tulips in the front garden have also returned with panache among clouds of wallflowers, our tulips in pots have been far less glorious these year. Despite lots of dry weather in the past couple of months, I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t been watering them, and they’ve obviously suffered for this. Hmm. Think I’ll be throwing them into the borders in the autumn to take their chances, rather than rely on my sporadic attention! I have been rather distracted this spring though…
There are a few gaps in the borders this year where I dug out and rearranged various plants last year – these spaces will soon be swallowed up again, and on my snatched forays in the garden I help things along by relocating a few self-seeders or seedlings from last year that have been awaiting their freedom.
I’ve been particularly thrilled to spot regrowth on two plants that I added last spring: one Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ and a shuttlecock fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris. The latter faded away very quickly and early last year, and I was sure I had killed it off with a lack of initial watering, but for a few weeks it has been unfurling its beautiful zesty green fronds once more, and I couldn’t be happier to see it!
An equally welcome sight in the edible part of the garden – and our only winter-standing crop this year – has been the first harvests of purple sprouting broccoli. Not a vegetable we’ve grown here before through the winter, but with little maintenance required since planting them out in the autumn, we are now reaping the benefits with copious harvests. Our LO has enjoyed his share too of these first home-grown crops – and certainly attacks them with gusto when presented to him.
We’ll certainly be sowing PSB again late in the summer for more crops this time next year; when harvests are fairly thin on the ground – and very welcome.
Our first crops from this year’s sowings have also begun to come in: the ever reliable radishes. Is it cheating that we have grown these in seed-trays in the greenhouse? While the weather outside is unpredictable, these have rocketed up from seed to give us a little zest for our salads, though our LO will have to wait till he’s a bit older to taste their fiery flavour.