Here we are in the middle of May and my Facebook memories are mocking me with images of glorious sunny days this time last year. It’s been very showery here in Liverpool this week, but thankfully it seems like the risk of frost has finally passed. It’s cold overnight but nowhere near freezing. I ordered a veg patch collection from Rocket Gardens which arrived this week – I kept them in a plastic greenhouse for the first few days but with a dry day on Friday (luckily booked as a day off work) I decided to go for it and plant everything out.
One – The finished beds. I had 140 plants delivered to fill my raised beds. We started with one very deep raised bed last year which had beans, spinach, carrots, onions, rocket and herbs in it. We quickly got the raised bed bug and added two more. One I filled with strawberries from the dozens of runners I was getting from the strawberries I had in pots. The other bed was filled half and half with broccoli and onions which overwintered there very well. We let the broccoli go to seed and the flowers became a huge magnet to the bees in the last 6 weeks. I’ll tell you more about the onions later. This bed was emptied yesterday, to make way for runner beans and more onions. The main bed from last year has Charlotte potatoes in it and they are looking fabulous right now. I worked my socks off planting all this yesterday and I’m suffering for it today but the feeling of satisfaction I got from that (despite a few netting related wobbles during the day) is immense and so valuable for my mental health.
Two – Aquilegia. I think I mentioned this in last week’s six but it has opened into a glorious purple flower this week so I had to include it again. A friend that lives in France tells me they can change colour spontaneously from one year to the next so I’m looking forward to that!
Three – Marjoram. This is one of my rescue plants from last year – I probably paid £1 or maybe £2 – I very rarely pay more than that for a rescue. I stupidly put it in a pot with some mint and some oregano. That was a big mistake – the marjoram and the oregano were swamped by the mint. So this year I decided to risk splitting up this unhappy triumvirate. I have never been so intimidated by a set of roots – good grief the mint is a bully. I hacked the mint, not caring what damage I did (I have a huge pot it has also overrun so I’m not short of a sprig or two). But a couple of weeks after being put in a nice large solo pot, the marjoram looks stunning. I don’t really cook with it much – I just love how it looks.
Four – Onions. So we planted these onions in September last year, not sure what we’d get. Wow they grow slowly. But they look amazing and there are a couple of really big ones in the harvest. I’ve replanted the same bed with onions (with tons of manure and new compost as it had dropped by over half from when we filled it last year) and hopefully we might get big onions, rather than spring onions – though I hope I don’t have to wait till this time next year! I plan to make a spring onion and sweetcorn risotto today.
Five – Herb Robert. I know, I know, most of you are going to be horrified I keep this “weed” in my garden. It’s actually seeded itself into an old gardening bag that I emptied last year and I absolutely love the flowers and the leaves so it’s not a weed in my mind. It’s a welcome visitor that forgot to leave. I discovered this week during an over the fence conversation with my neighbour that her garden is where it came from – she has tons of it on the other side of the fence between our gardens. And she likes it too so we’re both happy.
Six – Hosta. Again, this was in last week’s post but it’s grown again and I’ve added some shells (possible slug deterrents). I need more of these plants – they’re becoming one of my favourites in the garden.
Thanks to The Propagator for his blog Six On Saturday – always a good read. Head on over and read more from this gardening community sharing their gardens on Saturdays.