I indulged myself this Bank Holiday Monday by spending practically the entire day in the garden.
I ate well, sticking to the I Quit Sugar plan (unlike yesterday which was a disaster :-( ). For breakfast I had a fried egg on top of Swiss Chard with bacon and tomatoes. Lunch was a goat’s cheese salad. This is a large bowl but it was mainly full of salad leaves, with a French dressing and topped with cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, olives and 1/4 of an avocado. For supper we are having Jambalaya which is a rice and vegetable dish with Chorizo and chicken. It is cooking now and smells lovely. That was it on the food front. No snacks, not even an apple. I had a lovely walk over the road today. The dogs are quite fascinated by the lambs leaping about and running around. The bluebells are on their way out but still beautiful and the scent is gorgeous. The house in the woods has a stunning display of rhodendendrons. Back to my garden. I got so much done today. I had a little helper in the morning. I have had 20 Sarah Raven sweet pea plants in the little greenhouse which should have been planted out a while ago. Note to self – read instructions when buying plug plants! So they look a bit straggly but hopefully will recover. Harvey also planted out half the sunflower seeds. Lara did the other half before she went back to University and hers are beginning to germinate. The mixed sunflower seeds were a Mother’s day present so I wanted them to sow them so I can think of them when I see the flowers. This little bed is by the entrance to the vegetable garden so I will enjoy the sunflowers and sweet peas every time I go in. I am also hoping to enjoy my birthday present of some rose bushes which are destined for this bed. The Swiss Chard and Rainbow Chard has become unruly. I placed the colander in front of the leaves to give an idea of scale. The plants and most leaves are massive! The stalks are very thick and they keep producing leaves which is great but if I don’t pick them, they get bigger and bigger. The large ones are a quite tough so I cut some little leaves (in colander) for breakfast and pruned back the big leaves and stalks quite hard. That looks better. Shame to throw this lot on the compost but sometimes a hard prune is necessary. I planted out this cute little tin of 5 different salad leaves today. It is an excellent set which comes with detailed sowing and growing instructions and some recipes! I do like Sarah Raven products. I am hoping to grow more flowers in the garden this year and I ordered Sarah Raven’s half hardy cutting garden which will apparently give me 2 – 3 vases of cut flowers a week from summer in to autumn. I had received the plug plants on Friday and today I potted them on as they need to be hardened off before going in to the garden. 102 plug plants potted on ! I actually didn’t have 102 pots (nearly but not quite) so some were planted directly in to pots on the patio and a couple in to sheltered sunny spots in the garden. They don’t all fit in the greenhouse so I have pots in every sunny and sheltered space I had available. I hope they survive and thrive. I also planted out some Dwarf French Beans – Aguillon – which came from the Organic Gardening Catalogue. The seeds germinated quickly and the young plants look incredibly strong and healthy so I am very optimistic about these. They apparently grow lots of pencil straight French Beans. Amazing to think these were just seeds in a little envelope about 2 months ago. This is the bean bed. I also planted out the French Beans – Royale – which grow purple but turn green when cooked. The climbing French beans (wigwam on the left) are doing well but no sign of the runner beans germinating which is disappointing so I may have to buy some little plants. I also weeded all the beds today and after sowing the lettuces, covered the salad leaf bed in Environmesh to keep out the flies which last year decimated my Mizuna.
I am aching all over but feel very satisfied. I ate well, I had a lovely walk with my young man and I achieved loads in the garden. A tip top bank holiday. I hope yours was good too.