April has been a good month in the garden, with mild sunny weather so a lot has been done and everything is now looking very green. No time to relax though as last night we had a frost so we had to put fleece over the peas as a precaution. The broad beans however, should be hardy enough to survive a mild frost and are under enviromesh which gives some protection. The strange twine construct over the shallots and the potato bed is to deter our cat! Today, more potatoes to plant, main crop “Sarpo Mira” a blight resistant variety.
The week ahead look more changeable with the temperature rising into the low 20s again, but with more rain.
It’s been a mild and dry November so far with only a couple of frosts overnight and the last few days sunny and peaking at 18c – 20c.
We have cleared and covered up some beds for winter but others are still productive. So we are still picking beetroot, swede, leeks, fennel, chard, kale and cauliflower, and aside from carrots we haven’t had to buy any veg for weeks.
In the flower garden we have one lonesome rose, borage and the indestructible self seeded calendula still flowering. The hyssop is now gone over but the dead flower heads still have a fantastic structure especially when backlit by the morning sun. The beech hedging is turning a burnished bronze and has grown well this year, as has the mixed berry hedge at the end of the orchard.
As we have had a spell of dry fine weather we have got on with preparing the raised beds. We had three prefabricated plastic beds we had brought over from the UK and these are now all assembled with garlic planted up already and shallots and broad beans going into the other two.
Due to the slope of the garden we had to dig out a mini terrace of flat ground for the beds to be on. We have also done a fourth bed free form and used logs and a hazel hurdle to construct it. This was a lot harder especially with the slope and we are not completely happy with it yet, its still a bit cockeyed!
Doing the hazel hurdle – well hazel and mock orange to be exact – was interesting, and took us a few goes before we got it right. But we are pleased with the result now.
The shallots can now go in on the weekend, and we move on to preparing some beds for the potatoes.