and suddenly it’s voar…

 

 

 

Meconopsis 'Lingholm'

After 36 gardening years in Shetland I should be used to it by now, but still, almost every year, it takes me by surprise. Nothing but wet, cold and grey, and then suddenly – overnight – spring sails in on the blue skies of a Baltic high. Temperatures soar, the soil dries up and regardless of how early I started on the garden, the nursery and the vegetable plot, there’s a mad rush to get everything done on time.

Field-grown shrubs and trees, lifted during April and early May, are crying out to be potted up or planted out. Carpets of bittercress and willow herb need to be rubbed out before they get a chance to seed, a few remaining gaps in the border vie for new inhabitants, and several buddlejas, forgotten during the early spring pruning, have gone into a lanky sulk.

mystery rhodo in bud

 

There’s been some satisfying progress on the vegetable front. The courgettes, released into the great outdoors, have doubled in size, and their close relations, pickling cucumber ‘Vorgebirgstraube’, followed a few days later.They are a first for me, and I have great hopes invested in them: cucumbers that actually taste of cucumber. The salad garden looks neat now with rows of lettuce, dill, Florence fennel and parsley seedlings released from their pots or trays, and sowings of more salad, Turkish cress and chicory, tucked underneath white propagation film to prevent them from getting scorched.

The sun is fierce and the small, south-facing area in front of the greenhouse gets extremely hot during the day.

Fitting the coldframes with shade-giving green windbreak net curtains has proved a blessing and helps to cut down on watering.

and in flower

Apart from the thickly seaweed-mulched area of the vegetable rig, all is sown and planted, peas and broad beans, carrots, beetroot, swedes, parsnips, Swiss chard, turnip ‘Atlantic’, kohlrabi and last but not least 132 leeks – I did count them.

The seaweeded patch is awaiting the planting of brassicas, still in their trays, but fattening up nicely on twice-weekly liquid seaweed feeds.

The sunshine and a still ample amount of moisture in the ground, have brought the garden on in leaps and bounds. The blue poppies are glorious, especially Meconopsis ‘Lingholm’, growing in the shade of a larch hedge. The white May broom, in the same location, is fully out, and just around the corner, a large, white-flowered rhododendron has revealed itself to be scented. We have no name for it, but Ken Cox is on the case.

twelve gods

Twelve Gods. What a wonderful name for a wonderful plant. Dodecatheon meadia has increased magnificently and dominates the west side of the peat garden. I read somewhere that it had been named by the ancient Greeks, which means America must have been discovered long before Christopher Columbus’ days.

There used to be evenings, leisurely, long evenings. Where have they gone all of a sudden? It’s impossible to stay indoors as the nights get lighter and warmth lingers well into the evening. That’s when I potter, rather than work in the garden – until exhaustion gets the better of me.

white may broom

 

After 36 gardening years in Shetland I should be used to it by now, but still, almost every year, it takes me by surprise. Nothing but wet, cold and grey, and then suddenly – overnight – spring sails in on the blue skies of a Baltic high. Temperatures soar, the soil dries up and regardless of how early I started on the garden, the nursery and the vegetable plot, there’s a mad rush to get everything done on time.

Field-grown shrubs and trees, lifted during April and early May, are crying out to be potted up or planted out. Carpets of bittercress and willow herb need to be rubbed out before they get a chance to seed, a few remaining gaps in the border vie for new inhabitants, and several buddlejas, forgotten during the early spring pruning, have gone into a lanky sulk.

There’s been some satisfying progress on the vegetable front. The courgettes, released into the great outdoors, have doubled in size, and their close relations, pickling cucumber ‘Vorgebirgstraube’, followed a few days later.They are a first for me, and I have great hopes invested in them: cucumbers that actually taste of cucumber. The salad garden looks neat now with rows of lettuce, dill, Florence fennel and parsley seedlings released from their pots or trays, and sowings of more salad, Turkish cress and chicory, tucked underneath white propagation film to prevent them from getting scorched.

The sun is fierce and the small, south-facing area in front of the greenhouse gets extremely hot during the day.

Fitting the coldframes with shade-giving green windbreak net curtains has proved a blessing and helps to cut down on watering.

Apart from the thickly seaweed-mulched area of the vegetable rig, all is sown and planted, peas and broad beans, carrots, beetroot, swedes, parsnips, Swiss chard, turnip ‘Atlantic’, kohlrabi and last but not least 132 leeks – I did count them.

The seaweeded patch is awaiting the planting of brassicas, still in their trays, but fattening up nicely on twice-weekly liquid seaweed feeds.

The sunshine and a still ample amount of moisture in the ground, have brought the garden on in leaps and bounds. The blue poppies are glorious, especially Meconopsis ‘Lingholm’, growing in the shade of a larch hedge. The white May broom, in the same location, is fully out, and just around the corner, a large, white-flowered rhododendron has revealed itself to be scented. We have no name for it, but Ken Cox is on the case.

Twelve Gods. What a wonderful name for a wonderful plant. Dodecatheon meadia has increased magnificently and dominates the west side of the peat garden. I read somewhere that it had been named by the ancient Greeks, which means America must have been discovered long before Christopher Columbus’ days.

There used to be evenings, leisurely, long evenings. Where have they gone all of a sudden? It’s impossible to stay indoors as the nights get lighter and warmth lingers well into the evening. That’s when I potter, rather than work in the garden – until exhaustion gets the better of me.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>