Mimulus or musk

A mystery parcel turned up a few days ago from Jersey plants, containing 70 mimulus plants! Apparently I had ticked a box to receive a mystery bonus box of plants. So I felt even more like the old woman who lived in the shoe, horticulturally speaking.  If I could find something to line my hanging baskets with, I could start to move some plants on. I have eight basket frames. Ingenuity will come up with an answer I am sure, the garden centre had run out of fancy liners, which are expensive anyway, As my face still looks like a road crash, and I can hardly see out of one eye, I will look round the house to find something, – how about old woolly jumpers in a woodland shade. – we certainly have a lot of them about!

Food production round up. – the raised bed crop of pak choi are fully grown and we have started to eat them before they bolt. Bolting has been a problem for me this spring, due to the immense drought I think. but some of my red onions were in danger of producing flower heads, and the leeks all developed hard centres, not bad if you cook them, – quite tasty, but not the ideal way they should go.

 Lettuce in the raised bed, and in the allotment bookcase bed are all thriving. My radishes too have grown up nicely, so we are never short of salads.  The asparagus is over for now, and I will leave any future spears to grow on.  The broad beans are high and loaded with blossom. I staked and protected them with a string cordon when we had winds last week.

  Over the last weekend we had a full day of steady rain which has been of immense benefit. Rhubarb is producing well, and the strawberries are laden with berries. The woodash from the bonfires I fed to them really set them off.  I just have to have a stratgegy of helping them turn red without every bird, mouse, squirrel and slug in Derbyshire getting to them before I do!

I planted out  two square metres of cauliflower and cabbage plants the other day, I covered them with net tunnels against the  birds, and sprinkled organic slug pellets around each plant. Hmm. Next day went to inspect, every one had been eaten by slugs who also seem to have eaten the pellets.  I think I might abandon brassicas on the allotment and plant a load of potatoes in their spot from a sack in the pantry which have all chitted, and may make a late maincrop.

 I also have all the courgettes and marrows who want to be planted, but slugs go for them as well, so I have decided to construct a hotbed from another donated old bookcase, Lined it with cardboard, as I am following the principle of a US idea of building a garden up from nothing. I have a heap of stable manure and compost and of course huge piles of compost heaps from David’s hen hut cleanings out. We are never short of organic matter round here!  Slugs can’t get into a hotbed so easily. I will smear vaseline all along the edges of the wood frame.

The allotment has a huge crop of red poppies in full flower right now, and a load of little borage seedlings popping up as well. The bees look happy. I am wondering if the poppy seeds would be edible? – ever the peasant!

About mrsgarnettsgarden

After a life in International Development where I have seen many resililent women farmers bring abundance out of almost nothing, I'm now more often at home in Derbyshire with my husband David, a retired Archdeacon who runs the churches on the Chatsworth estate. Our garden and my allotment are the setting for a little diary of plants and pottering, aided and abetted by our dogs, Spaniel jess, and Collie, Pip. David is a hen fanatic so the chicken runs encroach ever nearer the house. I work freelance as an assessor for Comic Relief International grants, and also run a little not for profit agency to help African women get going in business, called "Lasting Solutions."
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