Seed time and Spring greens.

The spell of really mild weather we’ve been having here in England has encouraged me to sew my peas and broad beans, and to plant out the broad beans I had brought on in the greenhouse. The central plot of my allotment which is about twenty-five feet square is beginning to fill up as a result from the wall end. I generally stick to Bunyard Exhibition for the Broadbeans and Hurst Longshaft for peas,  though I sowed an extra row of Rondo peas which someone gave me.   Stopping the mice from munching the seeds is the first challenge, but I have scattered tansy leaves over the row to distract them from the scent of the pea seeds. At least it is something to do with Tansy, which I grow in abundance and then never know how to use!  It is a medieval medicinal herb, but too astringent for  today I think.  I have also planted a long row of parsnip seeds, with  radishes, which act as a useful marker and quick cash crop before the parsnips emerge. I should have planted parsnips in February, but I don’t expect it will matters much if they are delayed a few weeks. 

Today’s lunch will be one of my “Cornish Connection” concoctions, as David calls them,  of green soup, – nettles, baby kale leaves, cabbage leaves , and sprouting greens, flavoured with chives and shallots and some frozen borotti beans left over from last year.  It tastes pretty bland without cheese added, but I am sure it does one good!

I have planted all the onions which had grown roots in the seed trays as well, so we are on the way to a new growing season!.  Bunty the little cat, who was so good at discouraging the mice last year, has abandoned us for the Duchess’s garden where there is a heated greenhouse, but I hope to lure her back again with my cat mint.  

I am pleased to report that the dove family is reunited with the female turning up from somewhere. The male has held their territory in the garden all winter, but there are now two of them sitting on the branch in the bottom garden. She has her little head on his shoulder.  It is all very romantic!

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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