Sunday, 17 May 2009

Rain Stopped Play.......

Unlike Wimbledon this year, down on The Funny Farm, rain stopped play - so Wellie continued playing indoors, with potting the tommies into their final buckets where they're growing on nicely in the conservatory. The one nearest you by the kitchen door, is one of many 'Roma' Plum Tomato bush-types, hence the conical wire support for it to scramble untidily over without making a nuisance of itself and getting on my nerves later in the summer. The fruits will be halved and slowly sunblush-dried in the Rayburn, and preserved in olive oil for use over the winter months, in salads, casseroles and pasta dishes, when buying of supermarket tomatoes is a complete waste of time and money in taste-terms.

Do you think the cordon tomatoes growing up the metal spirals have grown since you were last here? I do! And the Winter Squash plants have grown SO much, they're using the tomato plants to attach their tendrils to as they rocket skywards - and there are signs of flowers coming. The varieties are 'Sweet Dumpling', 'Butternut', 'Uchikiki Kuri' and 'Turks Turban', and I think I rather overdid it on the 'Sweet Dumpling' front, as more seeds seemed to germinate than I remember planting, so of course they all got potted on rather than thrown away (as ya do!)

And here below, is my work in progress project: The Kitchen Garden.

I've defined the shape of the grass paths, and managed to get some Roundup Concentrate sprayed onto the triangular 'beds' in the tiniest window of opportunity when it WASN'T actually raining or blowing a gale for about five minutes last week!
And in the background, you can see the topiary box balls that we dug up before we moved. I'm desperate for them to survive, as they'd prolly be worth a few hundred in the shops? When the weather stops, I need to empty a bag of John Innes No.3 into each of their trugs, as Trousers did his best to remove them with a good rootball, but they had other ideas apparently. And it'll help to absorb the moisture I'm going to need to give them all summer-long to give them a fighting chance of survival.

Mmm.... Fresh Strawberries! all 'runners' potted on into bigger pots this last week so they won't dry out as quick and, hopefully, their roots will start to enjoy the nutrients in the new compost, and boost the fruit-swell. The strawberry plants in the draughty dutch greenhouse are streets ahead of these now, and I better give them a high potash liquid feed this week. I'm not sure how the self-sown Chervil herb seedlings in the same troughs will like it, but hey ho!

And before Rain Stopped Play - this is what I'd mostly been doing? Way back in the spring, I'd planted my shallots into small pots and six-cell trays to begin rooting, so I've been desperate to finally get them into the ground. The rest will have to wait now until tomorrow, when I hope the weather will be a little kinder to me.
Mind you - the inclement weather has meant that I've been forced to unpack a few more cardboard boxes, finding my funky RHS Ankle Wellie Boots in the process - so if it doesn't stop raining, at least my feet will be dry!
And in readiness of our friends, The Piglets, I've been dyeing bedspreads, sewing valances and generally making up The Boudoire in The Guest Wing...!
But we're settling into The Funny Farm really well now, and so is The Cat. X

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