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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Sunday catch up

It's end of the school holidays at last - small daughter had a week off to herself last week whilst big daughter was back at college - but finally the day has arrived when school uniform needs to be checked, last minute homework is done (although to be fair, small daughter has been working on it on and off this week) and all those jobs that have been put off during the week can't be ignored any longer.

You won't be in the least bit interested in photos of my washing on the line, so instead I'm going to show you the seeds that I finally got around to ordering and which arrived a couple of days ago. I'm quite late with sowing my seeds this year, but considering that the weather is still so changeable I don't think it will be a problem.  I always used to be too keen to sow my seeds and would have trays of leggy seedlings cluttering up the windowsills in February before it was anything like mild enough to put them outside.  Now I've learnt that seeds have their own timescales and even those sowed a bit later will catch up and it usually makes little difference.


I didn't need to stock up on many seeds this year as I've still got plenty from other years.  Small daughter loves cucumbers and particularly the tiny varieties which grow to just the right size for her lunch box, and I love Rudbeckias - usually I grow the variety "Rustic Dwarves" but have got two different varieties this year; "Cherry Brandy" seeds and "Goldsturm" which I bought as plug plants and have been growing on.  I also fancied trying out a new tomato variety - it felt quite strange ordering them as usually my Dad and I would have conversations about which vegetables we would be growing during the year and he liked to grow the tomatoes, bringing over plants for me to put in the greenhouse when they were big enough.  This year, although I've been growing vegetables for many years now, it feels as if I'm doing it all on my own for the first time, almost like when you learn to ride a bike and the person helping you lets go of the saddle.   


I've got Dad's seed box to look through as well this year, and I like that.  He chose different varieties to me and I'll enjoy comparing what we have.



I've had these cloches over the soil for a few weeks now to try to get it warmed up before I sow my lettuce and carrot seeds.  It also stops the cats from digging in it which is never good when you're trying to grow things.  Our cats have no respect for newly planted seeds or the first tiny shoots of seedlings and like to rearrange them in a way that is not really conducive to healthy vegetables!


Some parts of the country have had snow this weekend but here in Winwick it has been bright and sunny.  Washing has dried on the line, I even sat outside with a cup of tea and enjoyed the sun on my face, and the newly filled seed trays gradually increased in number outside the greenhouse. Calendula, Rudbeckia, sweet peas ... we have a problem with slugs and snails in our garden and I'm reluctant to sow straight into the ground as I know that the seedlings will disappear as soon as they appear.  I also grow organically so I try to avoid slug pellets (which no doubt our daft dog would think were a tasty treat left for him to discover - if it's not the cats or the snails, it's the dog - it feels like I'm fighting a losing battle sometimes!) so I have learnt that it's better to sow my annual seeds in trays and then transplant them in clumps when they are bigger and might stand a better chance of surviving.


The first of my vegetables are now snugly in the propagator in the greenhouse.  So far I've got three tomato varieties and sprouts in there.  I haven't grown sprouts before but my Dad always did and they are small daughter's favourite vegetable.  She couldn't understand why anybody else didn't like them - until she had them at school.  Tasteless and overcooked, she still shudders at the thought of it and it's such a shame.  Proper home grown sprouts, properly cooked, are full of flavour and I'd be surprised if anybody recognised them as the same vegetable.


Elsewhere in the garden, the daffodils are nearly over but more plants are showing their leaves.  I was pleased to see that the lilies have survived the winter and are pushing their way through the soil.  The tulips are almost out too, and I'm looking forward to seeing them over the next couple of weeks.


Back inside, it was time for another cup of tea and a look through a new magazine.  I'd been looking forward to reading this one as Let's Knit have started a Summer of Socks feature this month - I've noticed that the magazines have been featuring socks much more prominently and I think that it's great.  


I really liked the first two patterns in the feature, and there are some tips from a certain sock-knitting blogger too!


There's a really good mandala feature as well and look who's in that section!  Poor woman, she can't get away from me - we're even in the same magazine! J


I love those Sunday evenings when you look back on the day and feel pleased with what you've achieved.  Admittedly, all the washing that dried on the line today didn't quite make it onto the ironing board, but there's always another day to do the ironing.

I won't be telling you about that in my next post - but I will be telling you about my new shawl ta-dah.  It's finished!  I'm very very happy with it, and I'm looking forward to showing it to you!


It won't be long to wait, I promise!


Just a quick reminder that I'll be at Yarnbirds in Whaley Bridge on Saturday 23 April from 9.30am-12.30pm if you're able to pop in and say hello!




6 comments:

  1. Congrats for being featured in the magazine; how nice! It was fun seeing your garden preparations. We've bought some seeds we're going to start and a small heirloom tomato plant. It's been very warm here the past two days. Your shawl looks lovely. I'm excited to read more about it. Have a fun filled week, Pat xx

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    1. Thank you! I'm really pleased that socks are featuring more and more in the magazines - they're such great projects, as easy or as complicated as you want them to be but always portable and a joy to wear! I'll look forward to reading about your tomatoes xx

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  2. I wouldn't say you were late sowing seeds I don't sow till May ;), like you say they do catch up? How exciting to be featured in a magazine.

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    1. You're a bit further north than me I think so it makes sense for you not to sow too early either. I'm only a couple of weeks behind where I usually am, but it's amazing how quickly the weeks slip by! xx

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  3. How lovely to have your dads seeds to sort through. My dear pap taught me to love gardening and I still use the old Kentish names he called plants by. My other pap grew tomatoes, Only ever "Moneymaker" and boy, did he grow a lot of them! My dad is not so much a gardener as a serial pruner, nothing is safe when he gets the urge to "trim".
    Here's hoping for a decent bit of weather to get out and plant! x

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    1. My mother-in-law was a demon pruner too - she'd ask me about whether she should cut a particular plant down, I'd say "no, not yet" and the next time I saw her the plant would be gone. "I just gave it a bit of a snip," she'd say! :-) xx

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