Ladybird Poppies 14 Jun 2020
Too much of a good thing?
I love poppies. So much that when we moved up to North Wales from St Albans, I brought some ladybird poppy seed from my old garden with us. Along with some fiery oriental poppies, pastel shades of aquilegia and a beautiful orange quince. Eight years on, I’m deluged by ladybird poppies and have spent a good two or three hours this week on weeding and thinning them out. All good – the thinnings have joined the compost heap, and the remaining plants are promising to put on a gorgeous show over the next few weeks. The irony of them moving from being a point of wonder to weed hasn’t passed me by though.
We’ve picked our first lot of spinach and chard from the vegetable garden this week, along with a couple of bowls of sharply sweet strawberries. And one raspberry. The cut and come again lettuce which is growing in buckets is putting supermarket salad to shame with its flavour, freshness and colour.
The runner beans are clambering up their wigwam, and I’ve had success with carrots for the first time since establishing this vegetable patch. I used seed tapes this year, which seems to have made all the difference. The elephant garlic is almost in flower and will put on a stunning show of frothy white baubles in a couple of weeks; afterwards, we will harvest all but a couple and prepare the space for another crop. There are four different types of tomato on the go this year – baby plum, tigerella (stripey), normal red ones and sungold cherry tomatoes and they are putting on height and girth nicely. The bees are loving the borage and comfrey – we’ve spotted lots of different ones this year and have guests in our bee house too.
Last evening, I potted on the cucumbers and aubergines. I’ll bring these on for another couple of weeks and then pop them outside, keeping my fingers crossed that they will deliver a good crop this year. The boys love picking cucumbers straight off the vine and eating them there and then. The shed is looking a little emptier as many of the remaining plants are outside to harden off, but there are red peppers and tabasco chillies which will stay put. And I’ve planted more basil, wallflowers, rudbeckia, sunflowers (out of the chicken feed) and apricot foxgloves seeds so that space will fill up again soon.
This afternoon is stormy, which is good news from a watering perspective. Less so for getting outside but good for spending a little time on ItsLello. But useful for planning what to do next! I’m going to track down some wildflower seed from Pictorial Meadows to sow under the magnolia tree. And with stocks, dahlias and courgettes to plant out this week, a new-found source of mulch to spread and no doubt more ladybird poppies to tackle, it will be a busy one.