After being away for 10 days I was champing at the bit to get out into the garden and check out how it fared in my absence. To be honest I wasn’t really worried as there isn’t much going on compared to leaving a full-blown summer garden. In winter things are unhurried and harvesting isn’t required on a daily basis and things grow slowly.
A quick check of the weather station shows it was warm-ish, – for winter and there was a lot of rain and high humidity. So, it was unsurprising to see a bit of growth. The onions have settled in nicely and are starting to almost imperceivably thicken up. They are a long way from being fat bulbs ready for harvest, but they are on their way.
There are also a few more weeds than I would have anticipated so I need to jump in there and take care of them. Some things have gone to seed, but it wasn’t unexpected, we weren’t eating enough salad crops or Tatsoi. But after the magnificent food on the holiday I may need to change that and, shall we say, ‘eat a little lighter!’ There is plenty of time before I have to get my swimsuit out again and a lot of hard work to be done in the garden in the meantime so I’m sure it will be fine.
The Romanesco has finally come to a head and I have to say it is such a beautiful thing. The Fibonacci spirals are magnificently displayed. There is also some broccoli and beetroot ready for harvest. We are certainly not short for fresh veggies to grace our table. But some things have surprised me. There are broad beans on the cover crop plants that flowered too soon in the autumn. Not many, but enough for a taster. The first asparagus is poking through the soil after my efforts to cut back the fronds and freshen up the soil before I left. They say you can take a few in the second year, so I’m wondering if it is the first few or some from later in the season and just how many is a few, because I have a hankering for fresh asparagus now that I’ve seen it.
On the floral side of things, the daphne that was in bud before I left looks like it is only just in flower, so I get to soak in that incredible fragrance every time I intentionally walk past the plant. I honestly thought I’d miss it. But the biggest floral surprise is I have a daffodil up. Not just a few leaves or a bud about to burst but one in full glory, smiling in the sun. I wasn’t expecting to see that for another month at least.
I checked on the trees in the new orchard and they seem to be doing well, but I do need to make a priority of the staking and setting up the irrigation that I ran out of time to do before I left. But the peach is in bud already so I can’t muck around.
With all of the cool things going on, there is also a battle. The rust on the garlic has come back. I spotted it before I went away and trimmed off the affected leaves and gave it a feed and a spray so it could heal in my absence. I’m so pleased I did spot it as if I hadn’t, I would have come home to a sea of orange and a whole lot of heartbreak. But this time, there were only a few splodges of tell-tale orange, so I immediate removed the leaves and will do the feed and spray thing again. This is a battle I refuse to lose, and I will fight for my garlic and beat the rust into submission.
But all in all, things aren’t too bad, so as we approach the spring from the remaining half of winter, I will prepare a big long list and work towards it. It shouldn’t be too hard.
Come again soon – There has been a shift in the atmosphere, spring is coming, hoorah!
Sarah the Gardener : o)