After a full two weeks of sunshine and mild weather, we are now experiencing some crazy April showers! Heavy rain is drenching our valley and wind is tearing at the blossoms of our trees. For now the frosty nights we had lately are definitely over. Inside, however, there is plenty of activity and the conservatory cum dining room, half of the kitchen, and part of my bedroom are all taken up by tender young seedlings or robust shoots. Pots are everywhere but it is a delight to see. Ian too is sleeping between all this young growth.
I have learnt an important lesson this spring, to date I have always bought my plants at the market stalls and put them straight into the garden, except last spring when I sowed French beans, spinach, and radish as part of an experiment and course with GROWTH.
This January, however, every time I went shopping I came home with at least one packet of seeds or bulbs and doing this cheered me up no end. Come the beginning of March I could contain myself no longer and started sowing, indoors obviously. And this was a mistake….some seeds came up after a week or more but did not thrive, most came to nothing. A few days ago I did another larger sowing and the seed came up almost overnight and so far they are thriving! Lesson learnt! Do not sow before April in West Cork!
So far the slugs seem to be still asleep, I find them underneath pots and planks in the garden, unmovable. Inside is quite another matter….they are travelling leaving silvery trails in their wake over pots, carpet and table, but so far very little damage has been done to plants.
I did plant some old English marigolds outside and I put empty water bottles over them as protection and they are doing fine. The irises will have to be planted out soon as the shoots are coming on strong, as are the dahlias and begonias. I’m so looking forward to my first time growing agapanthus. Furthermore I’ve lots of different rudbekias coming on, I used to grow these and love them, also the time of year when they flower. Seedlings growing at this moment are petunias, red poppies, ixia, cosmos, zinnia, freesias, eliopsis scabra, and phlox, they are all new plants to me. Irises I used to grow when I was a teenager, they were blue.
I’ve also sowed marrows, cucumber, basilica, African marigolds, spring onions, chives, lots of heirloom fragrant sweet peas, and the wild bee flower seeds which I bought because they were recommended to help the declining bee population, the sunflowers and the cornflowers.
The local (Brown Envelope) seeds of the garden peas are also coming up beautifully. There is a lot to be said for sowing locally sourced seeds – plants resulting from them will be more tolerant of local climate. There remains to be sown my own seeds which I saved from last year’s harvest and these are; Thistle, catnip, evening primrose, oregano, basil mint, and purple loosestrife, some of these seeds have already self-sown outside.
The wealth and abundance of nature is a wonderful thing to behold, something to be very grateful for, day by beautiful day.
If, my dear friends, you have continued to read to the end of my notes this time, I congratulate and thank you. Have a nice day.