Here we are, very much into the month of April already and the veg garden is really taking shape now. The new raised beds I mentioned making in last months post are built and in position, grass covered over in each bed to kill it off before filling with organic compost.
Looking around the veg garden it’s still bare, but things are starting to happen. I planted a new bed of Cambridge Favourite strawberries, they have great flavour and ideal for making jam. Garlic is growing really well, rhubarb is going berserk, blackcurrant bushes and raspberry canes are in leaf and lots of teeny tiny flowers are open on the gooseberry bushes. We’re harvesting the first radish of the year (grown in wooden crates in a sunny position) and lots of salad leaves in pots in shade. The plum trees are covered in pretty white blossom and the apple trees are showing signs of flowering next month. In the herb patch, chives and mint are growing like crazy and French tarragon is making a comeback.
Broad beans from a sowing in November are flowering now too which is all very exciting!
I love broad bean flowers, they have an incredible fragrance. In amongst the white and black flowers of ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ I spotted this lone purple-flowered plant:
The flowers are actually more lilac colour than purple, very pretty and quite unexpected considering the plants are all the same variety and from the same seed packet. Anyone else noticed this before? I have a packet of crimson-flowered broad bean seed to sow this week, I’m really looking forward to seeing these.
A bulk delivery of green organic compost arrived a few days ago, it’s crumbly and dark with a gorgeous earthy smell. This will be used to fill the new beds when they’re ready, but for now it’s being used to top up other beds and mulch around fruit bushes.
Having the chickens in the vegetable garden now isn’t practical, I thought using netting and canes around each bed would suffice but it was proving to be a bit of a faff. Putting a fence across a garden as wide as ours was always going to be an expensive affair, besides, I wasn’t keen on the idea of scruffy grass around the base and having to use the strimmer regularly to keep it neat. We decided that a temporary fence would suit us better, something that could be put across the garden quickly and taken down just as easily for Rich to mow the lawn. So, we settled on plastic mesh fencing. Ok so it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing fence out there (although we chose to get the green roll rather than the more common bright orange) but it serves the purpose well and much cheaper than a permanent post and wire fence.
More photos to come next month, I hope your garden or allotment is coming along well too.