Sunday, 31 March 2013

Spam Comments

Since I have been receiving lots of spam comments from anonymous people, I switched to 'word of verification'. Personally. I don't like it myself but I have no other choice. Thanks.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Aronia melanocarpa

If you are wondering why this plant is standing in the bucket, I will tell you. It has just arrived by post and is supposed to be planted in the garden. But it is snowing and there is no chance to do it. 
I think, I will firstly plant this shrub in a container. There is no chance to dig the hole in this wet and cold ground for some time on.
The plant arrived with a zigzag folded booklet with description of the plant and advises on planting and caring for it. Aronia berries are edible and have positive impact on one's health. It has great antioxidant qualities which prevents some cardiovascular diseases and gastric disorders, cancer and inflammations.

Row berries are inedible because of their tannin content which causes dry, puckering mouth-feel. Cooked berries are used to prepare jam, vine, deserts and juice. There are some recipes in the booklet too.
As for cultivation, Aronia prefers wet ground and somewhat acid soil. It is very resistant to coldness. The single bush may produce up to 10 kg of berries. 
In Croatia, this bush flowers in April or May and berries are ripe by the end of August.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Where is the Spring?

This winter does not give up! I cannot work in the garden because of the wet ground, rain, cold wind,snow - you name it! How frustrating!

Some spring flowers showed up, quite modestly, like this Hyacinth...

...and this heavenly blue Chionodoxa (Glory-of-the-snow).

Only the Hellebore is in full bloom now and - that's it!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Google Reader

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I am sure you have already been noticed that Google Reader closes after the 1st of July. So, we have to find another reader or loose all the data containing the blogs we follow via Google.
I made my choice - Bloglovin. I see many people use this reader to follow and read the blogs. I made my account and have imported all of my Google Reader data. The interface Looks pretty much the same as GR and it is easy to handle. You can also put the follow widget on your blog.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The first seedlings

Believe it or not, I have just taken these photos in my garden! It is not so cold, only feels colder than it is because of the northern wind. Round ten o 'clock in the morning there was a real blizzard outside. This kind of weather is supposed to end by tomorrow.

On the other hand... indoors is quite a different story! Kale was the first to germinate (sown on March 9th). I was surprised to see how quick the seedlings of kale grow. They showed up only yesterday and look, they stretched about 1.5 cm just in 24 hours!  The seeds I ordered from T&M is really of excellent quality; each of them has germinated. I am particularly looking forward to kale 'Rossignol', with ruffled foliage and 'Scarlet', with highly decorative, purple leaves. 

I got some aubergine and cyclamen seeds yesterday and I am going to sow them right now. Curious too see the aubergines, they are supposed to be small and white!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Sowing Early

My plan to spend the Saturday morning in the veg garden sowing broad bean and pea failed because of the rain. These are two early crops do the best in a cooler growing conditions and may be sown as early as end of February. I have to wait a little bit longer to sow them.  Sowing itself won't take long because I have already prepared the beds for these two. I added wood ashes to the broad bean bed because it loves a good portion of potash. Adding potash to the soil will also prevent a fungal infection called chocolate spot.

Well, rain or not, it won't stop me to do some gardening work. I occupied my kitchen and sowed the vegetable seeds into modules. I sowed four varieties of kale, celery and chili peppers. I also tried something new: tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) and golden berry (Physalis peruviana). I already have Physalis alkekengi  in my garden with orange berries that also grows wild in Croatia. All of these are memebers of Solanaceae, the nightshade family. 


Iris reticulata in my rock garden... 

and Crocuses in the town park...

As for sowing the flowers, I will wait until warmer weather when I can leave the modules under cover outside. Today, I only sowed cup and saucers, Cobaea scandens and oriental poppy 'Coral Reef'  to germinate in the house.