Friday, 28 April 2017

The Bumble Bee Nest

I consider myself very lucky finding this bumble bee nest in my garden shed. They aren't very common and can be difficult to find. 

I put them back where I have found them. Hopefully, the bumblebees won't be much alarmed by my photo session.

Namely, they were in the ball of fleece I needed to cover the plants against the frost. So, I had to disturb them. I wrapped them back into a piece of fleece and stored them in a plastic container.

So far, so good.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Summa Summarum of the Snowy Day.

Obviously, it was below zero overnight 'cause I found a thick layer of ice on my water tank in the vegetable garden. But, there was no real frost, and I don't see any frost or cold damage on the plants.

Actually, the snow and the wind are guilty of the damage. Many herbaceous perennials bent under the weight of very wet snow, mostly peonies and hostas.

The flower-full lilac crown was too heavy for it too. I need to cut it 50 cm above the ground. It will grow new branches.

Rhubarb and another peony are laying on the ground.

Hosta 'Suma and Substance'

I will leave all the plants to rise up naturally. So it looked like last year after the frost in May. All the peonies and hostas recovered. It is supposed to get warmer tomorrow and as they dry they will slowly rise up. Finally, I 'll see if anything needs staking.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Winter Comeback

This is how my garden looked like this morning. The wind that came overnight broke down a lot of wisteria flowers and tender shoots of other plants. There was no frost, and if the temperatures in the next few days keep around 1°C, there shouldn't be big damage in the garden. 

The weather is supposed to improve on Saturday. I managed to mow the lawn yesterday. The grass was already pretty high due to the rain preventing me from cutting it. The vegetable garden is now covered with the 2 cm of snow, but it is certainly much better than being exposed to the possible frost. 

The beetroot and chard germinated very well, I only hope the seedlings are tough enough to survive this weather change. And, it is not so uncommon in the continental climate.

Friday, 14 April 2017


To my great joy, all the flower seeds germinated very well. And they germinated only in ten days. Isn't is interesting to see all of these different kinds of seedlings?

I keep them under cover all the time to protect them from too much sun during the day and the low temperatures overnight. In a week or so, there will be lots of pricking out to do.
I still have some flower seeds to sow but, I am going to sow it directly in the flower beds where they are to flower. Some flowers don't like to be transplanted, and it is best to sow it this way.
Many beautiful spring flowers are on display in my rock garden now.

Paeony (no name)

Iberis sempervirens

Pulsatilla vulgaris (Anemone pulsatilla)

Phlox divaricata

Monday, 10 April 2017

Compost Place

I have the two locations in my garden for compost bins. They have to be tidy just as the other so, I did some clearing yesterday. I used some old brick and stones to make a path before the compost bins. It is very useful during the rainy days, I don't have to walk on mud. I am now filling in the first bin, The compost in the second bin is ready to be used. I will pass some of it through the sieve, I need it for the flower containers.

The compost bin I made from the palettes is falling apart, the 'door' at least. I have to look for some replacement. The boards still look good, maybe they only need the repairment.
I use the plastic black bin only for fallen leaves. I got it from our community service during the action called 'Minimise the household waste'. 

I planted winter squashes onto the compost heap last year. The foliage made a good cover protection from drying, and the squashes had plenty of nutrients in the decomposing heap. 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Sowing the Seeds

According to the biodynamic calendar, the period from 3rd to 17th April is the best for all kinds of work in the garden. The days are pretty warm so, I have decided to sow the vegetables accordingly. The plants are divided into the three groups, depending on which part of them we use as food; root, fruit or leaves. There are also specific days for dealing with the flowers. I did it a few days ago.

I seeded the chard and beetroot yesterday. Tomorrow is the 'fruit day' so, I am going to sow dwarf beans, french beans and climbing beans right on the site. I have already prepared all the beds for the job by digging in plenty of compost  and cow manure pellets. The cucumbers, squashes, courgettes and pumpkins go into the pots. Last year the frost ruined most of the cucurbits, and I had to sow them again. I will plant them out in May when the risk of frost pass away. I use to pre-soaked all the seeds for faster germination. We haven't had much rain recently.  

The peas look great. Though it is a low growing pea variety, I put some twigs as the support. 

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Box Bush Battle

Last year I wrote about that pesky pest attack on the box  - the box tree moth. On the picture above is the only one box bush in my garden that looks like this. And I have 14 of them! All the others seem to progress in their recovery thanks to my constant monitoring and spraying pesticides when needed. I hate to use chemicals but, unfortunately, there is no other way to beat it.

I really have no clue why this particular box bush recovers at least, while the other grow new foliage and bloom like crazy. Really!

Just look at the branch above. It even looks better than these that wasn't attacked. Well, if it is only one bush to go, I think I can live with it.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Frosty Mornings, Warm Daytime

So it usually is at the end of March and in April - the mornings are cold, frost and temperatures below zero as it was today are no rare. And during the day the temperature rise up to 20°C. I took this photograph early in the morning today. It was - 3°C, the water froze in the small dish at the table on the terrace. I check it out the plants that sprouted. they seem not to suffer any damage.

I picked up the first asparagus of the season yesterday and had them for lunch. They are early this year. No wonder, with this above average day temperatures in March. I did most of the weeding in the ornamental garden and planted an apple. The cultivar is called 'Idared'. It is a sweet and juicy apple, excellent for baking and cooking and good for eating and freezing too.

After the soil sets down a bit, I am going to stake it.

The peas are out as well as the early peonies.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Seeding Tomatoes

According to the biodynamic calendar, today is the good day to sow all the vegetables we grow for fruit. So, I seeded the tomatoes. I washed all the modules yesterday afternoon and bought some seeding substrate. I rather use the bought one than my own because it is sterile and thus eliminate the possibility of fungal diseases to break and ruin the seedlings.

I seeded three varieties of tomatoes 'Maskotka', 'Gigantomo' and ' Pintyno'. I never try these before. I am particularly curious about the 'Gigantomo'. It is supposed to be an impressive 1.7 m plant with fruits weighing 1.3 kg! I am going to make wire cages to support the plant. 

Well, I hope they will be fine in my handy greenhouse which is, actually, my grilling place. 

The leeks are growing slowly and seem to like their new home. 

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Being Constructive

It was my engineering day today. I made the garden twine holder out of a 2 litre plastic bottle and a few trellis for the runner/climbing beans. 

The vegetable garden is ready for the new season. I am only waiting for the warmer weather to start sowing and planting. 

Bergenia is among the first bloomers.

I got an interesting cultivated Primula today. 

The radishes are coming out.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Garden Update

The rhubarb woke up.

At the moment, there is not much to do in my garden. I did some clearing of the flower beds some week ago. I also prepared the entire vegetable garden for sowing and planting. And that's all for the time being. Actually, the days are still pretty cold and windy with frosty mornings, and it is not very pleasant to work outside.
I only planted the onion sets and sowed the peas.

The spring flowers are all around, crocuses, hellebores, anemones, irises. 

The weather on Friday was almost unreal, constant change of rain and sun, the fantastic dark clouds and bright skies. 

And, when the sun and rain finally came together, they produced this lovely rainbow. I took the photos from the balcony of my house.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Interesting Seed

I have just eaten a mango fruit and examined the interesting seed. It is hidden into the hard endocarp and looks like a large bean. It has two cotyledons and a thick coat. 

Friday, 24 February 2017

The Heralds of Spring

Helleborus sp.

The snowdrops are everywhere.

Galanthus elwesii and
Galanthus nivalis...

...under the bushes and...

...on the lawn coming from the seeds.