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.