Wednesday 6 April 2011

Garden miscellany

This post is a collection of odds and ends, each not individually big enough to merit a post of their own.

The first spear of Asparagus emerged this week. Hooray! The plants seem to send up one of two tentative spears very early in the season, as if to check out the conditions above ground before committing themselves to full-scale production. This one of mine looks as if it is a purple variety. It isn't, though. It is one called "Glinlijm". This spear will turn green once the light gets to it.

The flowers of my final daffodil variety, "Minnow" are out now. They are very pale and delicate, and as the name suggests, small. The Minnow is a type of very tiny freshwater fish...

But there are lots of them, and each stem has two or three flowers.

Most of the other daffodil types are pretty much past their best now. The Tete-a-Tete ones round the base of the Crab Apple tree have all turned brown, allowing the Muscari or "Grape Hyacinths" to show up a bit.

Whilst wandering around the garden, I spotted a broken bird's egg on the ground underneath the "Fish tree". I think it may be a pigeon's egg.  Judging by the amount of flapping of wings and general to-ing and fro-ing in the nearby conifer in my neighbour's garden, I reckon there is a pigeon's nest somewhere in there. By the way, for those of you who don't know this already, the tree we call the Fish tree is actually a Sorbus of some sort, but when it flowers it has a very strong "fishy" smell, hence the name.

My next picture shows how prolific a self-seeder the Aquilegia is...

The anti-fox precautions on the Pea- and Bean-bed seem to have worked OK so far.The Broad Beans and the Peas are only just showing through the surface of the soil now, but the Radishes I sowed between the rows are racing ahead.

Looked at in close-up, the Radish seedlings exhibit the classic brassica characteristics. The configuration of the cotyledons (seed-leaves) makes them look like tiny butterflies!

Radishes grow very quickly, and they are often sown as "markers" alongside rows of other seeds, to indicate where they are. They will be harvested and out of the way before they get into contention with the other plants for the nutrients in the soil.


  1. Ah daffodils in tubs of course, why haven't I thought of that? They look beautiful. I've got a few bulbs in the ground and have been looking for more spots to put them in but you've given me the obvious solution. I've also been toying with the idea of growing asparagus. Not sure I've got the space to give to them though.

  2. I am very envious about your bulbs, here in Queensland growing bulbs is not easy as we do not get that lovely cold weather need to make them flower. However we can grow tropical fruits such as Mangos, Bananas and Pineapples so I guess I should not be so greedy. My asparagus is just starting to die off so I will be focused on feeding up over the next few months to ensure a good crop.

  3. Oh thank goodness Mark. I sowed some radishes and a bunch of other things, and then I couldn't tell which ones the radishes were! Now I know, I'd never have picked them either.

    Your potted flowers are just beautiful. Do you cut some and bring them in the house?

  4. Very nice, and interesting, odds and ends :)
    The Minnow is lovely.

  5. Good post, lots of variety in your garden. Hope the fox deterrent works as would hate to see them destroying your beds. I have to put up cat deterrents at times but easier than dealing with fox.

  6. We have some minnow somewhere - I remember buying some ages ago but haven't a clue where they are! Lovely things

  7. "Minnow" daffodils so cute. I like them very much. I hope I don't accidently pull out any aquilegia self-seed babies when I do some weeding this month.

  8. Hi Mark, I've got Glinlijm crowns as well and I thought they'd gone completely bonkers as some of the spears are reaching sky high. Glad to hear it's normal. Such a shame to leave big and strong looking spears for another year, but next summer I'll have my asparagus dipped in egg, all home-grown. :)

  9. Ali; re cutting the flowers for indoor use - I seldom do this, because the cut flowers never last as long. Besides, I can see almost all of my tiny garden from the Living Room anyway!


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