What a crazy month that was, no sooner here than gone. I think that the Easter punctuation allowed extra days to pass by. It has been a fairly kind month and things have wanted to grow. The new leaf appeared across the landscape and suddenly we were into the growing season. As we move forward into May, the gloves come off and the workload becomes as big as the energy permits. We could be out there all day every day and still find work. This is the gardening month and in commercial horticulture the one when we do our business. Even those that would not normally bother are persuaded. The activity of our neighbours serves as the spur. Pots and borders can be planted, baskets fixed and displayed and we can still sow seeds. The new warmth encourages germination and clearer light accelerates the growth. We need to keep half an eye on the overnight temperatures, but careful policing and gentle hardening off of new plants will see most things safely through. I will hold back with Marrows, Cucumbers and runner beans for a day or two, but will hope to have the lion’s share of the work done by the end of the month.
As always, I will be playing with a few new bits and pieces, definitely trying out some of the latest petunia varieties. Petunias have lost their way in recent years, but some of the new forms are a delight and hold much promise. There are black, lime and a couple of dirty bicolors as well as some delightful fringed forms, all of which are much more weather resilient that of old. There is also good interest in old fashioned snapdragons. I grew up with this plant and it is lovely to see it back in vogue. It is a tough old plant and great value for money. The history of our site runs back in my family to 1947 and the Antirrhinum was the first item on our first ever list.
In the vegetable garden, everything looks good, although the nets have had to go on to keep off the pigeons again. The green stuff generally looks great and I am already onto my third sowing of salad stuff. Salad crops are great fillers and can just be run between rows of the long stay crops without disturbing them.
And finally, on the subject of long stay vegetables, in two weeks, I will be planting Brussel Sprouts out. Happy Christmas…………………..sorry Gardening. Enjoy.