This Bank Holiday weekend has turned out to be absolutely wonderful and we have been treated to some of the best weather so far this year meaning lots of time to garden with the sun on my back finally. At one point today the thermometer registered a balmy 29.4°C (84.92°F). It appears the new garden is somewhat of a suntrap!
Early this morning I set off with renewed vigour and set about moving a few old Rose bushes in to the new cutting garden as red, pink and yellow roses don’t really fit in with my plans for the new garden. They should be great as cut flowers though and from experience last year the scent on two of them is divine. This patch will be filled with lots of annual favourites and a few other bits and bobs to keep me in flowers all year long (more to come on this shortly).
Most of my morning however was spent planting potatoes with the help of two furry friends. Tomos and Hermione, rescued farm cats from a nearby farm, are our smallholding pest control however they’re far too inquisitive for their own good and love to “help” in the garden whenever they can.
After attending a local potato day a few months back at Harper Adams University my first earlies were ready to meet our wonderfully fertile and free draining soil. After chitting away in one of the outhouses, four varieties were planted in the space where the chicken run sat last year. The soil here is wonderfully fertile as you can imagine but there are a few nettles remaining and so I immediately thought that this was the spot for potatoes to rule and shade out the perennial weeds. This year I’ve opted for spuds I’ve never grown before and I have a total of 10 varieties to plant. Today saw me plant the following 1st early varieties:
- Amandine – A lovely long oval potato with a waxy yellow flesh which is derived from ‘Charlotte’.
- BF15 – Largely picked because it had a bit of mystery surrounding it. This is a salad variety discovered as a seedling of ‘Belle de Fontenay’.
- Epicure – A well known 1st early with white round tubers.
- Leontine – Labelled as a new variety this salad potato is derived from ‘Nicola’ and has yellow skin and flesh.
I also finally set up the new hosepipe for the vegetable garden that’s been sitting in my house for the last month or so. Really easy to set up, I simply attached it to the wood shed and we were ready to go. I love the look of this hose compared to the usual garish green or yellow offerings from other brands. Modern, slimmer and more masculine I’m hoping it will pass the test of time and serve me well in the vegetable garden, greenhouse and orchard.