Saturday, 19 February 2011

Leeks and Lobelia

I had a few minutes spare today between having lunch with Hazel and getting ready for the running club.  So I got on with planting February seeds for the garden.  The first step was to push the January seedlings, well the leeks anyhow, out onto the potting bench in the garage (perhaps we should refer to that as the 'potting shed', eh?).  The lobelia didn't look very hardy yet, so I left it indoors.

I also made a wish list of veg and flowers to grow so that we can look for seeds we don't already have.  Grainger Market in Newcastle is an easily accessible place for Bill to shop for these.  Come to think of it, one could pretty much live out of Grainger Market, almost like we did for a while out of Tynemouth Fleamarket.

I noticed The Oregon Cottage invited people to link if they had garden organising ideas to share.  I got interested in her blog remembering that I turned down a job in Portland to come to England and also thinking that Oregon's weather might be similar to here.  Turns out Washington's weather is possibly more similar, but I've not found a Washington garden blog yet.  Anyhow, I could have shown her my Excel spreadsheets with notes from various gardening books and columns for month to sow indoors, outdoors, or harvest.  I could have shown her the coloured-in chart where a square represented another square (a la Square Foot Gardening).  I could even have shown the re-cycled Christmas card envelopes, labelled by month with packets of seeds filed by when to sow.  But did I?  No.  So far, the latter idea is the only one I'm actually using this year.  Paper and pen is often more practicable than computers, strangely enough.

Anyhow, the nasturtium, alyssium, delphinium, the marigold, lavender and stock seeds have all been sown.  For food, the only seeds I had on hand for February were Brussels sprouts, dwarf beans and cucumbers.  I can't remember ever growing or harvesting cucumbers before.

We watch a TV programme the other night about the history of Britain's parks.  This was Bill's idea and whilst it was pleasant enough I wouldn't call it an exactly riveting show.  I did appreciate the little tidbit about the Victory Gardens at one of the London parks - can't remember if it was Hyde or Regents.  You probably know that during WWII food shortages in Britain were desperate (people were the healthiest weight ever, actually) and the government encouraged people to grow food in Victory Gardens.  Anyhow, one end of this London park was turned into thousands of plots, quite large ones, where foods were grown.  Apparently growing asparagus and cucumbers was banned.  The first because it took too much space and time to produce, the second because it provided no nutrition.

That's what I like about cucumbers, actually.  Something crunchy with no calories to speak of.  Have you got any gardening projects? 

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