Potager Garden: Beetroot, chives, carrots, onions and a helpful ladybird

We spent Sunday building our second large raised bed, which involved moving a lot of bedding plants around to create the space, and then we started to transplant the larger of our seedlings into pots and borders.   This is when having a big family of enthusiastic children really helps!   Just two more raised beds to build now before summer.

This morning the bright sunshine had woken up all of the beetroot and chamomile seeds …

… and the chives have started to flower in the garden.  This large, thriving plant was last year’s tiny seedling.

I am so pleased to see the little maple that we planted last year back in leaf.

The pickling onions, which have been growing outside from seed in a large pot, are looking promising …

… and we can now see the tops of our container-grown carrots.

Last week, I took our french beans out of the kitchen, and placed them on the patio.  The next morning I was dismayed to find that they were covered in flies, swarming over the leaves.  As we are organic gardeners, I started to search the internet for solutions but I needn’t have worried; within hours a large fat ladybird was taking care of the problem for us!

Happily, fresh new leaves are now starting to grow.

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Potager Garden: Cabbages, Sunflowers and Fuchsia … the start of May in the garden

We spent our bank holiday hiking in Staffordshire in search of wild garlic, however we are now back and tending to the garden.

We have been getting all of our late winter and early spring baby plants settled outside, and making room for lots of new seedling trays in the kitchen.  Any sudden frosts and I’ll move all of the pots back indoors overnight, but the end of the cold snaps is almost in sight!

Today our silver birch burst into full leaf…

… and the courgette leaves have changed from tiny seedlings just a few weeks ago …

… to the size of lily pads!  I love the veins in the leaves when the sun shines through them and how the bright orange petals gracefully open and close each day – to me, vegetables plants are every bit as beautiful as ornamental flowers.

Our brussels sprouts are now too large to be troubled by slugs, which prefer to munch on younger baby leaves.  They are growing in a sheltered spot, which will provide protection and support against winter gales, once they have (fingers crossed!) grown into towering structures later in the year.  The leaves are recognisably like brussels now.

The cabbages, too, are fending off the slugs well now – and because our raised bed is quite close to a large buddleia, which butterflies love to swarm over, I’ve added nets as protection against Cabbage Whites laying their eggs there.  I also have many nasturtium seedlings on the way, as they provide a great distraction for pests too.

We have fuchsias growing all over our garden, grown from cuttings my mum gave me when we first moved here, and we spotted our very first fuchsia flower of 2017 today.  I can never quite believe that such an elegant, delicate-looking bloom is so hardy and easy to look after.  It grows in abundance without any help whatsoever, I just cut it back almost to the ground once a year.

And finally, I’ll leave you today with one of our sunflowers … which are looking far happier outside than they ever did in the kitchen!  These are a dwarf variety, that provide a spectrum of orange and yellow flowers.  Meanwhile the giant sunflower seeds have just started to germinate on the windowsill.

We hope everyone is having a lovely start to May 🙂

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Commission Enquiries: tinypotager@hotmail.com