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But I must gather knots of flowers

'But I must gather knots of flowers, And buds and garlands gay, For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.' - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Well I was never a May Queen, but it’s nearly May Day, once called Beltane in more pagan times. And it’s almost like the garden is celebrating. There’s lots of new growth and some plants are in flower. I keep coming across lovely things in unexpected places. For example I keep finding colourful weeds amongst the grass. And dinosaur world has alpines that are doing well and are about to flower. Finches and blackbirds are eating seeds and worms while I work. The pots of bulbs are still going well. I love the ‘suffragette tub’ by the raised bed, with it’s purple, white and green colour scheme.

The veg garden is slowly expanding. With one of our beautifully decorated tubs now planted with some young pea plants (bingo variety) that I started off on a window ledge. I’ve added some extra seeds into the soil too as I expect to lose a few to the slugs. It will also hopefully mean we can be picking peas for longer as the plants will be at different stages. Talking of slugs I’ve added some anti slug plant seeds to the tub too. It’s a mixed pack of seeds whose flowers are supposed to repel slugs. Not convinced, but I’ll try anything. And for contrast I’ve sown a rainbow variety of carrot seed in the tub too. Looking forward to seeing multi-coloured carrots this year.

I have been doing extra sessions in the garden as there is so much to do. I’ve pulled out the remains of the crocus and dead geraniums in the raised bed and planted a few bedding plants. I’ve thinned the bulbs out, leaving plenty in for next year whilst collecting a supply to plant around the garden in the autumn.

I’ve done lots of repotting which seems to be making plants a lot happier. I am reusing compost as much as possible as I hate waste. I mix it with some new compost, plant food and water granules. The water granules are important as we have no water supply in the garden. I keep an eye out for any of those dreaded weevils in the soil though. None found so far.

We’ve just received the first 2 bags of shredded bark for the garden. The 10-12pm volunteer session on Fri was spent putting it along the wall at one side of the garden. It looks so much better and will hopefully suppress the weeds that keep growing there. We will be receiving more bag loads over the next week or so, for the other edges of the garden. So we need volunteers to help with this, and giving the plants a good water and feed too.

It’s lovely to see the garden is being used when the weather is good. I often see visitors while I am tidying up and passers-by often comment on how lovely the garden space is. I see visitors of all ages coming in the use the book tree, sitting at the reading circle or just wandering round to look at the plants. Makes all the work worthwhile when you see how much it is appreciated.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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