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Sweet April Showers

"Sweet April showers Do spring May flowers."
Thomas Tusser, A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry, 1557

Well it’s the end of April now and the last week has been a mixture of sun and showers as you would expect. But we also had hailstones which was a bit worrying. Let’s hope the weather will help our seeds and cuttings grow, ready for the garden. Still waiting for some bark to go down round the garden before we put tubs out though.

Lots to do, so I got going with some more veg seeds this week. Following the idea of planting by the moon I have focused on planting seeds that grow above ground. So it’s been varieties of French Beans and Runner Beans mainly. I’ve sown some French Marigolds too, to be used as companion plants. I find these really useful for keeping greenfly away. I’ve also re-sown the cucumber and tomato seeds that were destroyed last week. The potato tub is doing well and I’ve earthed up the greenery that’s come through.

The first slugs are being spotted in the garden and they have already started munching a couple of our plants. In an attempt to find the best way to stop them, I’ve started by sowing some of the seed mix designed to repel them. Initially the seeds have been put in the tub of rhubarb. The rhubarb isn’t growing as well as I’d hoped, though. I think it is suffering from being too wet.

I’m still doing some tidying up in the garden itself. I’m dead heading our winter violas to keep them going a bit longer. The raised bed is full of crocus leaves now the flowers have gone. So these are going to be removed ready for some new plants. It would be nice to have some new volunteers to look after this patch. And they wouldn’t even have to bend down!

We’ve received quite a few plant and pot donations in the last couple of weeks. It seems that people are clearing excess plants from their gardens and we are benefiting. We’ve received a few herbs, honeysuckle, salvia and Peruvian lilies this week, so quite a mixture.

I’ve noticed quite a few spiders taking up residence in the bug hotel, along with some other creepy crawlies. We still don’t have a name for the hotel, but I am pleased to see some names have been put forward. There’s still another week to make your suggestions by popping them into the box in the book tree, or by putting them on our Facebook page. I’m really looking forward to the official opening next month.

Talking of the book tree, we urgently need more books for the under 5’s. A lot of preschool children use the garden when the weather is good. So we always need books for them. Just pop them onto the bottom shelf in the tree if you have any you don’t need any more.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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