Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Progress Report 6-6-6

As it is such an unusual day, numerically speaking, I thought I'd just mark the day with some shots of what the progress is in the old Whitelees garden.

Here is a shot of my dog, Polly being mental on the grass in front of the compost bins (black plastic barrel thingies) The white rope stuff is the new line for when the oil tank gets installed. The new oil tank is going to go behind the compost bins.

Polly is trying to roll over and eat grass at the same time. She's a good natured dog, but sometimes I don't think she's very bright.

This is an over all shot of the vegetable plot. It is small, but then I don't have much space to play with at the moment.

From front to back the order goes like this: Strawberries (under net) green beans, runner or pole beans, sweet peas and a lone pumpkin plant, broccoli, cabbage, peas, 2 rows of lettuce, more peas and then sweet corn.

These are the bean frames. I've weighted down some black plastic under the frames to inhibit weeds (and work). The first year I planted lettuce under the frames as the lettuce is fast growing and would be harvested before the beans grew enough to shade the area under the frames. However, the songbird population needed to perch on the bean frames and there were too many bird droppings on the lettuces for my taste. Blue Lake green beans on the right and Fergie runner beans on the left.

Frost damage on the beans - the reason why you should never plant out early in Scotland. End of May means END of May and not the 30th. Sheesh!

This is where the sweet peas grow. They're not vegetables, but I have them in the garden every year. The sole pumpkin plant is behind the two sweet pea constructions. Trust me, it's there.

Next up is the two rows of purple sprouting broccoli and the cabbages. They would be bigger if the chickens hadn't pecked them. Chickens are the most destructive things in a vegetable garden right after herd of cows!

Next, the peas. I love garden peas. Again, there are gaps in the rows courtesy of those pesky chickens. I have replanted the gaps. I have short (1.5 foot) plastic fencing held up with garden canes to support the peas as they grow.

I won't really give the lettuces their own photo. They haven't even germinated yet. I only planted them on the weekend.

This is the sweet corn. I know it looks weedy, but I have a plan with those particular weeds. That is the bindweed and it is terrible. The weeds were under plastic and didn't have the grace to die. When I removed the black plastic ground cover to plant the corn and discovered this still living weed life, I sprayed it. As it is a systemic weed killer and will take 14 days to work, I decided that it would be perfectly okay to plant the corn amongst the doomed weeds. See how lovingly the garden has been watered?

On to the greenhouse -

To greet us at the door of the small greenhouse is my dear little bit of rosemary. Rosemary can sometimes live through the winter here, but mine never did until I put it in a frost resistant pot and over wintered it inside the unheated greenhouse.

This is the first of the tomato plants, variety Red Robin. I discovered too late to start again that this is a miniature plant. It is too wee for my tastes.

This beauty is a plum tomato, a great "cooker" and not bad to eat either.

Here is the coriander/cilantro. It seems to be quite vigorous already. I bet by the time we get back from our vacation it will have bolted and gone to seed. It seems that one end of the grow bag is a bit thin on the coriander. I bet it was watered too fiercely and the seed was washed to the other side of the grow bag.

This is the basil - or as I like to think of it, the pesto-to-be. Remember when the dog walked through the grow bag? I had to rearrange the basil seedlings to sort out the disarray.

Just in case you were wondering, the other herbs I use in the Whitelees kitchen grow here on the south side of the house. Flat leafed parsely self-seeds here. The thyme seems to have been swamped by marjoram and purple sage. The rest of this bed has been taken over by mint. Mint is a real thug of a plant and must be yanked up all the time. Pulling it up is easy and very fresh smelling.

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