We had a call from Cousin Ann this morning in Brisbane, Australia (not Brisbane Illinois). We were claiming how nice the weather is and she trumped our 12 C with her 27 C and its AUTUMN there! Nobody likes a show-off Ann.
12 C is roughly 53 F. 27 C is 82 F. I don't ever remember it being as warm as 27 C/82 F here in Scotland. I'm sure it has occurred in the last 12 years, but I don't remember it. Certainly I don't ever remember having to go in or seek the shade because the sun is a bit strong or even needing a cool drink because the heat is getting to me. I have become acclimatised. 12 C/52 F suits me. In fact, I think it could very well be perfect gardening weather. To check your conversion rates, here is a brilliant site: Conversion
I did some actual gardening in the past couple of days. The amount of work that I have done is small and will not strip me of my self-appointed title of Very Lazy Gardener. That lump of soil that needed to be evened out over the vegetable patch was smoothed and covered. I covered the remaining exposed soil to suppress weeds until I can plant seeds.
I must state at this point that I really hate to weed the garden. I love planting and all it entails. Raking the soil, marking where the rows will go and planting the seeds. I also like harvesting. Its the tending and weeding where I fall short. I have found a way to minimise the weeding process. Black plastic! It's hideous for most of the time. Big sheets of ground cover weighted down with crumbly frost damaged bricks aren't very pretty, however I think weeds look worse.
Have a look at why I use plastic to keep the garden weed free.
This is soil that has been covered with plastic since harvest last autumn. You can see that there isn't a weed to be seen. Sadly covering the soil will not remove stones. I get to do that by hand.
This is soil that has been uncovered for a couple of months and you can see that weeds have started to appear. I levelled this soil today and recovered it to kill these early weeds.
So, after all this levelling and covering, I got to do the fun stuff. Planting!
Every year, I take some bamboo garden canes and tie them into a sort of teepee. This supports one of my favourite flowers. The sweet pea. I have two teepees planted up this year. The first teepee has been planted with variety Blue Velvet with stunning purpley blue flowers (I think that I will call this teepee David Lynch). The second teepee has variety Air Warden, a lovely red variety planted in it. I think the name is evocative of wartime allotments.
You can see that I have kept the rest of the garden covered and weighted. This is due to the vigorous Whitelees weed. It will pop up seemingly overnight.
I also sprayed all the rose bushes that are scattered around the place. Our roses can be quite susceptible to black spot on the leaves. I may get around to planting garden peas tomorrow if the weather holds. Peas are quite frost hardy and I can get away with planting them now. We still have risk of frost until the very end of May. I have tried planting things out earlier, but a late frost or harsh spring winds knock my early efforts back.