>Apricot buds and a new cold frame

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One of the good things about writing a garden blog is that I can check back and see how this year compares with last year and the year before.  Spring seems to be late this year, but looking back to last February I can see that the apricot buds are at about the same stage this year, although the daffodils are certainly later.  Last year we had daffodils in flower in time for St David’s day – that won’t happen this year.

DSC01890 DSC01892 The apricot tree should be in flower in a few days’ time.

I sowed some mangetout peas about a month ago and had almost given up hope of the plants appearing.  I thought the seeds had been washed away by some of the heavy rain we’ve had and today I decided to sow some more in the same place.  Luckily I had a close look first because I noticed that they’re coming up at last.  We’ve covered them with chicken wire because the birds seem to like them.

DSC01893 mangetout peas emerging and, right, the garlic doing well. DSC01906 DSC01901 But the daffodils are late this year.

We’ve already got two rustic-looking cold frames in the garden, but our neighbour gave us an old window so Lo Jardinièr decided to make another one – they’ll all come in useful when our pepper and cucumber plants need a bit of protection before being planted out.  He made a base of sand covered with old terracotta floor tiles, made walls with concrete blocks and rested the window on top – very simple.

DSC01904 DSC01907

While he was doing that I sowed another double row of broad beans and a row of spinach.  We lost at least three sowings of spinach to heavy rain in the autumn, each time I re-sowed them there would be another storm and no sign of spinach plants, except for a solitary one which has survived the winter.  We miss having the young spinach leaves in our salads, so we hope to grow some now before the weather gets too hot and dry. 

Today’s harvest:

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Rosemary, thyme and bay, which the garden provides all through the year, whatever the weather, chard, which is just recovering from the cold weather and starting to grow again, and cabbage.

6 thoughts on “>Apricot buds and a new cold frame

  1. >We are practically in the same climate, from what I can tell. The cold frame looks terrific, and I'm going to have to add thyme to my herb list — I have the other two (sometimes a little too much of both!)

  2. >I'm not sure if a plant we've got in the garden is bay or not, I ought to make an effort to smell it! Rosemary and thyme grow wild all over. The new cold frame is more or less identical to my two, only my blocks rest on old sheets of hardboard to keep the mice out.

  3. >Such a nice easy coldframe, and easy to take apart and store when you don't need it. I harvest the same year round herbs also, plus sage, which I dearly love. A month for the mangetouts to appear, I'm surprised the seeds didn't rot, but those look quite healthy. This morning I hear about a terrible storm that hit Europe, I hope you didn't get hit too hard by it.

  4. >It's one of the main reason I started blogging, to check out again how the weather was the year before and the year before that and what I planted when.Spinach doesn't grow with me, and peas with difficulty. Weeds are just faster in the cold weather and in the hot weather they're not very happy either.Why some people here in Italy go around buying rosemary or sage or bay in a supermarket beats me, when it's growing everywhere in abundance!

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