Tuesday 1 May 2018


It's the first of May and the lilac is blooming. Not my favourite flowers but pretty and welcome after another dramatic weather swing from splendidly warm to torrential downpours.

We caught the edge of the rainstorms that covered much of northern France and southern England over the weekend and have been thoroughly soaked by the deluge which also saw temperatures drop to 2C or 3C overnight on Sunday and Monday. The time was spent huddled in front of a fire with the cats but nothing very much was done outside and so we're now still further behind.

The sun returned today, rather weak and with the wind still making it cold. Too wet to dig so I occupied myself with pricking out seedlings. Fifty oca seedlings are already up and on their way from an April Fool's day sowing. They will be joined by more as soon as the next batch of seeds germinate. There were also, somewhat to my surprise fifty seedling potatoes from the true potato seed started at the same time. It's a worry in a way, I've nowhere to put the tuber starts yet and finding homes for another 50 plants is going to be hard, but potatoes from seed have great attraction because you never know what you'll get so there's plenty of novelty to look forward to. Commercial breeders raise thousands before selecting just a few to develop for sale. Most of mine will have little value to them but I might strike lucky and find my blight resistant, hardy chipper. 

Gardening is all swings and roundabouts though, the six globe artichoke plants raised from seed last year and apparently safely through the winter have simply turned up their toes and died in the last two weeks. No idea why, the weather must have something to do with it but the collapse was total. Very discouraging.

Happy Beltane, may the summer join us soon.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Oh no, what a shame about the artichokes! Can you get some plants from somewhere? Exciting about the potatoes though. I had to look up what "true potato seed" means.