A spring clean for the May queen.

Another beautiful month has come to an end in our garden.  Most of it has been spent clearing the vegetable beds, weeding and strimming the grass.

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We have a huge fondness for Aquilegias and grow different varieties like William Guiness and Nora Barlow. They have crossed and self-seeded so now we are enjoying a wide variety of blooms resembling their parents to various degrees. May is really the month when they shine in the garden.

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We have harvested onions and many greens including perpetual spinach and Turkish rocket in the past month. It is very rewarding to grow perennial vegetables and because the plants are already established, so there is less chance of slug damage. We love chard so have planted quite a lot of it.

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Our corn was planted out mid month and now about 50 of the 60 plants are growing strong. We planted field corn saved two years ago of the variety Fiesta. They are a lot hardier and better suited to our climate then sweet corn. So far the weather has been great with sunshine and showers all through the past month and a few really warm days to bring on great growth in the garden. From the blossom early in the month, berries and fruit have now set in large amounts.

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Across our stream the roses and honeysuckles have settled in nicely and are starting to cover their supports in beautiful blooms.

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Our ponds are full of tadpoles and newts and by the end of the month the first tiny frogs, the size of a small fingernail were spotted hopping about the garden.

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Our main circle has many perennials growing around it so is getting easier and easier to maintain with each passing year. The shrubs are growing bigger and flowering more profusely and add structure and height to our plantings. Many of them have edible berries as well.

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We are spending a lot of time preparing the garden for the Open day for Amnesty on the 15th of July. Some jobs have had to be postponed, like finishing of our roundhouse roof where it connects to the cottage. We have swallows nesting under the roof edge, and already they have four endlessly hungry mouths to feed. They will no doubt have another brood later so all the work on the roof will now have to wait until autumn. But we don’t mind as swallows nesting is considered good luck and we have plenty to do without working on the roof. Like moving a few tons of sand and manure and planting 25 trees and building a herb spiral and finishing of our tree house and making another stumpery and planting more onions and so on…

Please wish us luck in having as much as possible ready for the open day on the 15th of July and if you are around please come and enjoy the day with us and help support Amnesty’s important work.



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