The diary of two novice gardeners and allotmenteers

Chris and Steve's Weblog – City Chickens

Monthly Archive: May 2009

Lettuce Delicato

lettuce delicato

Yesterday was a lovely warm day but as Rob had to work a double shift he wasn’t home until 7.45pm. We went straight down to the plots when he got back and spent a nice hour watering the plants that are under cover and the seedlings then planting more pumpkins, five Cauliflower Moby Dick, five Cabbage Kilaton F1 and twenty five Lettuce Delicato. We brought home a bag of salad leaf and a few globe raddish to go with our very late evening meal.

cauli moby dickcabbage kilaton F1

Duckling Surprise

Look for the small things in life to bring joy. (Confucius)

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We had given up on any ducklings from Jemima and Puddles as most of their eggs have been infertile. However, this morning, to my great surprise one of the eggs had pipped and by this evening we had a beautiful baby duck. I have already bought some duck eggs from ebay and they should arrive tomorrow. The bought ones are mixed colours so we don’t know what to expect. Waiting for Libbie to come up with a name for the new baby now.

A Productive Week

Robs week off is almost at an end and we have done most of the jobs we wanted to do despite the heavy rain that fell most of last week.  Yesterday and today have been much warmer with brilliant sunshine. The pumpkin bed has been dug and planted up. Twenty six brassicas have been planted and another cage built to house the plants ordered from Marshalls. The first of the Butternut Squash is in place. All the runner beans are in. More seeds have been sown. All in all it has been a very productive week. The heavy rain was helpful in one respect as the ground has been very soft and so easier to hammer in the wooden lathes we needed in the building of the new fruit cage. We have used strong plastic tubes to build the side walls and attached the plastic covered wire netting that the original cage was made of. This will enable the bees and butterflies to get in and the finer netting on the top will keep out the birds whilst being easily visible to them so they don’t get tangled in it. Some fruit cages are covered in almost invisible netting which can snare a bird. The bottom edge has been built up with panels from our old fence from home just to stop weeds from creeping into the cage and stop the strawberry runners from straying onto the path. The wooden lathes have been used inside and out to strengthen the side panels and capture the netting. This morning we started to put the main net covering on the top. My brother has found us some nine foot steel rods which we have used at several points to strengthen the main construction. Hopefully we shall be finishing the top netting this evening when it will be a little cooler.

Torrential Rain and More to Come.

After a day of torrential rain the weather finally cleared up enough for us to pop down to the plots and install the second Cucumber Carmen in the lean to. The first plant is still surviving despite the cold spell we have had. We had a walk round to check on everything and so far no disasters and all the mini greenhouses are is still standing. We bought home the first of the pointed cabbage and some chard. Most of the seeds we sowed are through and the potatoes are doing really well. Rob is off work next week so we hope that the weather will allow is to complete the new fruit cage, plant the runner beans and get some pumpkins and squash into the ground.

Back at home the melon seedling have been turfed out of the broody box to make way for seven new chicks, the final count of the hatch is two Pekins and five Orpington bantams. There is still a lot of potting on to do as the seedlings of pumpkins, butternut squash, tomatoes, lettuce, sweet corn, melons and pak choi are all crying out for attention.

Red Letter Day

Today is a special day as it is twenty five years since Rob joined Royal Mail. He has hardly had a day off sick in all that time and I am very proud of him. Twenty five years has seen him change from a young man into a wonderful Grandad.

 

Jasminum Officinale & Clematis Warsaw Nike

 

jasmine

Today I treated myself to two climbers from Sainsbury’s. A Jasmine and a Clematis. Jasmine is one of the first plants that comes to mind when thinking of fragrance for the garden. Both have been planted in the garden behind the picket fence to protect them from ducks, chickens and bunnies. They should look good against the new fence. The Clematis is a large flowering variety called Warsaw Nike. A single jasmine vine can perfume an entire room or garden. It is a sprawling, twining deciduous shrub, usually pruned heavily to keep its size contained. The foliage is slightly downy with pinnate leaves. The flowers are white and fragrant, flowering  from early summer to autumn.

 

clematis

A late, large-flowered clematis that produces rich, velvety-purple flowers freely in midsummer and usually a second flush will appear in September. An easy-to-grow climber that’s great for a sunny wall.