Finally made it back to the allotment today after over a week, and what a glorious day it was! We didn't spend as much time there as I would've liked, but we did manage to dig and manure the bean and pea patch (we'll plant the peas later on in the week), start clearing some other areas, and do a few other bits and pieces.
I painstakingly planted out a row of tiny parsnip seedlings - unorthodox I know (aren't I always?) but after last year's disastrous results I decided to take drastic measures. This goes against all the instructions on the seed packet but I wanted to try it as an experiment anyway, so I sowed the seeds in the greenhouse back in Feb (where I got tremendous germination success!) and they've been out in the garden for a few weeks getting used to the cold. Don't worry; I'll sow another row in boring old April like a good girl...
I also planted another two bulbs of garlic in some spare space along the edge of the strawberry patch. My plan has always been to dot the garlic around, since it has such beneficial effects on the soil and insect-repellent properties too, so I've just been sticking it in wherever there's room. I wanted to plant the majority in among the tomatoes but at this rate it'll be ages before the ground over there is ready, so they're in a trough at home at the moment, just beginning to sprout. What an exciting sight that was this morning!
Most exciting today, however, were the goings-on in the pond!
Our tadpoles are hatched, and there are all kinds of other new signs of life too!
I'm thinking these are just snail eggs, but does anyone know? There are some very tiny fishy-looking-things as well - though I don't think fish could have got into our pond by themselves (and I don't really want them either!) - some mayfly and damselfly nymphs, and something that looked a bit like beansprouts; little blobby bodies suspended motionless a few inches below the surface with their tails dangling beneath them...
I made the most of the weather and got busy in the garden this morning too while I was waiting for Eddie to get up (I told him he could sleep in today because I'm going to work him so hard for the rest of our week off, muhahahaa!) The place is still a mess, but I managed to pot up my other two roses, start some sunflower seeds, rearrange the greenhouse a bit, and finally plant some of the lily and dwarf gladiolus bulbs that have been sitting in bags in my kitchen for weeks now. And weren't they raring to go! The pure white shoots of this lily were beautiful!
As I said, we've both got a week off this week, so expect a lot of posts. It's due to rain tomorrow and we have indoor-stuff to do, but next sunny day we plan to sow some peas and get started on the rest of the beds.
For now I'll leave you with this photograph, which confused me no end! Do click for a closer look:
Have they introduced new tadpole-sized bottles of coke? No! It took me ages to figure out, but it's a reflection of a coke bottle upturned on a garden cane nearby!