The garden in may

If you follow me on flickr, you may have already seen some of these pictures.

This is the first year that the garden stayed green all winter long, thanks to some plants such as perpetual spinach, kale, corn salad and parsley. A quick and cheap way to have greenery in winter is to buy one pot of parsley from the supermarket and plant them everywhere (there are usually about 20 plants or more in a single pot). Parsley is very hardy and you can harvest it all winter long. Plant them before it gets cold so that they have time to establish (I usually try to plant them after I have pulled out my tomato plants, in the same pots or raised beds with added fish/blood/bone fertiliser to revitalise the soil).

Also some plants did not die, which makes me happy as it means I won’t have to buy new ones this year. I am particularly happy with the lemon verbena, vietnamese coriander and rose scented geranium (all 3 were bought from Sarah Raven last year).

Beginning of may:

This is the small raised bed behind the peach tree. The tulips were finished and the perennial wallflower plants were lovely.

DSCN0126The midget apple tree is full of flowers (and now have loads of fruits). It is underplanted with strawberries.

DSCN0127The columnar cherry tree is also flowering.

DSCN0130The wisteria is flowering for the 1st time. I want to keep it as a standard tree so need to prune it more.

DSCN0152End of may:

Seedlings are being hardened off during the day and go back indoor at night.

I want to have lots of beetroot this year so have sown plenty of them.DSCN0238I also want some melons and watermelons so have sown more than usual in case some don’t make it.

DSCN0235The berries in the backgarden raised bed grew lots of super long branches so I had to train them horizontally on some bamboo canes above the mini wall. The plant with the purple flowers is a comfrey, I use the leaves to make a liquid feed for my other plants.

DSCN0213Some volunteer colombine and pineapple mint in the spring onion pots.

DSCN0215A corner of the garden near the pink potting shed.

DSCN0217Only one fruit on the apricot tree I planted last year.

DSCN0233A corner of the back garden. The big cherry tree is full of fruit. And the red flesh apple tree also has plenty of fruits.

DSCN0210I love this cotinus grace. I have never pruned it so it stays airy.

DSCN0241I lost 2 fruit trees in the side yard (due to a drainage problem) so will replace them but this time they will go into a big pot in the same spot. The opal plum from Aldi has some fruits on it, can’t wait to taste them.

DSCN0228And finally, this geranium maderense that I have sown from a seed is flowering for the 1st time.

DSCN0222How is your garden this spring?

 

Aldi fruit trees 2014 rootstock

As you may know, Aldi is selling some fruit trees this week. I have bought some from them in the past (peach, cherry, apple, pear, plums) and have been happy about their quality. I have also bought other trees from other suppliers, some costing 10 times more than the Aldi ones. In my experience, the Aldi fruit trees are as good as the more expensive ones, so I went and bought 2 more Aldi trees this week (czar and opal plums). The labels on my trees say that they will grow up to 3 metres. I’ve temporarily planted them in a 55cm pot until my garden buddy is able to come to help me plant them in the ground.

aldi fruit trees

I know that a lot of people with small gardens or allotments want to know what rootstock are used on the Aldi trees, so I contacted them and this is their answer (unedited):

Apples, – These will be budded onto a “M26” rootstock, which will fruit earlier.

Cherry, – These are budded on to “Colt” rootstock which has uniformed growth pattern, it is semi vigorous and will not grow too large.

Pear, – These are budded on to a “Quince A” rootstock which is a virus free example.. Williams Pear – Pyrus Communis

Plums, – Will be budded onto a “St Julian A” root stock or a “Myrobolane” root stock these are virus free and semi vigorous growing.

I will grow my trees as standard and will prune them if they get to big. While looking for ideas on how to fit more trees in a small garden, I stumbled upon the picture below (the fruit trees used in the picture are from Lidl, so I am sure that you can also get the same results with Aldi trees). I would love to do this somewhere in my front garden.

criss cross cordon fruit treesPhoto via www.pinterest.com/pin/134545107591887908

In my own garden, I finished weeding the front garden and have planted lots of tulip bulbs there. There is still lots of tidying up to do in the side yard and back garden, and I am going to start sowing seeds indoor this week-end.

On the sewing side, I finally sewed a cover for my sewing business diary/planner. It’s an A4 size and I used a fabric called Giverny Wildflowers (by Kate Spain/Moda) for the outside, and the lining is made with a paisley fabric (by Wendy Bentley/Timeless Treasures). If you fancy sewing one for yourself, there is a very good tutorial on Lara Cameron Design Blog.

handmade sewing diary planner cover sewing diary planner cover

By the way, thank you so much to those who have ordered from my new shop. You can still get free delivery this month. I’ve set up the shop to have prices in pounds but I am now wondering if I should change them to dollars as a good majority of my customers are international. Also, payment is processed by paypal but I wonder if I should sign up to direct checkout which only accepts debit and credit cards. For those who have a bigcartel shop, do you have any advices for me regarding those 2 issues? For my etsy shop, direct checkout and paypal are offered and I have noticed that most buyers use the direct checkout.

I’m also in the process of re-working my packaging, and have ordered some new business cards from Overnightprints. I’ve used Vistaprint and Moo before, but found out that Overnightprints offer better prices, I paid £32.16 (VAT and shipping included) for 500 double side cards. I am very happy with the quality of the cards.

business cards handmadewithjoy business card

This week, I have enjoyed:

* watching Sean’s allotment garden 2013 movie on youtube

* reading Creating Money by Sanaya Roman

*doing a meditation on magnetizing business for self employed people by Orin / Sanaya Roman