Slow painting

Monday 30 April 2012

Beauty and the Beast

The 'Beauty' was very lovely, if short-lived.  Is there anything more evocative of the fleeting joy of Spring than plum blossom? 

The 'Beast' is the tree bearing this blossom.  I had such good intentions when I planted a dwarf rootstock plum several years ago, but the whole pruning and training regime has been too much for the limited time I have to spend on it.   On the positive side I do manage to prune in summer, which I gather avoids the tree bleeding to death.  The training regime however has been feeble.  What we should have done was to fix wires into the wall before planting the tree.  The mish-mash of bamboo canes which we used instead was no match for the will power of this dwarf.  

Now it goes its own sweet way.  I'm waiting to see where it goes next.  This year's blossom has been the most profuse yet, which is encouraging.  A few more plums would be welcome - last year a total of 2 made it through to ripening, and the wasps got those before we did.

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Getting going

At last - some growth.  I have B&Q to thank for the kick-start.  They had healthy looking packs of vegetable seedlings.  I've never grown broad beans, but had a hankering to try.  (and yes, those are unorganic slug pellets.  Has anyone used the wool pellets that swell up when wet and are meant to deter slugs and snails?  I'm looking for alternatives.)

We're still clearing up from the winter, in minimal time.  Could someone please give me an extra day a week?

Below, the 'before' bed where the fork and bucket are.  The mist, by the way, is actual mist rather than camera error.  A good thick 'haar' (sea fog).

The following day, broad beans in place with anti pigeon netting.

Look at the warm Spring light in the shot above.  We planted the beans at the start of the recent warm spell, when temperatures shot up to 21 degrees.  Since then we've been away, and won't get back to the plot until this weekend.  Meantime temperatures have returned to a more normal 3 degrees, complete with gales, snow and hail. 

And just to continue with my green manure fixation, here's the current state of the one patch of grazing rye that came through.  It's getting on for 3 feet high now.  All I need is something to graze it.