Sunday, 5 April 2009

Plants in the spring

Posted by Enys
Finally got some time to write in the blog, having completely forgotten how it's done and having to e-mail Helen to remind me how to. The whole of one side of the green house is full of seedling at various stages of development (I have allowed my husband to grow his tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and various other plants, he's very long suffering!) although I must admit I seem to have at least 3/4 of the space. The persicaria is growing really well, Helen has taken photos of them 60 +, Chinese woad - 3 trays of 20 per tray, lots of Coreopsis, Anthemis tinctoria, Carthamus tinctorus - the first time I tried growing Carthamus it was a failure 3 plants which didn't thrive at all, this year all the seeds germinated and have been potted on. Three weeks of panic - no sign of the madder, three trays of compost greeting me and nothing growing until a few days ago and now they are sprouting up in all the trays, guess they just needed some of the warm sun that we've had this last week, so that's really great. The Echium vulgare are already potted on, and the Indigofera tinctoria -already 4 seedling showing. Gallium verum, Cosmos, Woad are also coming along well. Baptisia Australis has overwintered in the greenhouse so I've got some really strong plants to put out in the main garden, Asclepeas tuberosa also overwinted well along with Anthemis tinctoria, Coreopsis and one Weld which was growing on the floor, it's now in its own pot and looking very happy.
I kept 2 Chinese woad plants in the greenhouse for the winter to make sure that I would get seed and they are now flowering. The Chinese woad overwintered in the garden and promptly got eaten by the rabbits (3 of which are now in my freezer- the rabbits not the woad!) But it is growing again. The rabbits are a real pest, I have no problem with slugs, snails or any other pest except the pheasants in the Autumn when the gamekeeper lets out the young birds, they tend to eat the veg and some plants. We are now going to have to net a vast area of the garden- b....y nuisance. Fortunately my other garden behind the house has not yet been discovered by the rabbits so the Chinese woad was safe there. My wonder dog Cariad (German Shepherd) loves to chase them but being a sheepdog is not into killing just trying to herd them, they don't even have to run very fast to get away from her. Back to plants, there are not enough hours in the day now, , everything is growing so it's the busiest time, potting on, planting, watering. Weeds growing really well, turn your back and the dandelions are back. I've got a real problem with bindweed, not the big white flowered one, but the small pink flowered one, very pretty but not when it chokes my plants. Sadly rabbits do not eat weeds. Some of these plants (not the bindweed) will go into Helen's garden and I've just revamped a small part of mine approx. 40 metres x 4 metres, I'll take some photos and post them for next time. Back to work. Dog walk- plant - dog walk and so on the pattern of my days, + the odd days when I work in other gardens.


  1. It is so nice to read about dyeplants, and to see Helens photos of them earlier.
    I hope you sell a lot of them.

  2. hi Enys,

    I consider myself lucky that so far rabbits don't seem to like our garden (we have three dogs "patrolling" and one of them is a real chaser...). the downside is that she tends to run straight through my beds when trying to catch offenders (mostly birds).... you can't win them all:)) it looks like everything is growing away nicely for you, good luck with all of those plants!

  3. I am fine too with regard to rabbits,although we used to have them but now all the land around our house has been built so perhaps keeps the rabbits away. Enys to is is surrounded by open fields.

  4. Enys, I am very impressed by your well organised greenhouse and the range of different dye plants you are growing.

    We have more hares in the vicinity than rabbits and they don't come in our garden. However we get badgers digging holes and moles pushing things up from underneath.

    The biggest problem I have had is slugs gobbling up woad seedlings, this year there seem to be less slugs, but I hope that wood pigeons won't eat them like they do other cabbage family plants.