....the season has opened. March 1st (St David's Day) has passed and as my ties with the Northeast become progressively weaker so my Welsh connections grow stronger. Leek soup and lots of daffodils. There's tidy.
Actually, thinking about it, leeks are a nice linkage between the Northeast and Wales. Emblematic of both areas. And I never fail to grow leeks, and have never failed in my growing of leeks, if you see the subtle difference between those statements. Anyway, enough of this rootsy stuff (rootsy! well, it is an allotment blog!); this is all by way of introducing a surge of activity to to get the Great Plant Factory up and running again.
The greenhouse has just been ticking over during the winter, as they do, with a paraffin heater to keep the frost out. But it was also home to a big batch sowing of winter salads made in mid-November, as well as over-wintering Geraniums and vernalising Garlic. All those salads survived the heavy weather and have begun to grow a bit faster, so today they've all been ripped unseemly from their comfy beds and transplanted. They'll be feeling it a bit today and will need a bit of nursing through an imminent cold patch but this is the earliest I've ever been with a viable salad crop. The trick, which I traditionally fail at, will be to maintain successional sowings throughout the year. Ask me again in Octember.
So here it is (Merry Xmas, everybody's having fun - oops, sorry, tripped over a timewarp there). From front to back there are Radicchio, assorted Petunias & Fuchsias, Spicy Green Mix (Spicy Green Mick's Sustainable Oirish Curry, bedad), Winter Gem lettuce, Mizuna & Rocket, in the so-this-season pink pots, followed by Trailing Gerontiums, Lobelia, Impatiens and yet more Geraniums in various gay hues, mostly red, as well as the dozen or so which over-wintered successfully. Yes, we (strictly speaking, I) do like Geraniums.
And on the right-hand side, behold the overwintered Geraniums and a reek (the new collective noun) of Garlic, fetchingly out-of-focus.
Quietly holding centre-back position is of course Dinosaur Tree - my Wollemi Pine - who has come through the winter completely unscathed (well, he did miss the worst of the cold by taking shelter in the garage). I'm very proud of him and looking forward to seeing what he does this year.
Meanwhile, in Seeds Corner, I opened the batting with Tomatoes (x6 varieties), Chillies, Leeks (Seville - baby variety). They're all in the conservatory or a heated propagator in the garage. Phew, time for a quick G&T, methinks.
LATER - supping it now. Ahh.