Well the sunshine may have been short lived (now turned to drizzle) but the birds are still in good voice outside. I have just spent a very enjoyable hour in the garden planting out Jerusalem artichokes and Chinese artichokes (no relation to each other or to globe artichokes).
Now I have spent a few years growing perennial veggies I am finding out what works best for me and growing more of them. I have saved some Jerusalem artichokes from last year (in fact I have not yet dug them all anyway) but wanted more plants than my own saved tubers are likely to produce. So I have bought another twenty and planted them out this morning. They are in a sunnier spot that last year, amongst a whole variety of other veggies and pictures of how they get on will no doubt appear later in the year.
Likewise with the Chinese artichokes, I want to grow more and in a sunnier location. I have dotted them in clumps all over the place; as always happens there were more than I had “room for”. But room has been made in amongst other things and some have gone into pots and flower beds to see what happens.
I planted both of these sets of tubers by making only very small holes; deep enough, but not wide, quite like the way I plant daffodil bulbs. In the process I cleared away some things that were in the way. This included nettles which are my garden’s friend but they need to be kept in place or they become too rampant.
All the while I had the delightful accompaniment of heart lifting birdsong. In the same spring like vein a number of plants are stirring. These are mainly in the onion family – garlic, shallots, perennial leeks, three cornered leeks and others – they are all sending out bright green shoots. There is also lamb’s lettuce which has been growing (self sown) since Christmas and we have been eating the thinnings for weeks, field beans are appearing and the greens especially the kales are looking grateful for the mild cool, damp weather.
Although there have been a few light frosts this winter continues to seem unseasonally mild, but at least it has been raining to replenish the soil water. The mild weather has encouraged flowers to appear in unusual combinations and today there are winter jasmine, snowdrops, crocus, daffodils, primrose, camellia (!), hellebore and clove pinks all in flower. I will leave you with a picture of the bright green of the lamb’s lettuce (with a shallot poking through the centre) and a robust nine star perennial broccoli!