Welcome to my world.
Behind these doors, usually open when I'm working in there unless a bitterly cold breeze is wending it's way across the hillside, I spend a good percentage of my time. There are always jobs to be done at the moment. A spot of weeding, which easy work while the only weeds are teeny tiny little things, so I keep on top of it each and every day. Planting seeds, successional sowings are the order of the day now as well as some crops that have had to wait until the days and nights, have gotten consistently warmer for their seeds to be popped into the soil.
And the job I love most ... potting on.
Taking a small seedling with it's first true leaves and popping it into a plant pot of it's very own to grow on without being crowded by neighbouring seedlings. They thrive and grow quickly once they have their own bigger space, it's magical to see.
Would you like to come on a tour ......
As you are looking at the doors of the tunnel this is what is on the right hand side.
First at the back of the tyres a tall silver coloured planter planted up with Jerusalem Artichokes, the tyres have been planted with peas, 'Kelvedon Wonder' is my pea of choice for this year. Two plant pots full of the Ocas that I mentioned in yesterday's post. In front here is a pot of Snowdrops, moved in the green as they were about to be flattened by building work. I will find somewhere safe for the little bulbs to rest the Summer away and save their strength to amaze us with their perseverance next year.
To the very right of the picture is a Genista, we have had to dig up the whole bed that we planted near the fence (see here 8th picture down) as the Magnolia was suffering. We took a leaf to our local nursery and John's expertise told him immediately that the soil is too poor for the plants. All the goodness was being washed down the hillside, past the plants and with no retaining wall is simply washed away, so a bit of care and attention and placing them all somewhere else is the only option.
On the left hand side of the doors, the matching tyres contain more peas, behind them is another silver planter. Currently there are a couple of pots of recovering Primulas sat on the top of it, but nothing actually planted in it. Being nursed back to health on this side is the Magnolia in it's temporary home of a plastic trug, and just peeping it's pretty red flower into shot is the Azalea, also being fed and molly coddled until we erect a fence behind the new entrance wall that will have a flower bed for them all to settle their roots into.
I think we'll have to name this area Mollycoddle Corner ;-)
Would you care to step through the doors .....
We are filling up nicely now, and it's all starting to take shape and look like a proper (and very neat) working polytunnel.
To the left as you step in are the potato plants, they coming along very well and have some new neighbours in the French Marigolds that I have planted here, there and everywhere in the tunnel. You can't beat a bit of their lovely orange brightness that will appear soon, to brighten up the tunnel and also attract beneficial insects and their scent should deter other less welcome visitors.
In the next bed along I have a pea wigwam, just a bit of experimentation to see if peas will like being in the tunnel, I will be able to compare them to their sisters in the tyres. In the same bed, more Marigolds and a few rows of carrot seeds sown directly into the bed. Beyond them the green bottomless pots have my Tomatoes. This year I have a mixture of seeds planted, some red and some yellow tomatoes just odds and sods that I wanted to use up. There is plenty of room in front for a few Rocket plants and some Basil, which grows wonderfully well near tomatoes and of course is delicious to eat with them.
The last bed on this side is full of Beetroot and a pot of Sweet Potatoes that I am trying for the first time.
Switching to the other side and we have the workbench full of seedlings and propagators full of recent sowings. Beneath the 'nursery' section there is first of all an empty bed, then the bed full of Leeks and finally the Radish bed. This is turning into the 'snack' bed, every time I'm working in there I end up eating a few of the big fat fresh Radishes, I just can't resist their peppery loveliness.
Back to this picture to show you the middle.
The first bed is full of Mixed Salad Leaves and Spring Onions, with an single Garlic Plant and three Shallots as another indoor experiment. The middle section has just become home to four Cucumber plants, one is a bit sickly but I'm hoping the other three will be more than enough to feed us throughout the Summer months.
The final bed in the centre is temporary home to the recently potted on plants, I like to have them down on the soil so that excess water is going through and keeping the ground beneath moist. Now luxuriating in their own pots are lots of Cape Gooseberries, Butternut Squashes and some replacement Courgettes for the ones that have been eaten from the outside raised bed.
Hanging above the first bed is a basket of Strawberries, with a couple about to turn red, and at the other end of my hanging shelves there is a similar basket full of tomato plants.
It's a busy place, lots of growing taking place and always lots to do, it's my world and I love it. I'll be back tomorrow to tell you where two big trays of Courgettes and Pumpkins ended up.