When we first moved into this house we had the sofa by the patio doors. At some point during the intervening two years we moved it to the other end of the living room, facing away from the garden, so that Ryan could have a corner for his ‘office’. It means we miss on on seeing a lot of the antics of the wild birds we entice into the garden with the feeders, which is a shame. In an ideal world we’d have a conservatory (with some comfortable rattan furniture), but unfortunately it would take up too much of the garden. We’re pondering whether to move things around again, but in the meantime we need to make more of an effort to look out the window!

There are some lovely new signs of life in the garden. I’ve moved the peach tree next to the front door, as it is budding up and should burst into a froth of blossom any time now. We’ll be able to see it as we come and go, instead of it hiding in the shed. Hopefully it will have enough shelter to avoid peach leaf curl; we’ll have to wait and see.

In the garden the purple sprouting broccoli season is starting....

It’s very nearly time to start harvesting the purple sprouting broccoli, which is very exciting. The plants suffered a bit in Storm Doris (despite being staked) and I’ve had to give them new, even heftier, stakes in an attempt to keep them upright for a few more weeks.

Germinating tree seeds from The Woodland Trust

I requested a pack of free tree seeds from the Woodland Trust, and when they arrived last week some of them had started to germinate, so I had to nip out to the shed and sow them into pots of compost. This was after Storm Doris had passed, so I felt safe leaving their pots nestled into one of the raised beds in the garden, where they will get rained on. They’re better off there than stuck in the shed where the gardener may forget to keep an eye on them 😉 The pack included rowan, dog rose, alder buckthorn and holly, and although I separated them a little bit there’s bound to be a mix in each pot, so it will be interesting to see what comes up, and when.

New oca varieties

My new batch of oca varieties arrived from the Guild of Oca Breeders on the same day as the tree seeds, but they’re currently still in the box, waiting for the gardener to pot them up. I have signed on as a supporter for this citizen breeding project, paying £15 for my 12 varieties, all of which should grow better in this climate than the commonly available ones, even though the breeding project is still in its early stages. I’m going to enjoy seeing which ones do best in my garden. They’ve been given alphabetical names, by the looks of things. Mine are called Mandrill, Mink, Nancy, Napoleon, Nelek, Nessie, Nexus, Nirvana, Norwood, Nutcracker, Nurse and Nymph.

Charlotte Russe, dwarf mulberry

And the final new arrival (for the moment) is the dwarf Mulberry ‘Charlotte Russe’ I ordered from Suttons. It’s really very dinky, but covered in buds, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it does this year!

I’d already sown some seeds this year – a batch of leafy salad for the windowsill (which is growing much more strongly now, and should be ready for a first harvest soon) and some peashoots. But I’ve just sown the first seeds of the 2017 garden season, a new trial variety of sweet pepper from T&M It’s a Czech variety called Sweet Boneta, bred to be early and compact. According to the packet, it’s ‘ornamental edible, with lots of flowers and plentiful fruits that ripen from cream/pale green to red. The packet also says to sow in late March and April, so I’m jumping the gun a bit!

This post was produced in association with Rattan Direct.

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