I know February is a short month … but where did it go! We have continued to follow the seed-sowing calendar and the greenhouses are filling up very quickly. We have sown melons (for the first time), cucumbers, aubergines, and a selection of herbs, lettuce, and peas, which required some protection around the pots, as they proved very popular with the mice! The tomatoes, sown last month, have germinated nicely and pricked out of their seed trays into 3-inch pots. All varieties labelled extra carefully this year to avoid any confusion later on as plants are moved around in the greenhouses.
Outdoors the raspberry canes have been pruned back, and then we transplanted the stools into the border in front of the wall. We were given access to a huge pile of leaf mould courtesy of SRUC which has been applied to all the empty vegetable beds. This will improve the soil’s organic matter, which in turn enables the soil to retain more nutrients and water.
Restoration work has recommenced in sections 4 + 5 of the Stovehouse and as the joiners are working in there …we have been busy in section 1 with the woodwork continuing and new designs and ideas emerging for garden products. While we are waiting on this year’s willow to dry out (this takes 3 months), we have been using up the last of the old supply to make small pots/baskets, and practice makes perfect. Tool restoration is ongoing and we now have a good supply of items to sell at events over the next few months.
From the kitchen, we have enjoyed some midday treats with chicken chow mein and macaroni cheese on the menu. We have also produced yet another batch of marmalade and we posted away our entries into the marmalade competition, one jar of manmade marmalade and one jar of chilli marmalade. We will wait on the results.
Yet again, we received a generous donation of three fishing permits from Annbank Angling Club for a section of the River Ayr. The fishing season opened for salmon on the 10th of February and a few veterans have ventured down to the river to try out their skills. Unfortunately, there was no fish caught, however this did not dampen their enthusiasm.
We have more people to thank this month; Lizzie Adrain from Care and Share. This organisation provides a varied service for people who are homeless (in the Ayr area). Lizzie came down to the garden to tell us about the work that is carried out and how the vegetables that we supply to them help towards the meal provided every Wednesday at the Riverside Church in Ayr.
We would also like to thank Andy Findlay (countryside management student). Andy offered to take some of our products made from the garden along to a charity sale held at the Riverside in Ayr College. The event went well and all the donations made gratefully received.
A huge thank you to Gardens Illustrated who donated a box of seeds to the projects. Also to Scott’s Miracle-Gro who donated a year’s supply of growing media and various fertilisers to all three GL sites.
At last, there is some colour in the garden from the bulbs that we planted last year. Crocus, miniature Iris and daffodils are out and the Camellia at the front door is in bloom!
Spring is just around the corner,
Pamela and Victoria.