Last month started warm and sunny, to the extent that we had to bring out the parasol to provide some shade! It is encouraging to see more colours appearing around the garden, with daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, primula, honesty and violas all in bloom. We are well into our seed sowing schedule with all greenhouses filling up nicely, and it is safe to say that the main task this month has been to prick out seedlings. In the stove house we managed to pot on 35 tomato plants (5 varieties), they have already shot up their strings, and the flowers of the first truss are open.
Outdoors we have started to sow direct into the raised beds, beetroot, turnips and carrots have all germinated and we have kale, broccoli, leeks, lettuce and peas hardening off in the cold frame awaiting transplanting. We have created six small beds in the stove house border outside section 5 and this will be dedicated to vegetables grown from Franchi Seeds. The early potatoes are in the ground and we also planted up some large tubs with the leftover tubers.
We continue to harvest the vegetables that we overwintered, kale, purple sprouting broccoli, spring greens and spring onions and it is safe to say that the number of salad bags that we make up for sales each week is gradually on the increase. We have had some tasty, nutritious meals from the GL kitchen, frittatas, risotto and curries and we even treated ourselves to pudding after the first pickings of rhubarb from the garden … apple and rhubarb crumble.
The pace has never slowed down in the stove house workshop and we have added a new design of birdfeeder to the GL woodwork. There have been benches, wishing wells and planters made to order!
Thank you for all the kind donations this month including; tattie forks from Dobbies, wood chippings from Danny and Margaret, apples (which were turned into chutney), and of course weekly home baking! We would again like to thank SRUC poultry for their continued support, we made nearly £300 in donations during March and April and we received a further £50 from their charity egg sale.
There were two presentations delivered this month. Alan spoke to Ochiltree Woman’s Guild and Victoria delivered to Barrhill Fellowship Group. Both groups were good audiences and we would like to thank them for their interest and kind donations.
We had a few visitors to the garden this month. Veronica Shields from Ayrshire Council on Alcohol (ACA) who informed us of the service they offer in Ayrshire and Jamie Pollock from the Armed Services Advice project (ASAP) who was able to offer advice to veterans regarding benefits and finances.
On the wildlife front: the jackdaws appear to be nesting in a cavity on the terrace wall, and the swallows have been seen in the soil shed.
Pamela and Victoria.