What a mixed bag of good old Scottish weather we have had recently! But Spring has well and truly arrived because we had our first rhubarb crumble tonight, made from freshly picked garden rhubarb. We also had garden grown salad stuff at lunchtime!

In the greenhouse

In the little greenhouse, the seeds are coming along well, with three varieties of sunflowers pushing ahead in the growing stakes. I have sown a fourth variety today and am planning a sunflower 'fence' halfway down the garden, if I can protect all of these from the slugs and snails. The cucumbers and courgettes are now beginning to germinate, too, so they'll be transferred into the polytunnel soon. (The front trays are flowers for the hanging baskets.)

Freshly picked garden produce

This was part of lunch - some freshly picked salad leaves, chives and spring onion, added to the salad sandwiches on homemade bread. Being able to pick lunch from the garden is something I miss being able to do during winter, although there's no real reason why I can't keep all of the above going all year round. I shall endeavour to do so from now on, seeing as the spring onions and chives have continued from last year's crop. Only the salad leaves were this year's.

Seedlings in the polytunnel

In the polytunnel, we have tomatoes, peppers, artichokes, cauliflower, hollyhocks and today's sowing of sunflower seeds. I also have trays of marigolds and my sweet peas that need hardening off before risking them in the garden. Everything needs protecting from slugs and snails as soon as it goes outside, so I'm back to crushing egg shells and will order in extra bags of oystershell grit with my next poultry feed order.

Clematis

The Clematis by the back door is really brightening the place up with it's gorgeous pink flowers. This has grown in leaps and bounds since planting it into the big tub. I have some ginger mint and assorted bedding plants - sown from seed last year - in the tub and the wooden trough contains what is left of my peas along with some nasturtiums growing from 2012 flowers that were left to self-seed.

Peas and nasturtiums

I tried surrounding the tiny seedlings with vermiculite in the hope of deterring slugs and snails but, as you can see, it didn't work! The peas are slowly being stripped bare. Serious battle needing fought here, so I have started adding crushed egg shells until I get the oystershell sharp hen grit.

Comfrey

 

Last year, I was sent some tiny comfrey cuttings from a fellow blogger (http://ourruraldream.blogspot.co.uk/) who hasn't been around much. Shaz, if you happen to see this, I hope you are all doing well in your new rural home, the comfrey is thriving here. yes

Pekin chicks

I cannot possibly omit news of the latest babies here in Frugaldom. The three fertile Pekin eggs hatched successfully and we now have fluffy-footed, blue-grey triplets in the homemade brooder. The brooder is simply a large cardboard box lined with newspaper and a layer of shavings, then heated by way of a 60w firelight bulb. I keep a stock of both the 60w and 40w just in case they ever stop producing them. Let's face it - the shops will run out of them one day, so I may as well be prepared.

Drftwood heron

Last, but not least, for the photos, a look at day 2 progress of the driftwood heron that H is making as part of our ecoarts project, creating environmental artwork for displaying around the Frugaldom permaculture garden. This sculpture is almost 5' high, so it should look fantastic sited by the edge of the duck pond, at the top of the micro-orchard. The driftwood horse and hare are now in their permanent positions by the herb spirals.

How is everyone else doing with their gardens? We still had frosty temperatures here until about a week ago, so I am still sowing seeds and have only just got around to sowing my tumbling tomatoes in the hope they will germinate quickly then catch up as soon as we get better weather. I have some perennial sweet pea seeds soaking overnight for sowing tomorrow and my mini narcissus are just flowering now.

The front yard has been tidied up a bit, but it is beginning to get some colour. Aside from the yellow of the narcissus, there are two shades of thrift, the first tiny blue lobelias and a couple of the miniature violas flowering. From among the cobbles, we have dug up several baby Pampas grasses, seeded from a neighbour's huge plants. I do like watching the goldfinches and even the bull finches lands on them, but I can't have them growing in front of my windows, so they had to go. If anyone would like rooted baby pampas grass, please get in contact and I'll pop it into the post for you. None of it will be wasted, I'll plant some at the bottom of the garden and give the rest away to whoever will have it.

 

To get in contact, please see the 'Cyberdosh Exchange' section of the forums, where I will be posting updates of anything I have available for trading or exchanging. I am still on the hunt for scented geraniums, if anyone can help me out with cuttings?

Don't forget our monthly challenges in the frugal forums. This month is 'Make Do and Mend May' - are you taking part?

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