Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Running to seed

Bar a single half hour long 'shower' where the sky acquiesced and misted a few drops of rain down on those gardeners below carefully tending seedlings, the last three weeks have been dry. Dry - and baking hot (for the UK) - and oh so glorious. The weather held even for the bank holiday weekend, traditionally a good enough time as any for the sun to lose its nerve and retreat behind dark heavy clouds not to be seen again until June. It looks like the good weather may well continue through this weekend's festivities too.

The perpetual spinach that has served us through two winters has finally bolted, just in time for the chillies to take its place. I am truly grateful for all this plant has done. It germinated readily here even in November (way too late according to the packet) and it continued to produce servings of green leaves (even when cut right back to its base) whenever I needed something 'green' to go with dinner. The rainbow chard will no doubt be following suit fairly soon, another vegetable that has performed beyond anything I expected. We will definitely be resowing these again this year and in far greater quantities.

The lamb's lettuce that I planted last year receives a less than glowing report. It was slow to germinate, slower to grow - even when it was in full swing, the compact rosettes of small leaves couldn't be described as prolific. I think that I used a handful of leaves in a salad once; and that was that. It too has given up in the sweltering heat; and not before its time. If I can say nothing else good about it, I can say that its profusion of the tiniest white flowers were a delight to find today. But unless we acquire significant acreage any time soon, it probably won't be making an appearance on our seed list again.

Meanwhile everything else is blooming here, even yours truly, who usually wilts in warm weather such as this. Hope you are all enjoying good weather too, whatever that means to you.


  1. We have been getting a bit of sunshine here in Oregon, but it is still very chilly! It is a welcome reprieve from the rain though and I'm happy to be able to get outside and dig in the dirt. I'm glad your spinach did so well. I am very fond of growing greens myself, especially lettuces. That is, in fact, on my list of things to do this week. Enjoy your sunshine :)

  2. We have started a few batches of salad leaves, one is ready to eat now. Much tastier and more frugal than bagged salads.

    Thankfully it rained a couple of nights ago, but the days are still hot and dry. Perfect!