Friday, June 6, 2014

Wow......what a spring!

The weather, for weeks now, has been fabulous..... sun sun sun! Well actually it is raining today, but we needed it. In the last 30 days the highest we have had has been 28 degrees and the coldest has been just below 0. With all this lovely weather every day is spent out in the garden so I thought I would just put up some photos of what has been going on deep in the Swedish forest....

Alexis has started climbing up to the tree house every day to start to take a shot of the garden. We hope to be able to do an animation when we have enough pictures!

Spring of course brings lambs..... we have 16 of them and they don't look as tiny as they do in this photo any more! One ewe had 4 lambs, 2 had triplets, and the other 3 had twins. One lamb was rejected by his mother and we had to bottle feed him. His name is Barrel due to his waist line..... 2 of the quads had top up milk also. They have grown really well this year, the grass has been early and we have a much better system for feeding the lambs, but it involves bringing them back to the barn twice a day.

Lambs (some of them) in their side of the feeder with their own barley, pea and sugar beet feeding troughs. Some of them are struggling to fit through the narrow bars which stop their mums raiding the food troughs!

Of course we have a new pile of wood to cut up.......

Inside the green house is looking great! Cucumbers back left, aubergines back right, then there are peppers, chillies, and melons and a few of the mini tomatoes.

This year we ate our first asparagus which was lovely. It is now really tall and in the foreground of this picture. Behind there are some more potatoes, sunflowers and peas poking their green heads up in the back by the barn. I have also planted about 100 hawthorn seeds, hazel nuts, blackthorn direct into the ground. I collected them in the UK when I was back there last autumn.

The cold frame has a succession of plants rotating though. In the foreground are some flowers!! Yep not veg! In the background pumpkins and beans and the last of the cabbage family.

Onions, carrots, shallots, potatoes are all doing well in the new narrow bed system.

One narrow bed was covered so we were able to start some things off early.

Garlics are looking wonderful in the background with celery, spring onions and celeriac and leeks in the foreground.

Courgettes in their own tunnel and 2 are already flowering!! Only a few days until the first ones!! Then the endless supply starts.....

The tunnel which refuses to fall down is still growing some things. The excess tomatoes, extra garlics and one of the blackberry bushes has made it through the winter. In the autumn I got given a few cuttings from a neighbours bush. Next year we will have blackberries!

The bean area with the runner bean frame ready for planting, behind some broad beans, peas and cannelloni beans in their own tunnel. Because I want to dry them to make baked beans they need a longer season.

The tomato tunnel is taking off. There are many green tomatoes in amongst the leaves! We dug in lots of manure to this tunnel along with some peat that they use for horse boxes. It is VERY sandy in this bed and needed a lot of organic matter to improve it. We also put a thick layer of mulch over the top to help it stay moist. It so far is working! I have only watered twice and it have been very hot in the tunnel at times!
The rocket made it through the winter and is the dark green bits in the photo.

The brassica patch is doing really well. I have lots of different types of cabbage, cauliflowers, broccoli, romanesque and some other stuff I expect I have forgotten about!

 The odds and sods tunnel is doing really well. We have been eating so much salad, stir-fry green leafy things it has been wonderful. We have 20 melon plants dotted around the tunnels and greenhouse so we are in with a good chance of getting melons this least a few! In the tunnel we also have beans and peas, which this year could have been grown outside under a mini tunnel!

Potatoes, spring onions, salad, pac-choi are all looking good. We grew green wave mustard this year and although it blows your brains out when you eat the leaf raw it is lovely fried up and put in quiche or omelette.

The first of the cucumbers have started, now this is early! I have finally got the timing right with planting seeds and keeping them in a pot for the minimum amount of time. It has also been so warm this year. This variety, Super Zagross, is also a very early one. It gives small cucumbers of about 15cm long. Just enough for 2 people for a day!

Being so ahead in many areas of the garden has meant that I could sew some herbs so we should finally be able to dry a years supply!

And, a first for me, water melon! The black thing in front is a reptile heat mat which is about 15W and gives just a little extra heat on the frosty nights we got a week ago. They have a layer of fleece over the top to keep the heat in.... And now I think I can even see the flower buds starting!!!

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