Jack Comes In Like a Lion

 photo 2017-02-20-1066_e_zpsgmqxzksn.jpgThis is the hottest the greenhouse has been. It was sweltering.

I’m watching a shogi anime, hence the absurd title. I do wonder how many titles have actually been utilitarian rather than flippantly brilliant. They have so been brilliant! It says so right here in my notes and no, you can’t see them! So recipes, yeah, nada, but insanely hot weather I’ve had aplenty. Well, just a few hours, but in, what Kurt Vonnegut referred to as unlocking, the season before spring, it’s pretty incredible. That’s what I’ve found I love about his writing, it’s simple, accessible and endless thought provoking. So, on that note: Onto the maundering, desultory garden post. It’s photo heavy, but in the age of broadband I suppose that doesn’t matter as much.

 photo 2017-02-14 15.58.39_e_zpsocvwgbpe.jpgEighty-one onions. Twenty seven are red.

 photo 2017-02-14 16.04.43_e_zpsbny7sahh.jpgOnions are red, yellow ones too, this is a poem, from Jack to you.

If you’re new here, you can see my onions (Karmen and Stuttgarter) are only planted in the most expensive, decadently decorative raised vegetable beds. We don’t believe in being frugal here. Oh, wait, no, we do. That “bed”, before it was a bed, cost me the grand total of: Nothing. It was a crate used to haul furniture or doors, something like that. Kindly donated to moi. The plastic I did buy, it’s what they use to wrap bales of hay, I think. The stain was left over. So was the soil, whereas last year it was hard and required heavy digging just to move it, with the application of my own compost, and that ever precious resource: Time, it now allows for easy planting. The joy of onion bulbs sinking softly into the soil is so satisfying. Look, what I’m saying is the man often referred to as Jack, wonder why that is. Heh, can do this then anyone can. If you can get a staple gun it’ll help too.

 photo 2017-02-14 16.06.55_e_zpsg6kwcp07.jpgGinger, I covered it after smart-alec, wondering where Fred is.

You know, I’m near the two year anniversary, a post is read and waiting have no fear, you’ll be bored to tears in no time at all. It’s funny, In a month and a half, I had already surpassed my first ten months of the blog. I mean, people are reading this. Why? I don’t mean that. Wait, yes I do! I mean I love you dearest readers, everyone loves everyone online just go with it, and I wouldn’t question your judgement, but did you all hit your heads at some point? Apparently most of you are here for the pastry. Ah, well. Thanks friends. You make Jack feel as if this is working and worth it. Woah! Getting all sentimental here. Crying? No, it’s just the onions.

 photo 2017-02-20-1064_e_zpsku91usmj.jpgThe “pineapple” in all its glory.

 photo WP_20170220_005_e_zpsi38dhzy3.jpgNobody puts pineapple in the bin. Except me that is.

I know it’s not a pineapple, I just don’t know what it is. I found this tossed over a fence. Apparently uprooting flowers toss is the pastime of the mentally deficient around here. The close-knit bars of the fence meant that you’d ruin the plant if you pulled it through. A quandary. A tall fence. Tada! A Jack appears. Tall Jack of the longer reach, man’s grasp, heavens for etc, was able to lift it up and over the fence and promptly…stick it in a bag and take it home. It’s my “pineapple” now. I forgot to take an after photo, but you can see what it looks like. Any informed readers know what this is called?

 photo 2017-02-18 13.29.00_e_zpsoulhadmo.jpgI also took some of my neighbour’s clematis. It has the same orange roots strangely.

 photo WP_20170220_014_e_zps0zcfz1iq.jpgSlugs will always appear and I will always get them. Always.

 photo WP_20170220_024_e_zpsl8aux5nz.jpgSay no to pot. Now, half a pot, that’s different.

Slugs have been at my tulips. Saying that  ages me so much. This year I’ve made a vow to myself that I will do what I can and not stress endlessly about possibilities. So, I will try something I’ve had suggested to me. Instead of pouring the pellets like a wealthy man and his largesse, you instead put the pellets in a hermitage, or in a little dark spot. The idea  being that the slugs are attracted to the cereal in the bait, and instead of the first round eating the pellets and the second running riot o’er the plant, they instead are drawn to them in the sheltered spot, also protecting the birds, and they just repeat that instead of bothering your flowers. I used half post as a hidey-hole and I’ll report back as to its success or failure.

 photo WP_20170220_003_e_zps9e0nko7f.jpgThe front garden will be planted proper when the back garden is productive.

 photo WP_20170220_001_e_zpsg3o1h6uq.jpgSeeds will go in the greenhouse and eventually end up in the front.

 photo WP_20170220_002_e_zps0jbknitk.jpgOh! I have a story!

 photo WP_20170220_004_e_zpsrqlng12k.jpgDon’t leave me! I have bulbs too!

Okay, on a few occasions something was digging in my flowers, but mysteriously they left a perfectly round hole. In the same spot in the above planter, every time. I thought it was a hole that had the compost sink due to rain, but no. Then I was out in the garden and there it was again, not only that, but there were muddy foot prints. Or rather paw prints. Yeah, apparently Naru keeps taking a tiptoe through the tulips, freesia really, that’s what I get for shouting “sneaky-big-bottom”at her. You’ve never laughed so hard as when you’ve seen a large Labrador posterior stealthy vanishing out a door.

 photo WP_20170220_016_e_zpshtwmb5ro.jpgI’m so very glad I didn’t uproot the yellow raspberry.

 photo WP_20170220_009_e_zpsil51pjfe.jpgI’m very glad I did uproot the rhubarb and replant it in a bottomless raised plastic tub.

 photo WP_20170220_025_e_zpsl52dgq1b.jpgI’m actually fairly organised, or I try to be. These are half my pots.

 photo WP_20170220_010_e_zpszpq1bljo.jpgThe fern has been abandoned. It was hideous anyway. It’s now in the back of the garden.

Oh! I can’t remember when, but I’m sure I told you about my mysterious round white bulbs. They were perfectly smooth and snow white and I have no idea where they came from, they were just sitting in the soil, no flowers ever appeared. Until now that is. Well, they’ve started at least. They’re probably Hyacinth. I don’t know what colour, which makes it interesting. The mystery will soon be solved. I’m glad I kept them rather than throwing them away. That double planter hides a stump. The rots were huge and unmovable. So instead I took off the pot bottoms and planted lilies and those hyacinth.

 photo WP_20170220_015_e_zpsdwh0rovv.jpgSlugs! I’ll get you yet! You can see the hyacinth starting to flower.

 photo WP_20170220_011_e_zps8t5xypcx.jpgI saw the most incredibly purple crocuses today, I’m envious.

 photo WP_20170220_013_e_zpsins6hrng.jpgI’m probably going to buy some too.

 photo WP_20170220_023_e_zpsmqgxoqvf.jpgThese just popped up overnight.

 photo WP_20170220_018_e_zpsggkdpfei.jpgThey’re king of the striped crocuses.

I’ve started buying my seeds for this year. Ebay is really great for cheap seeds. You can get free postage from big sellers after the first seed packet and they’re huge packets too. I’m actually going to try a lot more direct sowing this year, I know I have the greenhouse now, but still, I don’t want to be run ragged filling pots, hardening off and fiddling with everything. I want to have fun. I have bulbs left to plant, March and April will finish those, and I have to get more flower seeds. I have my lobelias ordered, most of my herbs, squash and vegetables too, but I’m still undecided on varieties for some. Funnily, I’ll have a Harlequin and a Table King pairing with my squashes this year. Whether the fool will out do the monarch is anyone’s guess. A few red kuri squash might make an appearance too.

 photo WP_20170220_008_e_zpsugt9zz60.jpgYou can’t see it, but the raspberry canes are really starting to bud now.

 photo WP_20170220_007_e_zpsvccpk6wu.jpgI’m thinking of small planters of crocuses in-between the rose buckets.

 photo WP_20170220_006_e_zps1s9lcnjj.jpgI rearranged all this and forgot to take an updated photo.

There are probably going to be a lot more gardening posts in the upcoming months, the recipes won’t suffer any, when the harvest starts they’ll flourish again, but I give fair warning. Funnily, I’ve been blogging about the garden for a lot longer than I realised. I don’t really do requests, but if there is anything gardening or culinary related you’d like to see on the blog feel free to suggest it below. The heat today was invigorating, I hope it’ll make an appearance again tomorrow. I have some pots to fill and work in another garden to do. Yes, dear reader, Jack isn’t just managing his own garden, he’s taken over the neighbour’s too. These seeds aren’t going to pay fr themselves you know! Until later.


4 thoughts on “Jack Comes In Like a Lion

  1. Sounds like Jack is springing back into action!
    Aren’t you worried that your different squash varieties might crossbreed? It often happens if they are grown close together. But of course you are the gardener, I’m only a dear reader not minding her own business…

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  2. Pingback: Jack The Slug Slayer | Pep's Free From Kitchen

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