Hello Sweet Pea

Do you know what Bear Gryll’s would have said if he had seen me this morning? He would have looked at my muddy little face and soaking wet clothes and said “Good effort”. He would be forgiven for thinking I had just rescued someone’s kitbag (aka Jamelia’s) from a croc filled river in a jungle in Costa Rica, although to be honest, I would forgive Bear anything.

My dishevelled appearance was the result of a pleasant morning spent moving things around on the allotment. During the warm, sunny hours of yesterday I decided to set aside the morning for tidying up my plot and planting my sweet pea seedlings. Waking up to the sound of heavy rain pelting my bedroom window wasn’t going to deter me (okay, okay I did have a slight wobble) I’m a Northern lass and we are made of tough stuff.

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The sweet pea seeds I planted a few weeks ago popped up and have been growing fast on the warm sunny windowsill of the youngest Broccoli’s bedroom. I’m a great believer in hardening plants off as soon as possible or just chucking the hardy ones out into the cold to toughen them up. Sweet peas are hard as nails and will withstand the frost and even a bit of snow so get them in as soon as you can.

Every year I plant sweet peas, you can’t eat them but their fragrance is so intoxicating I can’t resist having them on the plot. I grow the flowers up a wigwam of canes and invariably grow too many. “Too many sweet peas?” I hear you cry! Yes too many. To keep sweet peas flowering they must be picked regularly, any forgotten blooms quickly turn to seed and flower production diminishes.

Today I planted the sweet peas in moderation. I erected just one wigwam and planted two plants to each cane, one for me, one for the slugs. With a few left over I decided to try growing them up my fruit trees, I’ll keep you posted.

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The miniature daffs were a lovely surprise, I had forgotten how early they bloom. I rather rudely dug them up and moved them around as I’m having a re-jig of the whole plot, pretty-ing it up so to speak. I’m introducing cut flowers into my garden so picking a handful felt like a good start. The rosemary is just on the tip of blooming. Tiny little sky blue flowers will soon decorate the aromatic, evergreen stems of this essential winter herb.

I use rosemary a lot. I add it to roast potatoes, pies and stews, I also use it to flavour breads and shortcake; it’s so good with lemon. I grabbed a handful of rosemary before I left, knowing I would use it in the kitchen, and discovered the greenery looks amazing combined with the jubilant yellow of the daffs.

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It was only when I got home, kicked off my wellies and peeled off my sodden coat that I realised just how hard it had been raining. The water that seeped through a minuscule hole in my jacket had penetrated every layer of clothing, even my knickers were wet!!!

 

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