This is what my ornamental kitchen garden looks like this month. I took this pic yesterday as I was working in the kitchen garden. Last December we had some frost and even some frozen fog and the kitchen garden looked like this:
The windows on my Victorian greenhouse were all covered with frost flowers but not anymore. Last week was very mild, temperatures ranging from 8 to 13 C while the average temperature for January is only 5 C. I took advantage of the mild weather and got some work done in the gardens and my kitchen garden. I didn't have to wear a winter coat, just a thick cardigan to keep me nice and warm. (Thanks to my dear friend Kylee of Our Little Acre I now know that I garden in zone 8, thanks for the link Kylee!) But before I went to work I went on a little tour to see what was happening in the veggie garden.
I found the Christmas tree there, newly planted in its pot, so that it won't grow too fast, and I hope to use it again this year for Christmas too. And then, to my delight I found these
the first snowdrops of the year. These are not the ordinary snowdrops Galanthus nivalis but Galanthus nivalis Viridapice, also known as Groenpunten = Green Points.
As you can see here the tip of the flower bud is green in this species of snowdrop, hence its nickname. This species was discovered many years ago in the Netherlands, in the provinces of North-Holland and Friesland near very old farms. There were fields full of them. Aren't they gorgeous? I got mine last year from dear friends of mine, who are both snowdrop mad aka Galanthophiles, and I'm glad to see my snowdrops are doing fine.
The winter purslane that I'd sown last autumn is doing great, as is the ruccola or rocket salad. So even in winter I have some veggies from my kitchen garden to munch.
Another thing I discovered in my kitchen garden was this, a dead vole or is it a young and very dead rat? When I went to look at it a few hours later it was gone, probably eaten by one of the many neighbourhood cats. Ewww!
Fortunately my kitchen garden had lots of much more pleasant surprises for me in store, like this
crocus about to flower
fresh chives, newly grown
Bergenia producing the first flowers of this year
Daffodils poking their noses through the soil
Yes, my kitchen garden is full of promise at the moment and fills me with hope that Spring really is on its way. I doubt that sometimes, as the days are dull and grey and mostly very gloomy as well. Here have a look for yourself.
Quite depressing, don't you agree? Last week we had skies like that all week long with hours and hours of rain, not the most cheering sight as you well can imagine. So walking around my kitchen garden and looking at all the little treasures it had in store for me, except for the dead whatsit, was very uplifting.
But enough talk, let's get to work. I cleared several beds of weeds in the kitchen garden, here's one of them but I still have a few more to do.
The trunk you see in the middle of the bed belongs to a standard white currant so that this little bed will provide me with both fruit and the veggies I will grow there soon; a very economical use of limited space.
I did some sowing as well, something which I enjoy doing. I have 2 cold frames and I used one. The cold frames are very handy to have as they will keep out the worst of the weather and during a sunny day it will get quite warm in there, just what the little seedlings will need to grow a bit faster. I grow both veggies and flowers in my cold frames.
This time I've sown some salad of the 'pick and come again' variety and some radishes, pink ones, a variety I haven't tried before, so I'm curious to see how they will do and how they will taste of course.
My ornamental kitchen garden looks like this at the moment with the now brown hedge of Fagus sylvatica I planted in February of 2005, so it is almost 3 years old and has already grown to a good height. I love it that it keeps its brown leaves all winter long until the new green leaves unfold in Spring. But I am dreaming of the day that my ornamental kitchen garden will look like this again. Won't be long now!
copyright 2008: Y.E.W. Heuzen
BTW there are still two more days to vote, see sidebar on the right, right next to the pic of the snowdrops.
I am convinced that it is better for a writer to know a little of the world remarkably well than to know a great part of the world remarkably little.