One of my favourite places to be is my potager. I love pottering around there all day long. Lately we've been having quite a few sunny days and I've made the most of them. In the Netherlands we almost never know what the weather will be like the next hour, let alone the next day. So when the sun is out, I'm out too.
Because of all that sunshine and temperatures around 20 C everything is growing like mad in the kitchen garden, not only the veggies, fruits and flowers but also the weeds. There is a lot to do in the potager in April. I've planted out leeks, onions and broccoli and have done a lot of weeding.
The lettuce I'd sown in a cold frame last February is ready to be picked. It's a pick and come again variety. I prefer those to lettuces that form heads.
I've been harvesting radishes for weeks now and today I harvested another bunch. They taste much better than shop bought ones, the latter have hardly any taste at all.
The potager is looking better day by day.
Last year I'd sown some forget-me-nots and this year they have come up all over my kitchen garden. It's such a lovely sight to see those gorgeous blue and pink flowers. BTW Barbara, I've found 1 white forget-me-not, so they have self seeded too, only 1 seedling, but hey, it's a start.
The primulas are flowering their little hearts out, bless,
and so is my pretty yellow Columbine. I'm going to save her seeds so I will have more plants next year for my yellow border to be.
The lovely sunny weather has it drawbacks too, the earth was so dry and we were scraping the barrel, the water barrel that is, as you can see here.
But last Sunday evening it started to rain, it rained some more yesterday and we had some showers today as well so the barrels are now nicely filled up again. I've been planting out so many seedlings in the potager and as they need a bit of pampering their first week or two out in the garden, I used quite a lot of rainwater to give them a good soak when they needed it.
My raspberry is growing very fast and is already forming buds. It won't be long now before it starts to flower. I planted it last year and had a very modest crop of raspberries then but the way things are looking now Pippa (my fruit loving Russian Blue cat)
Pretty Pippa foto Scheffer
and I will be enjoying lots of raspberries this year. Something we both look forward too.
There will also be white currants, pears, grapes and apples later this year. And we seem to be in berry heaven here at Bliss with all the gooseberries, strawberries, black berries, elder berries and blue berries that will be ready for picking in the not too distant future. Simply wonderful as I'm so keen on fruit, just like Pippa.
Before you start thinking that I have an humongous kitchen garden; I have not. Mine is about 90 square meters, is all! Then how do I manage to grow so many different kinds of fruits? It's really simple, most of my berries are grown on standards and take a good hard look at my giant apple tree here.
It's called a Ballerina tree; it's an apple tree with very short branches, and it grows only to 2.5 meters high. I have two of those and hope to train them into an arch once they are tall enough to graft them together. It's amazing the amount of apples you can get from such tiny trees like these. They don't take up much space; you can even grow them in a pot on a balcony. So even if you only have a very small space for gardening, that is no excuse for not having your own gardengrown apples. Go on, give it a try!
copyright 2008 Y.E.W. Heuzen
What plant we in this apple-tree?
A world of blossoms for the bee,
Flowers for the sick girl's silent room,
For the glad infant sprigs of bloom,
We plant with the apple-tree.
William Cullen Bryant, 'The Planting of the Apple-Tree'