Saturday, 11 September 2010

spring spring spring

Spring is well and truly here!  We're getting more and more days that touch on 18 degrees and the last week has had a fair bit of sun.  The days are longer, the fruit trees are flowering and deciduous plants are starting to break dormancy.  Here's my little Japanese maple, bursting with life in its new home.  It has lost a bit more of its tip growth but I'm hoping this new spot will see it thrive from now on.  I love how vividly golden the first growth is, it's actually tinged slightly with red too.
This is that little Brunnera "Jack Frost" I mentioned.  Almost not worth the photo at the moment but isn't that foliage lovely?  By next spring it should fill out to around a half-metre clump with blue flowers that look exactly like forget-me-nots.
And I can't stop taking photos of the hellebore!  I can't quite believe just how many flowers they put out!  Last year only one clump had any flowers and it only had a few.  This year all three clumps are covered with blossoms that start out dark purple and fade to mauve.
Unfortunately, my cavallo nero has also felt the call of spring and decided to flower.  It's kind of cute actually, a little mini broccoli head.  Shows you how closely related the brassicas are (broccoli, kale and cabbage).
This is the purple-sprouting broccoli I started late in the winter.  I don't know if it'll grow fast enough to harvest a head before I want the pot for a summer vegetable.  But in the meantime the radishes I planted around it are coming in really well.  They should be ready to start eating within a week.  I'm thinking I'll make a salsa with tomato, onion, radish and parsley.
Finally, I had to take a picture of my compost.  In the autumn I ran out of room and had to leave a lot of the fig leaves under the tree.  They became absolutely full of worms, which all got dumped in the compost bin once there was room.  And now whenever I turn the compost, it's packed full of them.  The photo's pretty blurry but it gives you an idea - there are even more than this but they instantly shy away from the light.
Mmmmm that's good compost.  I've actually run out of space for compost in the beds where I usually put it.  I went to put some under the hellebores and realised there was already so much of the manure/soil mix that any compost would start to bury the plants!  I'm going to have to start putting it on plants I don't usually bother with, like the cumquat trees or the birch trees out the front.  Better to have too much of the stuff than not enough, I say.