This week the weather has been fabulous in Normandy and warm spring sunshine, no rain and only a couple of frosts early on, have meant that I have made great strides in the veg garden.
My sneaky plan to stop the mice eating all my seeds seems to have paid off. I have seedlings! The broad beans I germinated in the house are now growing well and are hardening off outside before being planted out very soon (weather permitting):
|Broad beans hardening off outside|
The other seeds I sowed in the cold frame have remained out of reach to mice and are busy germinating safely.
Mice apparently don't like nasturtiums. Last year I was a bit late clearing the nasturtiums after they had flowered and set seed so now they are growing like weeds in amongst the onions. Before weeding them out I potted up this lot, some of which will go in a window box for the gite and others I will either have for us or sell at a Boot Fair. Oh how I like a free plant!
|Potted up nasturtiums|
I have also started off all my peppers and tomatoes ... which turned out to be rather a lot. For anyone who is interested this is the list of what I have sown but if you are not, just skip down to the next picture!
One other I can't read (oops)
Coeur de Boeuf
Curcabits (that's everything in the cucumber/melon/courgette/pumpkin etc family)
Cucumber - Crystal Apple
Courgette verte non coureuse d'Italie
Courgette verte non coureuse des Maraîches
Courgette jaune non coureuse Sebring
Oh and these packets of round and flat white courgettes just sort of fell into my basket today when I was buying animal feed and onion/shallot sets this afternoon. Honestly, they just fell in ... !
I've also got some seeds sown outside with 2 double rows of broad beans, 2 rows of parsnips and a row of early turnips. Straggly rambling fruit bushes (tayberry, blackberry and loganberry) have all been pruned and tied back and I have the scars to prove it as one particularly errant tayberry whipped back across my nose! I got it in the end though.
Thursday is market day at Condé-sur-Noireau. I've not been to market for ages as my friend and partner in chicken/plant buying crime snapped her Achilles tendon and was unable to drive there, but she is now mobile again and so to market I will be going! There is a strong possibility I may come home with vegetable seedlings! Watch this space.
All this is, however, in stark contrast to 2 years ago when this is what we woke up to on March 12th 2013:
|March 12th 2013|
Deep snow, temperatures down to -10ºC and no power for 52 hours. Let's hope winter hasn't anything like that left up her sleeve, although to be fair that was an extremely freak occurrence for March! Whilst I sincerely hope we don't get a repetition of this, I do know that this gorgeous spring weather may not last so I have plenty of old blankets etc at the ready to cover the cold frame and seedlings in case the temperature does decide to tumble.
All in all then, a very fruitful week in the garden. Have you been lucky enough to have spring gardening weather this week or are you still under winter's white mantle? Pop over to Annie's How Does your Garden Grow linky and you'll see what other gardeners have been up to.