A weed by any other name

The sun shined almost all day today.  Once I was forced to shelter in the greenhouse and the other time the drops were so fat I thought that is was probably set in for the day so I came inside, scrubbed up and made a cuppa tea.  Then I looked out the window to see blue sky again.  This is the craziest weather.  The boffins at the weather office are predicting a cold snap with frosts and further south… snow.  We won’t get snow but a frosty morning or two wouldn’t come as a complete surprise, especially at this time of year.

Self seeded calendula - while very beautiful, they are in the wrong place!
Self seeded calendula – while very beautiful, they are in the wrong place!

So a spring day with a couple of spring showers but mostly warm sunbeams really only mean one thing… get gardening.  I have what seems like a huge amount of work to be done so I went out into the garden and did a huge amount of work!

These asparagus took me by surprise - I thought I'd killed them by drowning!
These asparagus took me by surprise – I thought I’d killed them by drowning!

The first job I knew I needed to tackle was where the peppers were last year and where this year’s salad is due to go.  The problem is last year I had a whole load of flower seedlings I grew and didn’t have anywhere to put them.  I sowed the seeds with good intentions that never materialised.  I was also given some perennial flowers that were in my Nanas garden before she moved into an old folk’s home. I just had to find a space.  Meanwhile I was having such a dreadful time germinating peppers so there was heaps of space in the pepper bed where peppers should have been, so I ‘temporarily’ put the flowers in the gaps, and soon it was a beautiful riot of colourful flowers.

There are a lot of "weeds" in this bed. It feels so odd to think of a flower as a weed.
There are a lot of “weeds” in this bed. It feels so odd to think of a flower as a weed.

In the tradition of my gardening journey, having flowers in my veggie garden has taught me another valuable lesson:  if you are going to have flowers in your veggie garden, make sure you deadhead regularly and don’t let them go to seed!  Having said that Nigella – Love in the mist, has such a lovely seed head – almost as nice as the flower.  So guess what I have been doing – pulling out hundreds of Nigella seedlings.  At first it felt wrong.  These weren’t weeds they were flowers!  So I carefully rescued a dozen and transplanted them into pots for later, and the rest were destined for the compost heap.  If the transplanted ones don’t survive, as they had quite a tap root and I have also discovered plants with tap roots don’t transplant well; then I will just have to sow more seeds, which will seem ridiculous being as I just threw hundreds away!

So much better... Now I just need the soil to dry out!
So much better… Now I just need the soil to dry out!

But now the bed has been cleared to make way for the salad seedlings, and Hubby the Un-Gardener got in there and turned it over for me.  The soil is still a little too damp to plant anything yet – but with the imminent frost that’s probably a good thing, or I would have planted things.  I also got Hubby the Un-Gardener to turn over the soil in the “leafy greens” bed.  So the soil drying out program is now in full swing.

I think Hubby the Un-Gardener secretly likes digging... which is just as well as I have loads for him to do!
I think Hubby the Un-Gardener secretly likes digging… which is just as well as I have loads for him to do!

I need to sow my seed potatoes, but while the soil is weed free and kind of fluffy – it is still too wet.  I reckon if I put a cup of soil in my salad spinner I’d get a litre of water back out!  Well maybe I exaggerate – but I could make a decent pottery vase from the damp soil.  I need this bed to dry out or my potatoes will have chitted too far.  I’ve never over-chitted before.  I hope my spuds will be ok.

Definitely not a weed - a Ranunculus
Definitely not a weed – a beautiful Ranunculus
Spring freesia
Spring freesia

Come again soon – the garden is getting closer to being spring ready – so long as we don’t get any more spring showers.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

15 thoughts on “A weed by any other name

    1. Hi Heidi. The asparagus is coming in so quickly now, we are almost eating it every day! It is nicest if you boil a pot of water, pop a steamer on the top and then go and pick the spears. The freshest asparagus is the most amazing thing!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. I agree – we ate our weight in it this past spring. Have you tried it marinated in balsamic and olive oil then grilled or roasted? That’s my favourite. Though you can never go wrong with steamed, either.

        1. Ohh – I’ve not tried marinating them yet. I have made a few quiches already and lots of poached eggs and steamed asparagus. But they are just getting going so I’m sure roasting and grilling will soon be on the menu! Can’t wait to try it!
          Cheers Sarah : o )

  1. I haven’t checked for asparagus yet…we spent hours in the garden today pulling out the dreaded forget-me-nots. When I lived in Western Australia they were never a problem and the heat killed them off each year but here they live, they grow, they flourish and they multipy exponentially! We raked, we burned, we cleared, we pulled and at the end of the day we felt an amazingly serene tiredness that was tinged with springtime happiness… a job done, ticked off and now we can smile :). I love reading about your garden and I love your flowers in with the veggies, a great way to confuse a bug and keep your garden (and the bugs) fresh and guessing. I will check for asparagus tomorrow right after I pull out the forget-me-nots (always wondered why they called them that and NOW I KNOW! ;)) from the veggie garden 🙂 Wish me luck!

    1. Hi there. I am with you with that tiredness that comes from a hard days yakker in a spring garden. I am stuffed but the need to push on and get things done seems to carry me forward. Hopefully there will come a day when I can just stop, look about and admire all I have achieved!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. Thats what we are trying to achieve here on Serendipity Farm. We are using permaculture principals to minimise the load. A lot of work initially and less work to maintain…I love the principal BUT we are still in the “lot of work” stage so you are right, bums up, heads down and hard yakka 😉

  2. Blooming calendula in the vegie garden in the erly spring! I have a one word solution that will bring peace to the garden and color into your home–bouquet.

    1. Hi there. I love looking across the garden and seeing the brilliant flash of orange against the green of spring, but if you let them, these plants can take over as the seeds are prolific. I have read somewhere that you can eat the petals in salads, but judging by the pungent smell – I’m a little bit sceptical, so a vase seems like the best option for me!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi There. At the moment asparagus is still very much a novelty and it is hard to imagine the day when we will be moaning – oh no not asparagus again…. but it will happen!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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