Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yup! Spring Has Sprung

Not a sign of a snow flake. He typed, crossing his fingers. Metaphorically, as it were.
Some things in the garden are raring to go, others are already on their way.

In the mini-greenhouse, the tomatoes, hot chillies, sweet chillies, lettuces, capsicums, egg plant and some spring onions are raring:
Not to mention more spring onions, brown onions, zucchini, cucumber, Kent pumpkin, watermelon and Italian parsley:
We're getting mid-teen temperatures most days but it's still single figures overnight, so most of these have another couple of weeks before they hit the ground.

Elsewhere, the precocious cherry tree, in its third season in the ground, in its second fruiting season, looks to have at least twice the crop it had last season:
And the Italian version of silver beet, over-wintered under a couple of layers of fleece, is repaying the patience:
Even the rocket is getting a shuffle on:
Rocket is very much an early spring crop around here, particularly in this garden. There are next to no shady spots in the garden, and a crop will bolt like a flash as soon as things heat up.

The first stringless French climbing beans went in early:
And possibly a couple of weeks early. They were started in the mini-greenhouse, flourished, and two or three consecutive days of high teens temperatures seduced me into planting them out. Of course, things immediately turned chilly and damp. But they're battling along.

Now, L'Artista is altogether fond of steamed baby new potatoes. Trouble is, Italy doesn't really do potatoes in terms of a wide variety of same. Look for seed potatoes here and you have a choice of white, yellow or red, all maincrop. Our very kind English neighbours - they have a holiday apartment at the top of our building - offered to help out. Last time they came, they brought a handful of one of the nicest new earlies, Arran Pilot, and, on the basis that I have limited growing space, half of them went into a tub of compost:
They've already developed since this photo. In fact, they had their first hilling the other day. The other half went into the ground. L'Artista will have no complaints this potato season.

Elsewhere, the carrots - Amsterdam Forcing, a wonderful early, sweet variety - are poking their feathery tops out of the ground:
And the radishes are doing their version of the same:
And last but not least, for this post anyway, the rhubarb is getting a rattle on:
Last year, I planted three seedlings started by a friend. Rhubarb grown from seed can be a dicey proposition at the best of times. Two didn't make it through the icy winter. This one did. The two fatalities hit the compost heap. L'Artista saved this one from a similar fate - as fond as I am of rhubarb, it takes up so much space in a small garden - and I transplanted it into a pot full of compost on the terrace. And it's booming. It can thank L'Artista.


Robyn said...

But I see no credit for all the weeding around the broad beans and the silver beet, not to mention the steps and terrace. Heck, I will mention the steps and terrace because that was quite a big job.

Scintilla @ Bell'Avventura said...

Credits due where credits due!
My cherries have only just finished flowering.

dawnbee said...

very impressed with your garden, i have some rhubarb seeds and forgot to plant them when the packet said last august/september, can i plant them now??

Anonymous said...

Is there such a thing as cyber-salivation?
It all looks wonderful (especially the weeded steps in the top photo!)

The Gardener said...

Ditch the rhubarb seeds. Rhubarb is best grown from planting crowns in late autumn or early winter. Two reasons - rhubarb seeds often don't grow true to type, and you're adding at least a year to the wait for a crop. Plant crowns and you wait a year to harvest. Plant seeds and you wait two years - if the seeds grow true to type.

As to any comments regarding weeding of the garden - brief cameo appearances in the garden with a garden fork and an artist's stool doesn't constitute gardening.

Anonymous said...

Will I get to see your tuscan garden some day...I love will be my request for lunch...rhubarbe tart, with maybe strawberries?

Robyn said...

Ronell - You can add cherry tart to that menu. Unfortunately the tarts are not helping my Walking/Weight loss program. And YES you will see our garden but do give me a little warning re. required weeding.

You should have seen the look on The Gardener's face the other day when I wandered past one of the vegetable patches and plucked out a 'weed' - turns out it was a baby parsnip that had wandered out of his row. I stuck it straight back in the ground but T.G. has been spending rather a lot of time on his knees attempting to encourage it as it clings to life.

MJ said...

OMGoodness! What a treat it was to visit your garden amid historic surroundings! I joined for up-dates :)

Having been reminded how much I love rhubarb I'm going to buy a plant to take to our summertime residence on the other side of the state. We'll arrive on Monday and can't wait to see how my gardens are doing. We were there for one week in early spring and I managed to clean up fall/winter debris. Not much showing yet except columbine, delphinium and some herbs. I will plant veggies, but our growing season is really short.

Thanks for sharing your garden!
Joan in Washington

Katherine Tyrrell said...

How did I miss this? Very impressive!

Robyn said...

Katherine, we are now eating the cherries and the rhubarb. The strawberries have just about finished but the raspberries are ripening. All thanks to The Gardener

Carol said...

As my dream is to garden in Tuscany, I am delighted to find your blog and read about your gardening exploits. Congratulations to you and The Gardener for your Tuscan Garden. Carol north of Sydney, where it's winter but deceptively warm, tempting me to plant when I should probably wait a while longer.

Robyn said...

Carol - How lovely to have you call in. You may be dreaming of gardening in Tuscany but I'm dreaming of walking along a white Central Coast beach looking for pelicans to sketch!

Great and fascinating to see your book making getting going again.