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an update from the kitchen garden – february

27th February 2023
If last month’s garden update was all about getting prepared, this month has been focused on getting started...
If last month’s kitchen garden update was all about getting prepared, this month has all been about getting started…
With that in mind, after sowing the sweet pea seeds that I ordered in January, I’m pleased to report that on none other than Valentine’s Day this month, I went out to the greenhouse and saw the first shoots for Spring. Namely, the ‘Royal Family White’ and ‘Jilly’ Sweet Peas – £3.29 well spent if you ask me!

On reflection, I think it’s why seasoned professionals always encourage us to start with Sweet Peas. Unlike so many aspects of gardening – a hobby that demands patience and foresight – sweet peas offer (almost) instant gratification and glory, which in turn provides confidence for the months ahead. I certainly feel that way whenever I see my seedlings for the first time! It makes me so giddy and determined to do everything I possibly can to help them grow strong roots that can be planted out in due course… once any likelihood of frost is long gone, that is! I’ve ordered more sweet pea/bean frames with that in mind. 

In other news, we’ve also been blessed with two beautiful and bright weekends this month which have served to remind me of all the joy that’s coming our way! Though I spent one just walking (and drinking!) with friends, the other was spent in the greenhouse preparing old pots and loo rolls ready for seeds and (finally) potting bulbs. It’s quite funny, we’re clearly surrounded by fellow garden lovers because it’s like my whole neighbourhood left our winter nests *cough homes* and ventured outdoors to tend to our gardens at once. Personally, I had fun potting up muscari bulbs in beautiful terracotta pots courtesy of Hello Petals’s DIY spring pot kits. In my opinion, it’s the ultimate Sunday afternoon activity: Therapeutic, grounding and so rewarding! Lined with gravel, soil, moss and twigs, they now take pride of place on our dining table and will stay there for the foreseeable future.

The downside of having dry and Spring-like Sundays so soon however, is that there hasn’t been much rain of late. For that reason, along with tending to my sweet peas, I’ve been making a conscious effort to water the bulbs that I planted around the garden at the start of the month. Truth be told, though I know the hard work will pay off eventually, planting bulbs definitely tests my patience! You spend hours digging, planting and filling in the holes only to finish and it look no different! 

That is until everything starts to bloom, of course!

On the bright side, as I mentioned in this vlog last Monday, one of the best things about gardening is that you’re forever learning… then implementing said learnings the following year. With that in mind, my final task for this month was to clear the raised beds (back breaking work!) so that I can sow more seeds in a few weeks’ time. I put too many carrot seeds in last year so I won’t be quite so enthusiastic this time round! Fresh horse manure was delivered a few days ago too so the team at Nicholson’s will be adding that to the beds, which in turn enriches the soil.

Finally, though it’s technically wardrobe related, I’ve started to think about adding to my ‘quintessential garden dress’ collection. Aka. The dresses that I wear when I’m gardening! For me, whether I’m off to a meeting in London or gardening in my greenhouse, dressing the part fills me with so much confidence and in this case, boils down to ‘what do I feel best in when I’m gardening?’ Anything that resembles a comfortable sundress that you’re not afraid to get muddy does the trick. Bonus points if it has sturdy straps / lets you soak up the vitamin D in months to come! I’ll share my favourites this Spring, if you’re interested?

I think that’s everything for this month. I’d love to hear how your garden plans are coming along so let me know in the comments below!

PS. Interested in what I got up to in the garden last month? Take a look here…

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