Germination – colds and seeds

I’m going to have to keep this one (relatively, for me) short and sweet, simply because I’m still not well and seem to have had a second wind with this cold. Or whatever it is. Bleh.

Firstly, thanks to each and every one of you that commented on my last post. I should have replied personally to each of you but, to be honest, I’ve lacked the energy and mind space to much at all lately. I’m just wiped out, especially this morning, having had about 2 hours sleep. But I have read, re-read, read aloud and read once more the comments thoroughly and taken heed. Believe me. I really have.

So as you’d imagine things have been going at a somewhat more leisurely pace here at The Smallest Smallholding. In the evenings, after work, I’ve been doing a little weeding whilst we let the bunnies ‘free range’, mostly because I’d either sit there and brood, or eat. So it’s a good time to do something constructive. Little bits and pieces, where I can.

If I feel any better this afternoon I might try and plant a few lavenders in, but I think today is a bit of a sofa day. I really thought I was getting over this cold/infection/thing but yesterday afternoon it came back with a vengeance. Is that normal? It just seems it’s been about 3 weeks in the making and then not a fully fledged cold, just a bit glandy (new word), tired, snotty on and off.  Now I’ve just got one of those really awful dry hacking coughs that make you gag, because I’ve been breathing through my mouth all night, a (literally) streaming nose and burning eyes. Joy. And then add to that beautiful picture a few spots (thanks in part to office-bought Krispy Kremes, NOT my idea), and rapid weight gain, and you have a truly stunning sight to behold.

Blergh. I’m no good when I’m ill. I was hoping to get over it a lot quicker so I don’t feel so down in the dumps all the time. It certainly hasn’t helped. And yes – I am dosing up on every known natural cold/immune system booster/remedy known to man.

Sooo rather than moan and relay all my symptoms to you (isn’t it boring), let’s talk fruit and veg.

My polka raspberries are sprouting now. despite Moppy’s attempts to eat all of the newly shooting leaves, so I’m hoping I’ll have a few healthy bushes to marvel at by the summer. My garlic and onions are doing well, as always, and the Charlotte potatoes are IN.

And my chillis and peppers are starting to germinate, despite not being in a propogrator – wahey! Well, not all have germinated quite yet. The jalapenos and cayenne peppers are yet to make an appearance, but I’m hoping once the conservatory starts to reach a suitable temperature, they’ll show themselves.

So I’m sort of on top of my planting, but there’s still a lot more to do. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure where I’m going to put everything this year. The onions and garlic alone (along with a line of raspberry canes) has taken up my biggest plot. I have a small bed dug out, reading for composting before I plant my salads. I figured a smaller bed for cut-and-come again salad leaves would be easier to manage and protect than big, long rows. I have one remaining vacant bed and I have to find room for cabbages, runner beans, a few varieties of squashes and goodness knows what else that’s lurking in my seed box. Hmm. Need to work out some space-saving solutions…

Either way, today I’m going to take it easy, and not feel guilty about it. I even had a relaxing bath at 6am (due to lack of ability to sleep due to feeling crap) with my copy of Country Living and a hot honey & lemon.

In February it snows, and it rains.

I was hoping to greet you all with many pictures and words detailing the amazing number of things I’d done this week. But it was not to be.

I finished work on Monday, and was given a beautiful bay tree as a leaving present.

During Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I waited for my wages to arrive. And whislt I waited, I ate, I ate, I watched Star Trek, and I cleaned, I baked rock cakes, and then Rich and I ate them all.

Friday arrived, and so did my pay packet. I whopped and cheered, and went shopping, safe in the knowledge that I’d have all weekend to get going with Things That I Have Wanted to Do for Weeks and Weeds. You know – composting, potting, sowing, planting, repairing. You see, I had cast an eye over the weather forecast a few days previously,  and was delighted to see that we were in for some sunny intervals. I didn’t check back. I should have done. Because today, it rained, and it rained, and it rained some more. Joyfulness.

I don’t mind rain at all, really. But it’s somewhat troublesome  when the volume of rainfall practically quadruples overnight, just when I really want to get on with some important jobs. It rendered me into a useless lump with nothing else to do. Well, I did go shopping. I bought a few clothes for my new job.

I’d also drafted a huge long blog entry a few days ago, tainted with hormonally-tinged rage about being stuck in the house and fed up with cleaning, clearing out and sorting. I couldn’t bring myself to publish it though.  The jist of that gargantuan, self-indulgent moan was that I’ve got as far as I can go on my own in the house. I have to wait for Rich to finish working his six million concurrently-running jobs before we can get on with the next (big) steps in our Quest to Live in a Normal, Nice House. We’re talking next steps like bringing down 100-year old cracked, saggy lath and plaster ceilings. Filthy work.

But, right now, every inch of me is willing spring to wake. I want be out there with it all erupting out around me. I want natural fragrance, warmth, growth, and green. And I can definitely feel it stirring – here in the east, that feeling of unrelenting bitter, biting cold is starting to edge away. The mornings and evenings are getting noticably lighter, and there are buds and shoots tentatively emerging.

But the rain has tripped me up this weekend – and having two missing panes in the roof of my greenhouse doesn’t exactly help matters. I can’t even get to work in there yet. Perhaps tomorrow I should head out and see if I can find some replacements? Not likely though, is it, on a Sunday afternoon? I think it might have to be a mail order job. For now we might have to just live with an unsightly but temporary tarpaulin greenhouse roof. I’m sure the neighbours will get over it. Good things come to those who wait. Or something.

I’m pretty desperate to get my raspberry canes in. Having read Kat’s blog entry about her Polka raspberries which fruit on the first year’s growth, I decided to get some of my own. But I’ve had them over a week (I shall blog in detail next time about my delivery from Victoriana Nursery Gardens – including why I’m going for wild plants this year), and I need to get them there canes in the ground quick smart. I think tomorrow I shall just have to brave the rain. I need to stop being a wuss. I’ll have to don the fetching combo of my oversized blue rain mac under a snowboarding jacket, leaky (spotty) wellies and woolly hat. Well, it can’t be any worse than my pyjama-spotty welly combo. That’s my usual morning summertime get up.

Oh, and I’m off out tomorrow to buy the wood for my greenhouse staging. Which Rich is going to build next week, he says. I think I might just fall over.

Hopefully I’ll have a more interesting update tomorrow!