Tag Archives: garden birds

First broccoli of the season

Calabrese (Broccoli) is one of my favourite veg to grow as it’s relatively fast to mature and the whole family loves eating it.

I cut the first heads at the weekend which is around 11 weeks after sowing. The seeds (variety Aquiles F1) were raised in the cold greenhouse, pricked out into small pots and then planted in the final positions 9″ apart. I’ve found that this spacing gives me the size of head I prefer whilst allowing me to get as many plants as possible into a small space. I’m growing 8 plants in all which will keep us supplied with plenty of broccoli for the next 6 weeks. You can see here what they looked like a month ago.

At this time of year I find the plants aren’t affected by pests and there’s enough rain usually to mean additional watering isn’t necessary.

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Once the central stem is cut this will encourage side shoots to develop and you can keep on cutting from the same plant a number of times. There’s still spring cabbages being harvested and once these have finished the cauliflowers will be ready – I’m growing a Romenesco type and also a standard white-headed variety (Cornell).

Finally we have a number of different birds in the garden attracted to the feeders that I put out and our favourite is this Great Spotted Woodpecker which has become a regular visitor. A lovely sight in the garden.

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Sunday Morning

Sunday mornings remind me of the Lou Reed song and they should always be lazy Sunday mornings in my opinion, well as lazy as they can be with two young children!

Saying that today Rach was busy making bread this morning which was delicious. There’s been a resurgence in home backing over the last few years, we’ve seen bread making on TV series like Hugh FW for example. As I mentioned in a recent post I am now on the Horticultural Society Committee and one of our tasks this week is to decide the 5 categories in the cookery section for next year’s Summer Show. So let me know if you have any ideas!

And isn’t this time of year great for garden birds? I’ve replenished the bird table just outside the kitchen window and spent 10 minutes or so scanning the garden for activity. I couldn’t believe how many birds there were. Blue and Great Tits lay siege to the Mahonia Japonica, they were practically buzzing in and out of it whilst a pair Blackbirds and a Robin picked over the leaf litter. There were lots of visitors to the table as well including a greenfinch and chaffinch and of course the ever-present Woodpigeons were stripping the honeysuckle which is all over the back fence. Last of all a Jackdaw popped on to the veg patch briefly to have a peck at something. It was great to see so many birds and has spurred me on to get more feeders up and a water bath sorted out.

I recently took part in a poll on the nation’s favourite river. Well the results are in and the Wye has been voted the favourite. No wonder it certainly is a picturesque river although I do feel sorry for some of the others such as Thames and Mersey that have to do battle with a more urban landscape and have been cleaned up enormously in the last two decades.

Hope you’re all having a lovely Sunday!