Sweet little snowdrops

I’ve had a marvellous weekend of minor triumphs. First, my snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) started flowering. Given that I only got the bulbs into the ground six weeks ago (and when I say “I”, I really mean my husband’s cousin’s wife Nicki, who has been helping me catch up on all the gardening chores I missed in the weeks before, and the weeks after, Lucas was born). But I can’t really skite as they’re the saddest little snowdrops you could ever see. Each bulb has each sent up two chive-sized leaves and a wee flower on a 10cm high stalk. I picked a few to take a photo of but I couldn’t find a vase small enough to do them justice. Ah well, next winter they’ll be fabulous – and fully sized too, I hope. 

This weekend also marked a major milestone in Lucas’ life. We discovered that, if we push him in his stroller to the end of the driveway and back, and then along the gravel path through the paddock and around the old equestrian arena and then up the hill past the chickens and around the horse chestnut tree to the end of the lawn and back (repeat as necessary), he’ll happily sleep for a couple of hours, parked up on the lawn, while his parents dig, sow and plant like crazy. Consequently, we made a fair bit of progress, in between feeding, changing, burping and, our current favourite pastime, behaving like a couple of middle-aged dorks to get a gummy grin (or 20) from our little man.

Seeds sown this weekend: Angelica pachycarpa (this glossy-leafed species isn’t edible but is very pretty in the garden), a packet of ‘Romanesco’ Florence fennel, giant red mustard, sorghum (I found a packet from Koanga Seeds that must be at least three years old so I’m not sure if the seeds are still viable, but what have I got to lose?), Nasturtium ‘Empress of India’ (I’ve sown the seeds direct, between my ‘Bright Lights’ silverbeet seedlings), a row of ‘Onward’ climbing peas, a packet of old-fashioned fragrant sweet peas, Chinese broccoli (kailaan), honeywort, Salvia ‘Turkistan White’ and Orlaya ‘White Lace.

Flower seedlings transplanted: 1 row of Oriental poppies, 1 row of ‘Strawberry Parfait’ dianthus, 1 row of the dwarf double Sweet William ‘Pinocchio’ (available in garden centres in punnets).

Anything else to report? I also planted two more rows of dahlias, 2 x 1.5kg bags of ‘Cliff’s Kidney’ seed potatoes and 50 cloves of garlic. Oh, and in exciting news from my mini plastic propagating house on the deck… I now have 3 parsnip seedlings! Gosh they take a long time to germinate. The swedes in the same tray are already ready to transplant. (And yes, I know you’re not supposed to raise root crops in trays, but rules are made to be broken.)