a few things

Whittling, or the beginnings of

Dirty clothes from berries

And a belly full of them

Last year I let two chard plants go to seed to see what would come out of it, and I’m glad to report that there are a quite a lot of new ones that seeded, though the slugs are getting most of it…

jam

jam

For the first time I made red gooseberry jam. It’s delicious, it might be my favorite one!

today in the garden

Today I finally went to the garden, I hadn’t been there for at least two weeks because of so much happening with the shop…

Somehow I missed a bag of maincrop potatoes when I planted the other ones, so today in they went. I also took some of the seedlings that were growing at home to put them in the cold frame, to start hardening them of and noticed that the ones already there have grown a lot. I can almost ear them screaming to go on the ground, but it wasn’t today… I also weeded and took care of my “Mediterranean” bed, which feels like a big achievement!

Hoje finalmente consegui ir à horta, penso que há duas semanas que não ia lá, estive tão ocupada com a loja…

Não sei como mas deixei um saco de batatas por plantar, quando puz as outras na terra, hoje, remedei isso. também levei as plantinhas que semei aqui em casa para começar o processo de adpatação ao exterior e à temperatura lá fora, e reparei que as que já lá estão cresceram imenso. Quase que consigo ouvi-las a gritar para as pôr na terra, mas ainda não foi hoje… Hoje também tirei muitas ervas daninhas e cuidei do meu cânteiro “mediterrâneo”, com o qual estou muito contente!

May garden

There are a lot of weeds, but plenty of other nice things too. It was nice to see many blossoms in the apple tree.

Há muitas ervas daninhas, mas outras coisas boas também. Foi muito bom ver tantas flores na macieira.

May garden

The artichoke plants are doing well, I think (I planted them last year, so this is the first time I’ve seen it at this time of the year).

As plantas de alcachofras estão a dar-se muito bem, penso eu (plantei-as o ano passado, por isso é a primeira vez que as vejo nesta altura do ano).

May garden

I had to take some woad plants, they were casting shade on some plants and I reckon I wouldn’t need that many seeds. Next time I must remember that they grow up to 1,5 meters in the second year.

Tive que tirar algumas plantas pastel (isatis tinctoria) porque estavam a deitar sombra noutras plantas, para além disso não me parece que precise de tantas sementes. para a próxima tenho que me lembrar que a pastel cresce cerca de metro e meio no segundo ano.

May garden

May garden

I’m really happy with the  willow structure that I made earlier in the year, as it seems that all the poles are growing.

Fiquei muito contente de ver que todos os troncos de salgueiro, da estructura que fiz no inicio do ano, pegaram.

May garden

And a few more pictures of a May garden in Scotland:

E mais umas fotografias da horta em maio na Escócia:

May garden

May garden

May garden

May garden

May garden

Blue

woad leaves

woad leaves

woad flower

First two pictures is woad plant leaves, before it started flowering, they were very close to the ground; now, within just a few weeks, they’re up to my waist and about to flower.

Woad has been cultivated in Europe since ancient times to use as a blue dye, until indigo became readily available. Both plants have the same blue matter, but in indigo the concentration is bigger, however it’s  very difficult to grow indigo plants in colder climates. So, last year I planted about seven woad plant’s in the allotment. It’s a biennial plant, one should use the leaves for dyeing in the first year, since the blue chemical concentration is greater, and let the plant flower in the second year to save the seeds. I’m planning to save a few seeds and let a few on the plants to see if it’ll self-seed here in Scotland.

The process for dyeing with fresh woad leaves is very similar to indigo, I used the method describe in the book”Wild Color”.  I dyed two skeins of Bluefaced Leicester, some linen and silk, but I didn’t wait long enough, I was too anxious to see the results, that in the end I was a little disappointed because I didn’t get the dark blue I was looking for. It still was a great experience, specially because the children were involved, they called it magic to see the wool oxidase and turn blue before our eyes!

woad dyed

woad dyed

But, as they say, it’s all about the process, so last week I ordered some indigo because I wanted to explore some ideas for the shop, and finally on Monday I got to play… and I dyed the skeins of wool, this time with indigo and I love the results! And new products should be coming soon, too!

indigo dyed

warm Spring

beach day

beach day

This Spring has been unusually warm and dry; we are enjoying it immensely really, with high doses of vitamin D, beach goings, gardening and even short sleeves (for short periods of time, but still)!

At the same time, in the garden,  there are patterns that are repeated, no matter how warm it is, some years later, some earlier, but Spring nonetheless.

My windows are once more turned into a green house. I start seedlings at home, where I can water them more frequently than in the allotment, then plant them into bigger pots and take them to the communal polytunnel in the allotment, this year I won’t have a space (something that I want to write more about later).

seedling

seedling

seedling

Sowing peas (thank you to Paul for these pictures)

peas

peas

and potatoes,

planting potatoes

planting potatoes

and of course, we can’t speak of Spring and not mention a flowering cherry tree.

cherry tree

bumble bee

the allotment

 

 

It’s been two years now that we got the allotment.

Because this was an extension to the establish allotments, there was very little here. An edge at the top with native trees (wild rose,  hawthorn, and weeds!); one half was covered with black plastic the other had two (big) raised beds built, one sowed with green manure. That’s it.

It was early May, and got busy, as much as I could with two young children; the next year I had another baby and now, well, is not as I would like it to be, but we’re getting there… The  variety is great, with fruit bushes, an apple tree, annual vegetables, perennials,  flowers, wildlife and a lot of Buttercups!

These pictures were taken last week, the day was warm and the bumble bees were very busy, between the lavender, chives and thyme I counted about 12!

The season has been once more slow, but there are green strawberries, flowers, the red onions are growing well, so are the climbing beans;  Jerusalem artichokes are starting to show as are beetroots,  blue berries ,which I think have a very beautiful tiny flower(not shown in the picture as that was weeks before) and so much more…