Friday was the Mayday public holiday here in Sweden, so I’ve been putting the time to good use in the greenhouse. With the veggie beds laying empty so far and knowing how Mother Nature abhors a vacuum I decided I’d best get my but into gear. I got all the shuttle trays cleaned ready for transplanting the tomato and chilli seedlings now they’ve got their second set of true leaves, then got to work with a useful little device called a paper potter.
|The paper potter is wooden former that allows you to turn pages of old newspapers, in this case the Financial Times, into handy little biodegradable pots for sowing and seedlings etc. They are equally as good as the little pots of peat you can buy and infinitely cheaper. It is one of the most useful gardening thingamabobs at this time of year. I spent a couple of hours yesterday making pots for peas and beans. Once they’re sprouting I’ll get them out into the veggie beds with minimal disturbance to the roots. Of course as you can see the paper potter should not be used without the supervision of a health and safety conscious cat – thank you very much Jyrkii. Today I’m going to be sowing salad in the greenhouse, so in another three weeks I expect to be feasting on my own baby leaf salad.|
|No matter how busy things get, I’ve always got time for a walk with Troy. Skåne is getting more beautiful by the day. The hedgerows and woodlands are a mass of white blossom and everywhere the air is filled with their scent. While out walking today we got our first glimpse of the Early-purple Orchid, [Orchis mascula, Sankt Pers nycklar]. According to Dioscorides, this beautiful little plant was used by couples in Thessaly to determine the sex of their future children. And for centuries it has been associated with love and reproduction, in Ireland it was used as a love potion and Shakespeare included it the fantastic garland draped on the body of Ophelia.|
|The young Yellow Ducks and the Skånegås continue to grow at a fantastic rate, and if the weather continues to be as pleasant as it has been for almost the last month, I’ll soon be able to get them out during the warmer part of the afternoon. They can consume enormous amounts of grass and it’s better for them than a diet of crumb alone. If there is a downturn in the weather then it will be chopped dandelion leaves mixed with the crumb, goslings eat these in such vast quantities that they must be good for them. I’m unlucky so far this year to just have a single gosling form the test hatch I did. I have however been lucky enough to have the young Yellow Ducks to act as companions. Goslings need something to imprint on and if nothing else is available that will be me. I’m hoping to be able to get another single gosling or to be able to introduce the singleton to any the geese happen to raise naturally in the orchard outside.|