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Its February - the month of love for some - the month to start seed sowing in earnest for me!

 The shortest month of the year but slightly longer this year as it’s a leap year.

In this first blog post of Slow Goose Flowers we’ll be looking at what is available for cutting for the house, what jobs we need to be getting on with in the garden and what’s going on in the kitchen. As the season continues I will be adding a bucket list for every month (a list of what will be in the diy buckets) and some tips for diy brides.

 

Cutting for the house


Pick a little bunch of snowdrops and some scented pelargonium leaves and put them in an old perfume bottle, egg cup or bud vase by your bed. It’s guaranteed to make you smile even on the dullest February morning.



Garden jobs

These are the jobs I will be doing this month:

·         Cutting back the feathertop grass in the perennial bed – Pennisetum villosum (I have a lot of trouble with the Latin names but it does help having a basic understanding of them).

·         We have a lovely wisteria on the front and side of the cottage which came with the house so I will be cutting back the wisteria side shoots to three buds from the base to increase flowers in the spring.

·         The strawberry plants are in pots and in the polytunnel – adding a layer of fleece to these will help bring them on sooner. Strawberry leaves and fruit are lovely additions to table centres.

·         Add rhubarb to the list to buy – we lost ours last year due to lack of feed and moisture (concentrating too much on the flowers – another lesson learnt!)

·         In the polytunnel I will continue to sow sweet peas – I have the autumn sown ones doing well and ready to go out in March. I bought some lovely varieties form the www.englishsweetpeas.co.uk and had great germination with them. I don’t pre sprout but I know a lot of growers swear by it, I really try to do the minimum possible!

·         Continuing to add cardboard and compost to the new bed, I’ve got behind with this as it takes an incredible amount of cardboard.

·         Wash down the polytunnel and the greenhouse and replace the missing pane.

·         Check over the dahlia tubers and start potting up the ones I want more of – once they sprout, I can take cuttings and pot these on. The aim is to have at least ten of each dahlia type so florists can have a cohesive number of blooms.

·         Sow!!!!! I have a heated propagator and grow light for the trickier numbers like the lisianthus and chillies, the rest will be in the greenhouse (once that pane is replaced) Cosmos, zinnias, snapdragons, stellata scabiosa……………………..

·         Take cuttings from the overwintered pelargoniums for more sweet-smelling foliage for buttonholes and bouquets.

·         Cut down autumn fruiting raspberry canes to the ground – raspberry foliage is lovely for bouquets.


In the kitchen

 

I have had a go at sourdough bread using the recipe from The Irish Bakery, Montgomery Press. I bought the sour dough starter online.



It was actually really straightforward and didn’t involve a lot of kneading just a sort of lifting and pulling. It takes quite a long time but not much hands on action – mostly being left alone to do its thing. The only trouble is there are only two of us at home and my husband found it too sour (head slap emoji) so I might only do it when we have people over. Just have to remember to feed the starter every few days.  




 


I hope you have a lovely February, Nicki  

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