Monday, 25 April 2011

Damsel flies and Pea shoots.

I was taking a breather from gardening by the pond when I noticed these damsel flies - they are almost in the centre of the picture and making a perfect upsidedown heart shape.

They flew away when I moved ......


............. but obligingly came back for another photo - again in the centre of the picture. I have been told that their presence means that the pond is healthy and balanced, so I'm very pleased to see them.



I love pulmonaria even though it seeds itself rather too willingly round the garden. It seems that each plant has a slightly different pattern of blotches on it's leaves. This one will have to go as it is growing out of the low wall at the back of the rockery; alright while it is still small but as it matures it will get leggy and untidy.


I have tried to grow auriculas for many years without much success. I had quite a few in different colours at one time and although I did everything I was supposed to and overwintered them in the greenhouse, used only terracotta pots and didn't overwater them, they never thrived and eventually died. This is one of three surviving ones, all the same colour, which I planted directly into the soil at the shady end of the garden about two years ago in a sort of kill- or-cure experiment. They looked very puny when I planted them out . Considering the harshness of the past two winters I wonder why I bothered with all that molly coddling because here it is with about six stems of flowers on it, and the other two have grown to about the same sized clump.


I was watching a gardening programme two or three weeks ago on which Alys Fowler said she had grown pea shoots from ordinary dried peas from the supermarket. Bags of fresh pea shoots are sold in the salad section for about £1 but these are so quick to germinate and were up in about 3 days! I think you can leave them to grow on a bit more, but I cut these this evening and left the bases to grow on again as a cut-and-come-again salad ingredient. I put one pea in each of the last eight modules when I sowed a tray of sweet peas and sowed them just over two weeks ago. It was on a Saturday a few days before a full moon and by Tuesday they were up. There must be some truth to planting according to the moon. It is supposed to be best to sow and plant on a waxing moon.


I sowed these outside about a week ago and they are already up though they didn't have the moon to help them but the warm weather has obviously had an effect. It's a very cheap way of getting fresh trendy salad leaves and much nicer than mushy peas! (Sorry if you like them).













5 comments:

maggi said...

Very romantic that the damsel flies make a heart shape when they are mating. Lots of other lovely photos too.

Wipso said...

Lovely photos. I love the magic of nature at this time of year when life appears from the tiny seeds that were planted. Thanks to your fab robin pics I checked our robin box yesterday to find that for the first time in the 4 years it has been lined with nesting materials :-) I'm keeping all crossed now.
A x

Carol Q said...

always enjoy seeing your garden photos Heather. love auriculas and ugh to mushy peas! lol

Val said...

How naughty of the damsel flies to do it right in front of you - lovely photos though!! Must spread the word about the dried peas - brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing .....

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely to see the damselflies!