It’s difficult to ignore the awful fact that there’s now a war in Europe. So my first photo for this week’s Six on Saturday is of a sunflower, which is the national flower of Ukraine and which I post here as a small gesture of solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
I discovered that sunflowers are widely grown in Ukraine, which has rich soil that they enjoy, and the country is one of the world’s biggest exporters of sunflower seeds and oil. They have even featured in this war: have you seen the video of the Ukrainian woman confronting a heavily armed Russian soldier to offer him sunflower seeds? She told him they would grow where he falls. Kudos to her.
2 Shredder. This week, I have a new toy! I’d like to thank Fred a French Gardener for his really useful advice on shredders, merci Fred. I happily found a local supplier just one street away from where I live. This one is great because it can be folded away for easy storage in our somewhat over-crowded shed. Our neighbours’ rougue bamboo, which I dug up last weekend, was my first victim, very satisfying!
I was then able to make this lovely mulch with the many twigs and fir tree needles that came down in the storms:
3 Crocus. These are growing around the crab apple in the glade, a great colour for this time of year! Like little bowls of sunshine.
4 Allotment garlic. I gave the cloves from my own harvested garlic to Roberto last autumn for the community allotment I’m a part of, and here they are growing really well. I think they like the slightly sandier clay loam here better than my own heavier clay in my garden!
5 Allotment broccoli. This was always going to be a bit of a risk! I planted out three plants shortly after being given this patch on the allotment. They have been there all winter without protection, and at the mercy of the hungry critters. Well, one survived ok, but the other two have been well and truly nibbled. I’ll need to keep a closer eye on things! There’s also a fair bit of weeding to be done.
6 Allotment flowers. There’s a good mix of flowers among the veg, tulips will be coming soon, and these pretty narcissi and crocus add a bright splash.
Before I sign off, there’s some exciting news to report: I have started a new project, offering gardening workshops to beginner gardeners here in Belgium. There’s been a great response so far, I’ve had more than twenty registrations since advertising it on the Gardening in Belgium Facebook group yesterday! I’m looking forward to this new phase in my horticultural journey, and hope that it will be good fun too!
Thanks as ever to The Propagator who hosts Six on Saturday – if you visit his site, you will find plenty more gardeners sharing their gardens from around the world. Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!