Dahlia disaster 

It’s been extremely cold here this week which has felt even colder given the balmy temps we had the week before. Up in my balcony area we are frost free all year round which means my stocks have bloomed and kept on blooming right through the coldest days. So it came somewhat as a surprise that my dahlias on the plot had taken a turn for the worst on Tuesday. They were fine in the morning when I came down to take fleece off the greenhouse tenders but when I came back in the evening they looked like they had been pulverised. At first I thought that a plague of slugs had slithered through my bed, then I thought perhaps a wilting disease had wiped them out but after some advice from fellow gardeners I realised it was frost damage. 

I have made makeshift cloches out of buckets for night chills until the weather gets warmer. It’s my first time growing dahlias but I have learnt my lesson!

In other news, the greenhouse stock is looking very good. I was gifted some asparagus seedlings and 2 gojii berry plants from my scaffolder friend which are unplanned but welcome to the exotics list. The beans, toms, peppers, courgettes, melons, onions, leeks and brassicas are slowly but surely getting bigger and bushier. In comparison with the upset caused by frozen dahlias, my overwintered aubergines are beginning to pick up and have new flowers on. I have even splashed out on a paintbrush to increase the chances of fruits this year.
On the flower front the sweetpeas have now had their tips pinched out, marigolds are a plenty (numbers will reduce as part of a planned giveaway to my aforementioned friend), peonies are getting bigger by the day and I have a bucket of sunflowers which don’t seem to mind their unconventional temporary home. The sunflowers are self seeded from last year’s flowers. They appear to be frost hardy but were clogging up my onion beds so I scooped them up and put them in a bucket with a bit of water until I figure out where to replant them. 
I managed to find the time today to sow some spinach and even though it took a bit of effort I managed to get my Kelly Kettle burning nicely. Seems that woodchip has multiple uses! 

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