Seasons Still Confused – Have Done Some Work

Yes the seasons are still coming and going. We have had temperatures of around zero and plus 13 degrees within the last week! It’s just ridiculous.

However, in between the showers and frosts I have managed to get into the garden and do a bit. Tidying up being one of the uncompleted tasks – in particular in the ‘flower’ part f the garden – old stems, and annuals that have hung on, cutting donw a whole bunch of penstemons – which because of the weather had not ‘died off’. They are under-planted with a load of daffodils and some tulips, which to my surprise were almost ready to flower when I cut down the penstemons! The penstemons are now covered with some compost to make sure they survive any winter that we may eventually have.

Daffodils in flower already

Daffodils in flower already

In the veg section I’ve cleared up most of the raised beds now, adding compost from the growbags as needed and liming a couple as well as adding some pelleted chicken manure.

One bed has been dedicated to strawberries this year – I ordered up 24 plants of various varieties (they were on offer!) and the intention was to plant them in a hedge border which is rampant with ‘alpine style’ plants as well as some ‘proper’ strawberries after clearing it out completely and improving the soil. However, the plants turned up quicker than expected and when I started on the bed it was clear that it was going to take far too long to tidy it up – so they have gone into the nearest raised bed instead – most seem to be producing new leaves – see below

Strawberry plants just getting established

Strawberry plants just getting established

I did try to buy some new garlic bulbs before Christmas, but the garden supplier I was at had sold out. That’s how it stayed until the other day when I finally had a look at the bulbs stored from last year – which we have been gradually working our way through in cooking. Some were staring to sprout – so it seemed a good idea to use them as new plantings for this year. We seem to go through some much that I’ve dedicated a whole raised bed to them – I’ve planted around 30 bulbs – and they occupy a whole raised bed, so if they all produce we may have enough to see us through to the next harvest. Meanwhile there are still enough bulbs to see us through a few more months I think.

Bed planted with garlic - mesh protection to stop birds pulling them up

Bed planted with garlic – mesh protection to stop birds pulling them up

The ‘winter green manure’ has grown ok on the beds it’s been planted in – won’t be long before I dig it in.

'Green manure' bed

‘Green manure’ bed

Some seed potatoes turned up as well (a ‘free’ offer added onto another garden order) – they are ‘charlotte’ and currently in the greenhouse waiting to ‘chit’.

Charlotte potatoes - soon to start shooting I hope

Charlotte potatoes – soon to start shooting I hope

Wildlife

A trail camera watching a bird ground feeding station near the house captured some movies of a mouse nipping backwards and forward to collect some scraps in the middle of the night.

The birds have been a bit more active, the robins seem to be arguing about territory now for instance but there haven’t been any unusual bird sightings – we have the ‘great garden birdwatch’ this weekend – an annual survey in which all who want to participate are asked to spend a certain amount of time watching for birds in one location (garden usually) and noting the species and numbers of birds – the results help to identify declines or increases in the common species.

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