What I can make out with the weather forecast for the next week to 10 days is that temperatures are slowly on the way up, another two to three nights of minus one C degrees and dry sunny days with temperatures from 8-10 C degrees.
Well, we certainly won’t forget this Spring in a hurry, the north winds have been bitterly cold and we hardly stepped out into our garden, only to feed the birds twice a day and give them fresh water, how they survived in the severe weather goodness only knows and they are still singing their socks off! Even the buds on the fruit trees have held back waiting for milder days and nights! It feels as if the trees are on tenterhooks waiting as long as possible before they burst open!
In the warm afternoons I have pottered round the garden, weeded the flower borders yet again mainly looking out for Hairy Bittercress and looking for signs of life in various shrubs which have been affected by the “Mini Beast from the East” earlier in the year. There are hopeful signs for the Buddleias and Hebes with buds showing further down the plant.
In a few days we shall prune back the Buddleias and Hebes. With the Hypericums, Escallonias, Olearia, Bay trees and Bamboos there will be a more cautious approach where we need to cut back into the shrubs till we come to live wood and hopefully bring the plant back into forming buds. The Dogwood and Fuchias and ornamental grasses get pruned back hard to the fresh new growth at the base of the plant.
The window sills in two rooms of our house have been holding the seedlings I sowed a few weeks earlier and they are more than ready to prick out and pot on into individual pots, but there is still time to sow annual and perennial seeds, especially single flowered ones to encourage beneficial insects, to fill any gaps in the borders.
It is wonderful to hear and see the first Bumblebees and Honey Bees flying around early flowering plants, they love the Anenome blanda and the Heathers. To keep encouraging the insect life during the Summer we have set aside two very small areas in the back lawn for a wild flower mini meadow so in a week we shall sow the meadow mix and plant annuals which are still to be pricked out and planted into that area as well.
Little jobs like deadheading the Daffodils every other day, making plant supports out of Willow sticks or hoops from stock fencing, the pond needs to have the pump reinstalled and the net taken off will keep us occupied. Then some more sowing of Lettuce seeds into modules, also hoeing the vegetable beds before sowing the Carrot, Beetroot, Peas, Beans, Turnip and Spinach seeds etc. Lastly the planting of the leeks and more onion sets all of which will get watered before and after sowing and planting!
I think my head is spinning now so I had better stop and take one day at a time and enjoy what we are doing, the rewards will follow later, we are truly lucky to love what we do in our garden.