First, an apology. I’ve been attempting to write a post for the last month but have had to learn to type one-handed while nursing a little bambino, and get my not-so-computer-savvy head around the new wordpress page. (On this voyage of discovery I have found out that pressing the back-space key twice consecutively under certain circumstances deletes the entire post. It really doesn’t matter how many times you do it, or how much you’ve written, it all completely vanishes. I’ve also learnt I know far more swear words than I’ve ever given myself credit for).
ANYWAY. The garden. March. What happened?
Well, the sun did something fantastic – not the eclipse, that was a bit of an anticlimax here really despite a clear sky, no, it shone! It was warm and dry and lovely for a good few days so got quite a bit done outside. (It’s during this time that all these photos were taken. I am currently looking out at a pretty dismal, blustery day, but alas, it seems that having a baby means gardening can only take place in fine weather – what a shame.)
With the official arrival of spring there are certainly some spirit-lifting signs:
Celendines: the first sign of Spring are they not?
Some real lambs (ok, these little guys can be seen from the garden, rather than in the garden).
While peering nosily over the hedge, I also noticed the neighbouring fields have acquired an impressive collection of mole-hills. Thankfully (although I do think moles are quite cute) our lawn seems to be a tiny oasis of mole-free territory, I strongly suspect due to our cat.
For the first time ever I took a good look at our lawn though and it seems to be mainly moss. This isn’t a huge problem is it? I’m hoping it means less mowing.
Rather hypercritically, I’d actually like to encourage more wildlife. There are currently a few messy…I mean “wild”… areas in the garden, we’ve left this patch of grass around the tree un-mowed and hopefully one day I’ll get round to planting some wild flowers here.
I haven’t been quick enough with the camera, but amongst other things this month I’ve seen a heron, long-tailed tits, gold-crests and heard tawny owls in the garden. It’s great to see the bees out too.
I’m trying to recycle the heap of building rubbish occupying precious garden space. Some of the stone has found a new home as edging for my flower border. I’ve also been doing some serious weeding here, it had all got a bit out of hand.
I replaced the supporting string and pruned the raspberry canes and bushes. Not really sure what I’m meant to do with them so just snipped off all the dead bits.
Currently the veg-patch is a little bare. We’re eating the last of the brassicas – some small cabbages and tiny sprouts, along with a few baby turnips I found.
I’ve been leaving the stalk and outer leaves of the cabbages in the ground and just pick the edible heart. That way they sprout further baby leaves – not much, but better than nothing when the space isn’t needed for other things.
I’m currently willing the purple sprouting to actually do some sprouting.
Some of the salad leaves have overwintered. The corn salad/lamb’s lettuce is still looking really healthy. The giant red mustard leaves have taken a bit of a knock but some have pulled through, as has the land cress.
The garlic is doing well and I’ve planted some frost-resistance spring onion seeds outside.
Outside I’ve potted up my sage cuttings and sown sunflower seeds and broadbeans in pots in an attempt to beat the annual slug onslaught. I would put them inside but haven’t got the room, so instead I made a mini-polytunnel using some plastic (pram packaging) and old bits of timber. So far it’s withstanding the wind.
Inside my second attempt at basil has germinated in the propagator – success!
Other seeds in the propagator: outdoor cucumbers, courgettes, artichokes, Fat Baby Achocha (VERY excited about these, thank you Mum), Sweet Dumpling Squash and some flowers – mallow flowers, stocks and rudbekia).
In the conservatory I have made a pea nursery (again, in the hope they’ll have a head-start against the slugs),
the potatoes are chitting (charlottes), and I’ve planted leeks, sweet peas, French marigolds (for companion planting) and some more mallow flowers. Fingers crossed.