Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Preparing for Spring

There is always an optimistic quality about longer days, brighter skies and glimpses of winter sun. The weather has been very mixed here with storms along the coast causing hide tides and gale-force winds, lots of rain, followed by a few days of warm day-time sunshine and bright clear night skies. A few trees down locally but no damage for us which is good.Whatever the weather, we know that at this time of years there is always lots to do.

We have pruned the fruit trees very little this year in the hope that we will have the harvest we didn't this past summer. The fruit bushes will be lifted and put into a new raised bed (when the wood arrives) and the vegetable beds and seed trays are slowly filling up with peas, twiggy pea-sticks, lettuce, beetroot and kohlrabi.

We are still harvesting flower-sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli, cabbage, leeks, kale, celeriac, winter lettuce, swede and fennel. The oats that were sown as a green manure have been dug in the bed where onions and potatoes will be planted. We have already bought our seed potatoes so it won't be long now before we have a day digging them in.

We have pruned some hedges but more needs doing and soon. We will thin out the hazel and use the poles somewhere in the garden. The wild flowers are out in force and there is plenty of colour in the flower beds and rockery area. A general tidy up of leaves, trimming back dead flower heads and moving the odd plant always brings positive results. The Gunnera has been chopped back as it had expanded in every direction and was becoming too dominating. We will leave the dead leaves on to protect the new shoots in the unlikely event of frost.

The water-lily plants have been taken out of the pond in readiness for splitting and thinning out. The root systems had already swamped the bottom of the pond and was in need of doing. We'll re-pot these and pop them back in the pond next month.

The hard-landscaping is at last coming close to an end and with any luck we should have finished the terrace later this month. Then it will be the final push on the front garden and driveway. With Spring just around the corner we are looking forward to another productive year in the vegetable garden and hopefully be able to relax and enjoy the garden now it has taken shape.

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