Sunday, 14 April 2013

T-shirts and taters

Stop press - was gardening in a short sleeved t-shirt today - can't remember the last time I did that - even if it did end up on the radiator after getting soaked in a downpour.  Fantastic to be out without various layers of swaddling and hats.

Had a multi-site day of digging today - a trip to the allotment to get spuds in, and ground elder attacks and weeding at home. So at the plot I now have a row and a half of Charlotte potatoes, and a row and a half of Rooster main crops in situ, along with a dressing of muck.  Can't wait to see what that does for them.  Forgot to take the raspberry canes which my dad recently donated,  so there is a useful reason to get back down there later in the week.  Checked on my peas, but no signs of life there yet - even under the tunnel cloche.

In the garden at home, things are looking a bit more cheerful as there are actually green things growing in the borders where I have planted my strong seedlings.  Makes such a difference.  A few circuits of the gardener's prowl also reveal that brunnera, astrantia, peonies, veronica and various other perennials are starting to sprout too.  There are even tiny buds on the spirea.   Lurking down at soil level, cowslip buds and grape hyacinth flowers are forming, so am praying for warmth and a growth spurt in time for next weekend's flower stall. Clematis 'Markham's Pink' has big fat buds waiting to pop, and that makes a surprisingly good cut flower, so it would be brilliant if that comes out in the next few days.

A mixed bunch of yellow cowslips, pink clematis, purple honesty and violet bluebells, along with the fresh green foliage of viburnum opulus.
This time last year, all these boys were out - none at this stage yet, but buds are finally showing on the cowslips and pink clematis at least.

Primulas are looking cheery, a few daffs are now out, and honesty is threatening to develop its flower spikes.  Allium and tulips are looking leafy and strong too. Come on you lot, get a shift on!

Any of my neighbours peering into my garden would have spotted me doing various jigs of delight today.  The first one prompted by me finally managing to up-end and remove the rambling rose stump after letting the winter frosts do their work (in combination with my loppers, fork and jumping up and down with my not insignificant weight on the stump for half and hour or so).  The second was when I finally got round to chopping down a straggly, half dead viburnum which I've been meaning to tackle for months.  Light can now get into the border beneath it, and it opens up a whole load of planting space, hence jig number 2.

Off to do all the neglected household chores now - if the weather keeps improving, the house is going to get a whole lot dustier and dirtier....


  1. Enjoyed reading your post it is such a pleasure we can go out short sleeved again. Yesterday we had our day too, lovely warm. I almost did not know where to start there is so much to do and we are weeks behind. Wish you happy gardening!

    1. I've got a long list of veg waiting to be sown at the allotment and lots of flower seedlings to pot on in the greenhouse. The conditions here are definitely warmer than they have been for weeks, and the rain we're getting will help the things I planted out to get established - so for once, I'm not complaining about it! The soil was actually getting quite dry before these April showers, so they are welcome for the time being. Lets just hope the rain remembers how to stop periodically this year.

  2. It's just so lovely when the sun comes out and you get to feel some actual warmth on your shoulders! I'm checking my tulips and alliums daily for signs of the buds. My first bluebells and pulmonarias opened up this week to give a burst of blur to the garden. Let's hope the rest are not far behind.

    1. My pulmonarias have kept pace with yours then, but the bluebells are lagging - keep going out to mutter encouragement at them in the hope that they'll get there by the weekend, but it's looking doubtful. Have spotted the odd tulip bud today, but they are still quite scarce, and no sign of allium heads yet. Spirea has come into leaf today, and amelanchier tree is on the verge of blossoming, so things are definitely moving at last.