Sunday, 19 March 2017

Fruit Blossom, Seed Sowing and the Joys of Spring

Fresh green leaves are unfurling on the gooseberries and mirabelles. The pluot has burst into flower and I am screaming "No! Not Yet! Get a grip on yourselves and wait a while!"
I might be filled with the joys of spring were it not for an all-pervading fear that Jack Frost will sneak into the garden and teach these precocious blooms a lesson or two in timing. 
Pyrus calleryana 'Chanticleer'
If, like me, you garden without a greenhouse in the UK, you are probably exercising more patience than you ever thought possible. Every year I exceed my own expectations in the self-control department and with gargantuan effort, I usually manage to put off sowing vegetable seeds until late March. Even so, my office window has already disappeared from view thanks to a handful of ornamentals.
The table I use for seedlings has been backed by reflective foil and moved to a window. It is ready for action, and where am I? Still in the throes of bare root hedge planting. Meanwhile the weeds are having a field day hurling their seeds willy-nilly and the Wisteria is strangling a drainpipe. All of this activity means that while half of me is hoping that temperatures will not plummet, particularly as I am excited to try my first homegrown pluot, the other half is wishing that winter could last another week or three to give me a chance to catch up with long overdue gardening tasks. 
Unfurling Ribes
The answer, of course, lies in a cloak of fleece for the pluot to snuggle under should the weather turn, and for me to tackle the weeds and Wisteria. The fleece is a must, but if spring turns wintry, I shall be holed up in the potting shed with my seed collection and, joy of joys, a packet of pristine plastic plant labels. After all, it would be folly to climb a ladder to deal with a wayward Wisteria in bad weather, and as for the weeds, well, they can wait. They are, after all, a never-ending task.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

#My Garden Right Now

Here is a rarity: the Lesser Spotted Sitting Gardener. Brimming with to do lists and incapable of controlling the urge to weed, deadhead, sow and mow (not necessarily in that order or all at the same time), the Lesser Spotted Sitting Gardener is apt to instantaneously metamorphose into the Greater Spotted Sidetracked Gardener. 
Please don't let the turquoise mac fool you. It is machine washable and sees more non-bio action than your average coat. Shortly after this photo was taken, the Lesser Spotted Sitting Gardener scurried off to plant a yew hedge, and tested the mac's trench coat credentials to their gardening limits. Now the mac is resigned to spending yet another Saturday night dancing around a drum on a 30 degree wash.

This photo was taken today for the #MyGardenNow project. Details are here. Go on... join in. We all want to see your garden right now!

And if, like me, you have trouble sitting in your garden and doing nothing, why not try one of these?