Saturday, 23 March 2013

It's Springtime

And now is the time of year to prune, sow, plant.
Oh, hang on a minute.

Oh well, maybe not. Hard to believe that at this time last year it was 20C (that's 68F in old money.) That Candlemas prediction was right on the button, wasn't it ?

When I first started gardening, it seemed quite straight forward. After all, the instructions of when exactly to do everything were written on the seed packets and in the gardening books. And so, I would sow tomato seed in February, because that's what it said on the packet, no matter what the weather was like outside. It took a while for the penny to drop, wondered why my seedlings were always so spindly. So now I garden to Nature's calendar which changes from year to year. The moral is, I suppose, to not believe everything you read. Oops, shot myself in the foot there.

Hope you're keeping your bird feeders well-stocked, so that the little birds can just fly in and ....
Something not quite right there. Yes, it's back, at least it was a few days ago, when this photo was taken. Must have been stocking up before the snow.

Ah, that's better, long tailed tits feeding today. Lots and lots of birds in the garden today, they'll be attracting predators if they're not careful. Talking of predators:

The magpies have finished building their nest at the top of the hawthorn tree. They don't seem very impressed with all the snow that's fallen inside it. And this brings me onto a very worrying point. Now is the time of year when many birds are usually nest building. In recent weeks there has been a lot of 'spring activity' if you know what I mean.  Hopefully, they knew what was coming and delayed things a bit.

Took this photo of self-sown Helleborus orientalis a couple of days ago. They are now under a large blanket of snow, but they'll be back. As too will these:

Galanthus Sam Arnott, usually finished blooming by now. But these aren't even fully open yet.

By the way, topical tip here. Topical I said, not tropical. If, like me, you have plants residing in a cold greenhouse. Maybe residing isn't the correct word to use there. Anyway, you're probably wondering when you should be watering them. The compost will be looking very dry at the moment, as a result of the cold weather. Well you know that snow, put it into your pots, not directly onto the crown of the plants though. Whilst the temperature is cold, the snow will act as a blanket, and when the greenhouse warms up, the snow will melt, not only gently watering the plants, but feeding them as well. Don't try this on tender plants that are still resting though. You don't want to wake them up in this weather.

And on a brighter note, remember that Nature always pays her debts. So, soon, we must be heading for a heatwave. You read it here first. Now what was that about not believing everything you read.