Saturday, 29 March 2014

Gardening At Last

The weather is improving day by day and giving us opportunities to spend time in the garden.  Sometimes the wind still bites and the rain still falls but the sun warms hands and faces and occasionally forces us to set forth without being cluttered up with coats and jumpers.  Today was one of those days.  After the rain stopped, the sun melted the clouds away and beckoned us outside.

What a difference a few days of warmth, sunshine, lengthening daylight and soft rain have made.  Everything in the garden, the hedge rows, the lanes and the fields is bursting into life.  Lambs play and doze, birds sing a fresh new song and plants push up from the damp earth and search for the sun.  It is a joy to be a part of it.  This afternoon Pea and I took the dogs for a long stretch and saw a lamb that had just been born.  The mother had licked him clean and we watched him take his first few wobbly steps towards her.  I think she was getting ready to give birth to his twin, so we moved away and left her in peace.  The bird feeders outside our kitchen window are full of beautiful birds all day long; they eat an incredible amount of seed and need re-filling daily.  It is like feeding a small child, but it gives us such a lot of pleasure to see them, it is worth every penny.

We have finally planted three rows of Pink Fir Apple potatoes and sowed a short row of radish.  To save space in the kitchen garden we sowed the radish over the top of the potatoes as they will be up and eaten before the potatoes need earthing up.  It was so exciting to have the first crop in our new garden at last.  I have waited four years for this!  In the end though, Pea and I dug out the trench and then she and H2 planted the potatoes. I got to sow the radish seeds.

The temperature in the poly tunnel increases the moment the sun shines through and makes it a very cosy place to be.  My trays of seeds love it and have started to grow this week.  The first to peep through the surface of the compost were the poached egg plants (Limnanthes), which will edge the kitchen garden and attract lots of hover flies and bees to pollinate the vegetables.  Yesterday the first of the borage seeds came up and a few sweet peas are on the move.  Love it!  We planted a few more packets of annual flowers this morning; nigella, poppies, cleome and a few rows of feverfew.  As there are so many plants coming up all over the garden and I don't want to risk digging up something special by accident, when it comes time to plant out my annuals, I will dig up a weed or rogue patch of grass and replace it with a flower.  That way I can weed and avoid killing something I want at the same time.

At this time of year you can almost hear things growing.  Once it starts there's no holding it back.  It will only get better from now on; the worst is over, long over.  The days are getting warmer, longer and a lot more fun!  There is something new to see everywhere I look and every time I go out of my back door.  H2 and I saw a young hare on our way to school one morning.  It lopped along in front of the car, taking it's time and looking for a gap in the hedge to make it's escape.  We gave it plenty of room and slowly drove by as it huddled up in the grass.  We got a really good look at him, which made our day.

I love the Spring time as it is full of the promise of many wonderful things to come.  Life feels more positive at last, lighter, easier and more fun.  There is so much to look forward to and even a bad day doesn't feel quite so bad if the sun is shining and the evenings are light and bright.

Enjoy the change of season and the beauty all around. xxx

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