Monday, 15 February 2016

Signs of spring

Sunshine at last and already the first signs of spring are appearing. Some of the heathers are starting to bloom; they haven't minded the blasting they got over the past two months. I wonder how many other plants would have survived that in their exposed position.

Heather slope and blue sky
Filling in nicely
And the first of the daffs
The dry weather has meant we've been able to start prepping the garden. I've pruned all the apple trees, hazels and fruit bushes and carted some fresh compost to the vegetable beds for Jim to dig in. Jim, meanwhile, has repaired some of the veg beds so that they are all ready to receive now. The rhubarb has got a cordon of manure, which our farmer neighbour had left for us last winter.

Rhubarb in a bed of manure

The pond has been dredged just in time for the first frog spawn to be deposited.

Wildlife pond
Go, froggers, go
In the veg garden there is not much to see as most of the crops are underground (parsnips, jerusalem artichokes) or severely depleted (only the medium sized leeks and celeriacs remain), but the purple sprouting broccoli is providing some colour.
One of the prettiest veg?
We've started to put up extra windbreak fabric for the new hedges. Very cheerful the bright green fabric! I'll have to order another hundred metres of it. It makes an incredible difference to the hedge and veg growth rate.
Short wind break to protect the apple orchard
Windbreak fabric everywhere and we're not even finished!
The hedges are next - after the shower room is finished, which should be the last of this winter's DIY (we hope). Tomorrow the new wind breaks are going to get their first test when gusts of 60mph from the south are forecast.


  1. How long do you need to have the windbreaks befor the hedge manages on its own?

    1. We'll probably leave it up until it decays or rips beyond usefulness. The hedges will take three years to give proper shelter, judging by the one we planted two years ago.

  2. The heather slope is looking fab I love the slate it really does work well. Purple sprouting broccoli does look pretty - I'm going to try broccoli raab this year the 40/60 and 90 day varieties so I hope it tastes good. Rhubarb - do you just put the manure around it like a collar? Mine's just starting to appear so probably needs a good feed. It's turned really cold here I'm like a caged tiger the ground is frozen at the moment hoping for a thaw over the next few days.

    1. How funny - I've bought broccoli raab seeds, too - 40, 60 and 90. I think it should be a great veg for May and June when not much else is available. That and shallots (both seeds and sets) are my new crops for 2016. We put the old roof tiles next to the heathers to prevent the cats from burying them when toileting and to suppress weeds, but they do look rather nice. We found them buried in the ground. Everyone's been telling me to put manure on the rhubarb bed, but since I can't very well dig it in and I've draped it around like a collar and hope the rhubarb will get the nutrients eventually. Ground here is soggy. Hoping it'll dry out in the next few days!