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A wet February, a wet spring

“March is the month God created to show people who don't drink what a hangover is like.” Garrison Keillor

Folklore says ‘A wet February, a wet Spring.’ And Feb had regular rain, but lovely sunshine too, with record high temperatures. So perhaps we might get away with it. Some of our trees and shrubs think it’s spring already and are producing blossom.

There’s lots to see in the garden at the moment. There seems to be purple crocus everywhere, and narcissi have started to flower too. Almost every container has bulbs shooting up. Did you know that snowdrops are one of the first bulbs to show because they have specially hardened tips to break through the hard soil? They are well adapted to the cold weather too, as they contain a natural antifree, what clever plants.

At the moment we are just keeping the garden tidy. Deadheading, weeding and getting rid of damaged and dead plants from last year. When I was tidying up the raised bed, I found the first slug of the year. It wasn’t very fat, so hopefully it hadn’t eaten too much of the garden. I threw it onto the grass. And about 10 minutes later our friendly blackbird was searching for food there, so I am hoping she found the slug.

Talking of birds, now is the time to look out for blue tits in the garden. At this time of the year the males start being very vocal. And they start to fly in odd ways to attract the females and to let them know that they are ready to help make a nest. Despite all this activity, blue tits, as well as other birds, can be quite weak at this time of the year. Their food supplies are very limited. So it’s even more important that we put out birdseed and fat balls (and slugs!) for them. That way we encourage birds into the garden too.

I’ve been busy making signs for the veg garden and the first few are in their containers now. They tell people what we are growing. And even give the odd warning. I’ve really enjoyed making them and hope to make more as the materials become available ie as we find them in a skip. A lot of our garden is made from things other people have thrown away.

In the last blog I mentioned that I was looking into vermicomposting. This is basically producing rich compost by using selected worms that feed on your rotting kitchen waste. This is usually done in something called a wormery or vermicomposter. The compost produced is full of beneficial micro-organisms, high in humus, contains slow release fertilisers, holds water well and of course is free. Some wormeries also produce a liquid plant food that drains from the compost as it is produced. This all sounds very good for the garden.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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