The ground is covered in a blanket of white and the branches of the shrubs are laden with snow.
That said, I do love this time of year, although looking out of the window it is hard to remember why. The days are getting longer and generally warmer, there have been bees buzzing around the garden, even a butterfly or two. On warmer days groups of ladybirds have been seen sunning themselves and the great tits have been checking out the nest box again. Last year the great tits nested in the box and we managed to see a couple of their fledglings in the garden. The garden is changing by the day, buds are forming on the trees and shrubs, perennials are putting on growth for flowering later in the year and bulbs are now beginning to flower.
You will see daffodils everywhere this time of year and one place to visit for a spectacular show is Thorpe Perrow in Bedale. In our garden we just have one type of narcissi and these flower over a sea of blue anemone blande. Well, I say a sea, more like puddles at the minute, but they self seed freely and given time they will multiply and eventually cover the whole bed. In the shady part of the garden we have clumps of primula vulgaris (native primrose)growing amongst brunnera macrophilia. We only ever purchased one of each of these plants, but with division over time they are really bulking up. The primula really come into their own at dusk and light up the bed with their pale yellow flowers. A couple of the shrubs are also looking good, with the flowering currant flowering a very vibrant raspberry pink and the camellia covered in large white blooms.
Unfortunately, as the shrubs and plants grow, so do the weeds. As mentioned in an earlier blog, when we bought the house, the garden was a little on the overgrown side and as a result there are plenty of weed seeds. These lie dormant in the soil until the growing conditions are right, and some weeds can produce hundreds of seeds per any one plant. I have a long battle ahead of me, as they say; one year’s seed is seven years of weed. However, a plant growing in the wrong place can also be classified as a weed and I tend to steer clear of any plants that can become invasive and a nucience. That said, I do have some raspberry canes popping up in the green house that shouldn’t be there! March is generally a busy month for sowing vegetable seeds and I haven’t got as far with this as I had hoped. It doesn’t really matter though as there is still plenty of time to get this done.
The tomatoes and peppers that were sown last month are now growing strong, as are the mangetout peas that were sown in root trainers, at the same time. The early peas that were sown last November have overwintered in the greenhouse and after being hardened off are now planted in the garden. With the spell of warm weather these are in flower and hopefully there will be a few peas to eat in May. In the meantime, the peas, spring onions and leeks have been sown direct into the ground and the onion sets have been planted for later in the year. Recently I managed to sow a couple of courgette seeds in small pots and already these are growing strong, these will be planted in he garden in late May when the risks of frosts have passed.
Outside the snow is still falling and it is hard to believe that in a couple of month’s time the garden will be full of flowers and vegetables ready for the picking.