4 May - In a nutshell

It has been a couple of months now since I put pen to paper, so to speak, and a lot has happened during the time. It only seems right to bring you up to date, but I will try to make it brief.

Every year this gets coppiced to about eighteen inches high and is generally done in March. This serves a couple of purposes. The first is so that we obtain a different perspective of the garden from the house, as it opens up the view. The second is to retain the winter colour of the stems, which look best on one year old stems. The third reason is to obtain cuttings to go on and produce more plants, although it can be a year before you know if they have taken.


These have really come along in a short space of time, from small plants that have been potted on a couple of times to now being planted into their final positions in the greenhouse only yesterday. As soon as the weather started to improve they were put in the greenhouse every day for about a week, before then being left in there overnight with a fleece to ward off the cooler overnight temperatures. There was one slightly cooler night when I completely forgot about the fleece and the next morning the tomatoes were found in shock with their leaves slightly curled. With a bit of TLC they soon came around and have recovered well. They now have their first flowers starting to open.

Peas, Beans and Mangetout
These all grew well and soon as they were garden ready, planted out into their final position. Giving the tactics of the sparrows and their taste for peas, all of these have been netted with extra care taken not to leave any gaps, so that birds do not get caught up in the netting.

Flower Seedlings
All these are growing well and have been pricked out and potted on at least once. Some, like the ox-eye daisies are have grown reasonably quickly and are now garden ready. The cosmos are not very far behind and have now been place in the cold frame with the ox-eye daisies. As for the others they are taking up room in the greenhouse now and will soon need potting on again before they are hardened off ready for planting out in the garden.

Vegetable Seed Sowing
During the last month the seed of turnips, swede, spinach beet and beetroot have all been sown direct and the seedlings are now up and growing strong. Parsnips that were sown earlier in the year have also now finally started to grow.

The lawn
Early April saw the grass being given ins annual treatment, first a cut then a weed and  feed. This is then followed a week or two later with the grass be scarified to remove any dead moss and thatch build up. Finally a generous scattering of grass seed, particularly in those areas looking a bit sparse. It looks a bit worse for wear initially, but it soon greens up ready for the summer.

Back in December I bought around 100 bulbs from the Manchester Christmas market, there was a dutch bulb stand their from Holland and I managed to get a carrier bag full of bulbs for £5. Anyway, the majority of these bulbs were specialist tulips and were planted out in the garden. They have been flowering for the last couple of weeks and continue to do so. I also purchased some larger tulips for the greenhouse borders and these were to be treated as cut flowers for the house. These have now finished, but they did provide several bunches of flowers.

The Bird Box
The blue-tits have been busy building the next over the period of a few weeks and have now laid their eggs. There are nine eggs again this year and hopefully we will get to see them hatch, especially after last year. It was noticed today that for some reason the top of the box was no longer attached to the tree. We don't know how this has happened, but the box was hanging on by one screw and leaning at an angle. Unable to leave  alone, as it would have fallen if we had, it had to be judged when best to stabilise. Keeping an eye on Mrs Bluetit in the box, my husband managed to climb up to the next, block the entrance and refix to the tree. Whilst Mrs Bluetit new something was going on she did not appear to get stressed and now her and her unborn are safe again.