welcome to my little suburban oasis, filled with flowers,fruit trees and vegetables

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Half - term

February half-term holiday is when we expect a last cold blast of winter - possibly with snow. Well, there's been no such thing this last week. It's been damp and fairly warm every day except one - and that was sunny and really warm, warm enough to sit outside without a jacket and eat lunch!
Under the murk and damp, the garden is slowly coming back to life. Crocuses have suddenly appeared while no one was noticing, the forsythia is heading towards full flower and daffodils are looking ready to burst open any time soon - all that's needed now is a little more sunshine!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Sunny day's work

A sunny morning today so decided to do some pottering in the garden and greenhouse. Set some merveille des quatre saisons lettuce and a tray of rocket. Pricked out the onion and leek seedlings which started to numb my fingertips.
Then went outside and started to plant out the wallflower seedlings which should have gone in the flower bed in Autumn - still better late than never and the awful cold winter would probably not have been good for them - hopefully they'll catch up soon, but as I tend to treat them as perennials, it's ok if they don't flower this Spring. They should be a deep red to contrast with bright yellow daffodils. Didn't finish them as the ground was too wet and cold for my fingers at least, if not the plants.

New Life

Things are starting to very gradually wake up in the garden - vibrant green chives

shoots on the clematis montana

and honeysuckle

bud on bergenia

and another excuse for some snowdrops

Monday, 7 February 2011

Signs of Spring - yellow and white

Very windy still so went out in front garden to tidy up the flown in rubbish - and found crocuses hiding beneath it.

snowdrops have been quietly opening while no one was looking

even buds on the polyanthus and still flowers on the jasmine

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Picked this week

At last!! Back to picking dinner from the garden. Only a few rather ragged brussels but something nonetheless. These are the first I've picked from this year's plants. They haven't grown very large and some are starting to burst open but it's nice to be able to grow something, anything, through winter.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Candlemas / Groundhog Day Weather watching

"If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
But if Candlemas Day be clouds and rain
Winter is gone and will not come again"

Gardeners need to know when they can risk planting outside, when they dare move the over-wintered things out of the greenhouse without losing them to the next cold spell, so every February 2nd I watch the weather and try to predict the likelyhood of late frosts. I don't have a groundhog to help me so it's back to the old European tradition of standing a candle in the window to see if it will cast a shadow.
So far this year, Spring is slow in coming - snowdrops are up but not flowering yet, there are no crocuses to be seen and only one lonesome bud on the forsythia. As for the Candlemas prediction - today is cold and overcast but if I'd put a candle in the window it certainly would have cast a shadow!

Was that really helpful?

I'm not sure. Even without the candle, I'd have bet on more frosts and probably snow to come.