What a difference a day can make. It has been a typical spring week with dramatically horrible days hounded with strong winds, rain coming in sideways and a drop in temperature that can make us believe we are back in the depths of winter – almost but not quite, but after a few warm hopeful days a temperature plunge can call for a little melodrama. I was toying with the idea of going a little early with planting out my seedlings, but I’m glad I didn’t, they would have hated it. They are still safe and snug in the greenhouse although growing larger by the day!
Then all of a sudden, the wind dropped, and the temperature rose, and the sun came out and you could almost feel summer on your face, when not in the shadows. I welcomed these glorious days in at the end of this week like a long lost friend. I took to the day like a duck to water and began working my way through my overdue list. I felt like I had to make up for lost time, not only did I lose two days by not going outside at all for fear of being blown away or freezing to death. Ok it wasn’t quite that bad but once you’ve had a taste of the possibility of summer, it is hard falling back into winter weather so I may have gone a little soft and stayed inside in the warm and dry.
This season I also feel like I’m a little on the back foot as The Palace Garden took much longer than I thought and in my planning I had it down for being finished well before spring preparations began. Hiring one of the Teen Lads for a few hours a week is helping to catch up as I can get him doing laborious tasks that would take me ages, while I get on with tasks that actually make me feel like I’m pressing ahead.
As my mind is in catch up mode I just got stuck in and didn’t take any before photos. I kind of wish I had because the changes have made a huge difference. I keep telling myself once I catch up then I can relax. I know I’m selling myself a lie because to be honest there is always something new on the list in the garden so there no such thing as getting it all done. But at least I can get myself to a position where I feel I should be at that time.
So, in a mad dash to make the most of the time and the weather and get as much done as possible, and probably making for weary bones, I achieved a lot. The first day back in the garden I tackled my perennial herb garden. The biggest nightmare was my rosemary loves it too much and had taken over at least a quarter of the herb bed and where its branches has rested upon the soil it had taken root. So, I trimmed it back to the original stems. To ensure it didn’t try to take over again I removed all the lower branches, raising its canopy and giving the rest of the garden more space and light! Hubby the Un-Gardener collected the trimmings and stripped them off to make kebab sticks for the summer BBQs we’ll soon be having. The rosemary had smothered my French Tarragon and it will be touch and go if it survives but I have my fingers crossed if that at all helps.
The oregano was also set for world domination so that got a hard prune. I popped those trimmings in the greenhouse to dry the leaves so we have a supply of dried oregano in the kitchen should the weather turn nasty again and we don’t want to venture outside – even for fresh herbs.
The flat leaf parsley was next to get the chop. It was beginning to bolt, but at that point where there were still a lot of leaves on the plant. So, I whipped it out, removed all the leaves and then vac-packed them and froze them for that miserable day supply. I click and collected more flat leaf parsley to go in, and some chives to replace the ones I lost to aphids ages ago when I took my eye of them for long enough for it to be too late to fix.
I also finally removed the sorrel. It was in there good and took some prying out. I promised myself if I worked hard in the morning, I could have sorrel soup for lunch. It turned out quite nice, although not enough to secure a continued place in the herb garden. So, all I need to do there now is to tickle the soil with some amendments and goodies and its all set for a new season.
The following day down at the other end of the garden became more of a work in progress. I chopped back some tree lupin that were encroaching on my pumpkin bed, swapped the irrigation pipes from one side of the bed to the other to make it easier to connect it to the network, and did a big well overdue weed – with the help of a chicken and a Teen Lad. The three of us made short work of the job and I feel a lot closer to where I should be than I was at the start of the week.
Come again soon – the weather forecast for next week is mostly on my side… for now!
Sarah the Gardener : o)