It has been all head down and bum up getting ready for this new season. I have been working so hard across all areas of responsibility that I have taken to ending my days completely exhausted in our comfy ‘grandfather’ chair in the sun for a wee bit. I may or may not have dozed off once or twice in the welcoming warmth through the bay windows.
In the last week we have been blessed with stunning weather, clear blue sky days with the sun pounding down, reminding us that it might be time to find the sunscreen and begin applying it regularly. The only problems with days like these are they start out really cold. We don’t get frost here, but the temperatures drop close enough to it that getting out of bed requires a lot of self-determination. The nights are closing in noticeably later and along with the clear skies there has been some of the most spectacular sunsets we’ve seen for a while.
But it hasn’t always been such lovely weather, the previous weeks were windy and stormy with so much rain. There was no sensible option but stick to computer gardening, which is just as well as I had a lot of it. Thanks to being trapped indoors I was able to work my way through my writing commitments leaving the lovely days to carry on with the spring prep.
Thanks to my handy helper some areas of the garden that have raged out of control for far too long have been whipped into shape and can now proudly face the light of day. And cover crops have been chopped down. This used to be a job I dreaded as it would take forever. But then I discovered a top tip to used hedge clippers which cut through the almost flowering mustard and lupin crops with ease. And then to stop the foliage blowing away – which is highly likely here, I cover them over with a generous layer of compost. There is plenty of time for the micro communities to work away at all the extra organic material and get the soil structure ready to receive plants in late October. Although it almost seems a shame to chop down the lupin as it has such a pretty blue flower.
I have started sowing seeds as well. I always urge caution about starting too soon because no good can come of it…. In normal circumstances. But like I said, we are frost free and although I can hardly believe it, I am slowly, season by season, pushing my boundaries to see where the limits are in a frost-free garden. I have still held back on some of the more sensitive ones like cucumbers. One whiff of a too cool breeze and they can give sulking lessons to teenagers!
So, on this last day of winter, my to do list is slender. There are still things to be done, but it shouldn’t take too much effort or time. Soon enough I should be able to enter that gentle ebb and flow of weeding and watering and tending to the occasional needs of my growing plants and sit back and enjoy all I have achieved. Or I will take the moments of spare time and throw myself into another project, which considering all of the ideas jostling for space in my head this is the most likely direction things will take.
It has been a good winter. Terrible weather for the most part but looking back at the start of the season before my handy helper started helping and I was in a right state. Today everything looks great, and the hopes of a new season sit heavily on an almost ready garden.
Come again soon – spring starts tomorrow.
Sarah the Gardener : o)