|Eranthis cilicica and Galanthus Spindlestone Surprise|
I wasn't the only one active in the garden on those sunny days. The Hellebores and Crocus were abuzz with bumblebee activity. It's always a pleasure to see them return to the garden.
The roses have now all been pruned. I brought the Begonia and Dahlia tubers out from storage and potted them up. Already the Begonias had began sprouting but not the Dahlias. This is my first attempt at storing Dahlia tubers, they are showing no signs of life yet but they are firm so should be alright. The Cosmos atrosanguineus I think have failed to make it through winter. I had a hunch they would be trickier and indeed they have proved just that.
The Narcissus and Chionodoxa have now take over from where the snowdrops, iris and crocus left off. Various Pulmonaria around the garden too are coming into bloom. The Fritillaria are also near to blooming.
Around the garden buds on the trees and shrubs are fattening. Oddly enough I never fret quite the same about those. The star Magnolia in the side garden, which was once a tiny specimen, is covered in flower buds.
The Leucothoe that was rather sickly looking has recovered. All signs of chlorosis on the foliage is gone. I originally blamed the wet weather but I suspect it was more likely the cold that was the cause.
|Leucothoe fontanesiana Whitewater|
The lawns have now all had their first cut, edges tidied and I even managed to aerate the front lawn. This is something I've never tried before. I was chatting to a work colleague who has a troublesome lawn and he was asking me what course of action to take. Of course, it's best to practice what I preach - I don't have a tool to do this so used my garden fork. I rid this area of dandelions and daisies couple of years ago but note there are one or two at will need to be dealt with before they take hold again. Thankfully it's not a large area so it wasn't quite a chore. As you can see there is plenty of new growth out the front I have finished tidying all but one of the borders. I hope to get stuck into that this coming weekend.
|Aerated lawn March 2016|
The frame underneath though is still very sound and I need to take sections out at a time, this is all very labour intensive. I'm not as young as I was when I put this in 9 years ago! Those posts are sunk into concrete that is about 2ft deep! The whole area is covered with a weed suppressing membrane, which in turn is covered in 3 tonnes of gravel chippings. Yes, this job was meant to last! The disposal of the stuff itself is a headache, I only have a small hatchback car. It means multiple trips to the local dump. I am now on first name terms with Stan and Tam.
I don't envisage me getting it finished anytime soon since I no longer have many free afternoons. Now if only Olli was old enough I could enlist his help. Injuries thus far, a suspected broken thumb. A trip to A&E determined it was not but just badly bruised. This work, once completed, will not only mean a nice new shed to play around in but I will also have some new areas to plant up. So will be worth all the effort in the end. Can you tell I am trying to keep the vibe positive?