The last traces of snow finally left us this week, although I see that large swathes remain on the hills. The tractors round about have finally got going with their spring sowings, much later than usual, so hopefully the weather will be kind come late summer for the harvest. Today the mercury finally got into double figures, spring temperatures at last! The birds have known which season it is for the last few weeks as evidenced by the resounding dawn chorus which starts at around 4.30am, long before dawn, with the quacks from the trio of mallards which have taken up residence by the lily pond; they come every spring for a few weeks, then move on for the rest of the summer. By 5.30am, all the birds are singing their hearts out- only in Spring are they in full voice.
In the garden, plants gradually come out of their winter slumbers. Buds are swelling, bulbs are appearing, weeds are starting to grow! In the woods, the snowdrops are still flowering, preserved by the incessant cold that we’ve experienced this past month. This is one of those years when daffodils and snowdrops are flowering at the same time, although most of our daffodils are yet to burst into bloom.
I finally managed to get round to doing some planting this past week. The ground wasn’t too bad in places, although very wet and heavy in the woods, where the new Rhododendron has gone. A new order of three David Austin roses arrived during the week for the new west-facing border; I started planting this last spring with herbaceous but it lacked height which the roses will give it. I’m a great fan of David Austin roses; we have some already which start flowering around June and were still flowering in early January this year. The varieties I’ve just planted are Golden Celebration (golden yellow), Port Sunlight (apricot) and Harlow Carr (pink), named after the marvellous RHS garden in Yorkshire.
Delighted to see that the first of my Easter greenhouse sowings are starting to come through with the advent of the Pyrethrums; hopefully we’ll start to see some movement with the others during the week now that the temperatures are starting to warm up a little. Meanwhile the sweet peas, early lettuce and wild flowers are making good progress.