Not too much happening in the Garden this past couple of weeks. While the weather was quite good last weekend, it was very cold with a layer of snow and rock-hard ground, so little scope to accomplish much.
A trip to the local DIY store was therefore arranged to stock up on sundries such as dahlia- and tree- stakes, and wire mesh.
It’s maintenance time in the Scottish Country Garden with rotten posts in the sheep field needing replacing. We have a visiting flock of Hebridean sheep here at the moment which are small and well behaved but during the summer months we have the altogether more robust, and significantly larger, Cheviots which think nothing of trying to force their way through the wires in search of the grass that is, of course, always greener on the other side! This puts pressure on the old posts and an annual review is required. The over-wintering sheep are welcome, however, and allow the grass to be nibbled right down, removing all the flattened down thatch and allowing us to see the extent of the mole runs in the field which also need to be dealt with at this time of year.
Yesterday I was strengthening the rabbit protection around some of the young trees that we have been planting on the boundary between the Policies and the sheep field to give some protection from the westerly winds. The dahlia stakes are good for this as they last for quite a while and are altogether stronger than traditional bamboo canes. We’ve also moved over to using .9 metre high chicken wire which should prevent the rabbits reaching up and nibbling the emerging shoots of the young trees. These are a collection of self-seeding Acers, birches and rowans which we’ve nurtured from young seedlings- nothing special but good for wind-breaks!
Next week, hopefully, it will be back to finishing off the apple and pear pruning which has taken rather a back seat in light of the freezing weather.
That said, it’s encouraging to see the daylight hours starting to extend particularly at the end of the day, and some much stronger light during the middle of the day.
While it has been very overcast today, a family of four buzzards has been circling over the Walled Garden, with the birdsong appearing to be on the increase in preparation for the nesting season. It’s also exciting to note that the tops of the Dutch crocus I planted in the autumn are now starting to nose through the grass. Harbingers of spring!