I woke this morning to a heavy frost. The grass was white and every puddle on the driveway and paths was ice. there has been a gradual thaw but the ground is still white with hoar frost in the shade. I decided it would not be a good idea to walk the dogs on the road because the run off from the farmyards and fields would have frozen – another fall is would not be a good idea!
But the dogs need a walk each day so mid-morning I took them over the bridge that Rob (my son-in-law), Carrie (my daughter), Sam and Georgia (grandchildren) built with me over the stream at the bottom of the garden, and into the field on the opposite side of the valley. (These photos in the field were taken a couple of days ago – I didn’t risk carrying my camera over there this morning)
On the way through the garden I realised that things are beginning to grow. Daffodils are pushing through the grass near the gate and in pots in the South facing lean-to greenhouse. I bought some climbing roses to go on the chalet in the garden, to cover the rainwater butt outside the conservatory and for the end of the carport. Because there is only thin soil by the carport I put that one in a pot with the bottom cut out. Hopefully I will surround the pot with an old tyre full of soil before the plant gets too big. That system has worked well in the past. Today I saw that it is starting to shoot! And at the other end of the house some of last year’s wallflowers have a few blooms coming. I may still be hibernating but the garden, it seems, is made of sterner stuff!
However I am thinking about emerging from my nest. My order from Real Seeds (find them here) has arrived. I have saved quite a few seeds from my own harvest but not of everything plus I wanted to increase the range of varieties I grow. Actually I would have loved to buy a packet of everything they offer but common-sense prevailed! At the weekend my friend Jeni, who lives a couple of miles away, and I put in a combined order for compost and that will be delivered on Thursday. We opted for Dalefoot Compost (here) which was highly recommended by Mrs Snail (find her here) and since we needed rather a lot between us it will be delivered on a pallet which means we do not have to carry it home a few bags at a time in our cars. Hopefully Jeni will be able to collect her share in a trailer so only one short trip. When we put up the greenhouse near the conservatory my late husband, John, built staging which includes a large, sand filled trough with a soil warming cable buried in it. Surrounded by sheets of twin-wall plastic and bubble wrap it acts as a huge propagator and allows me to get seeds off to a good start. It is, though, quite expensive to run so I only switch it on mid to late February and start sowing a week or two later when it has reached the set temperature. Any earlier and I not only get a big electricity bill but the short day length is not good for the seedlings. Hopefully my cast will come off before the end of this month and I will have more dexterity before starting to sow – with a big plot it is a big job but one I love.