Spring has definitely been lurking with intent for some time but this weekend I felt that it is definitely knocking loudly on the door. The snowdrops are now going over and hellebores, irises, little daffs, pulmonarias and primroses are now stealing the show. The ducks are paddling and quacking on the little surface water stream that borders the side of the garden. I have spied bee and ladybird. At long last the autumn flowering cherry ~ prunus subhirtella autumnalis has a sprinkling of flowers. This has never failed before to blossom both in autumn and then again in the following spring. This autumn ~ zilch! The bitter early cold snap in November cruelly frosted the flowers just as they were emerging, so they are even more of a welcome sight than usual.
I had my first proper session of the year at the allotment. I know that it's nearly the middle of March but I must confess to being a fair weather allotmenteer. The site lacks basic facilities which I can put up with during the summer months but not in the depths of winter. Hopefully this situation might be rectified in the future, as the allotment association intends to apply for funding to install a composting toilet. With a growing number of women and young families with children on the site achieving this has become an important priority. My first task was to do some much needed tidying up. Hopefully I will return later in the week to plant my garlic which I have started of in modules at home and also to plant shallots. The perimeter fencing is still to be completed. Although I am not keen on its appearance it has dawned on me that it has potential as support for climbing plants which could be a blessing in disguise.
This year I am making a deliberate effort to try to reduce the volume of seeds that I grow. I do not really need thirty plus tomato plants. So far tomatoes, sweet peppers, nicotiana mutablis and dahlia 'Bishops Children' have germinated. These firstlings are now spending their days outside in the greenhouse but are stil resident in the house at night. I have sown broad beans, 'Kelvedon Wonder' peas and beetroot in modules in the greenhouse. I plan to sow leeks, parsnips, chard and spinach later this week and something else which escapes my memory.
I have been fiddling about with my blog this week and would welcome feedback about the size of photos. Are they now too big? I am undecided.
Finally a big thank you to everyone for their ideas and hints on looking after my reptilian like hands. There were some excellent suggestions, which I think that I will try to knit together in a separate post at some time in the future. I was surprised to find out how many of you are fellow eczema sufferers so I would like relate this information back to you.