Sunday, 17 March 2013


The weather this weekend has been surprisingly good. We were expecting rain, and clouds, and cold temperatures. It has been cold (but not freezing); it has rained (but only overnight); and the cloud has been broken by patches of glorious spring sun.

Yesterday, we planted out the replacement willows to either side of the septic tank. The original plants (from last summer) didn't all survive: mainly attention from deer, we let the bed get rather grassy, which almost certainly weakened them. There are now about eight willows (red, gold, osier) down each side; the willows to eventually form the arches into and out of the pond garden are also planted. We realised we'd miscounted, so we needed to steal a few willows from the stand on the hillside, but that made space to plant the three sweet chestnuts that didn't fit, previously, in that space.

To start today, we sawed, split, and stacked a load of hardwood (mostly laburnum, with some birch), and then continued doing some tidying and clearing that began yesterday. We pulled up a load of grass from around the spring bulbs on the back bank, as well as around the daffodils in the copse.  The berberis outside the workshop patio has been getting in my way, so I trimmed that, and the neighbouring holly, back. We've liberated the Japanese quince from nettle, grass, and bramble grasps, and cut down brambles from along the lower bank. Hard, prickly work, and the compost bills are massively over-filled, now, but the garden's looking a lot tidier.

Lastly; another sowing of beetroot, in a pot, as the previous pots haven't germinated all that well. We're also still waiting for the celeriac seed to come up (sown 3rd March, so two weeks ago): if they don't show soon, we may need to order new seed. That said, I think they're expected to take up to 21 days, so all is not yet lost.

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