After a few days away, I’ve returned home to a garden that’s considerably drier than it has been in months and with a fair sprinkling of crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths brightening the horizon every which way you look. Thursday, my first day back, was also gloriously sunny, although the weekend, when I first had chance to get out in the garden, has been cold and overcast for the most part, with the sun finally deigning to shine this afternoon.
Weather or no weather, it’s been great to get out and finally start on those Spring tasks: I mowed the lawn yesterday, which instantly makes the garden look a whole lot better. I’ve also planted up my latest project, a log store with a green roof, inspired by seeing a similar design for a wheelie bin store at the Hampton Court Flower Show last year.
I explained to a carpenter friend what I wanted and after much head-scratching, he came up with the following very smart structure, with a hidden gutter and lined with roofing felt and three long flat trays for planting. I lined each tray with an old towel to act as the substrate and hopefully stop the drainage holes from clogging, then filled with a mix of equal parts John Innes No. 3 compost, grit sand and horticultural grit. Finally came my favourite part, the planting: lots of thymes, sedums, sempervivums, small bulbs, phlox, lithodora, saxifrage, geranium, erodium and a gorgeous deep red Primula Auricula. Looking forward to seeing how it does over the coming season! Dusk was falling as I took the final pictures, but I’m hoping for great things.
Today saw me getting the propagator out from its winter storage in the garage and planting seeds, which always makes it feel like Spring has arrived. I sowed aubergines (Bonica, which were superb last year, and a mixed pack of Asian and European varieties, all different colours), Jalapeno chillis, Romano peppers, purple globe artichokes, parsley, basil, three kind of leeks, Lobelia Cambridge Blue and Achillea Summer Berries. Amazing to think how much fabulous produce will result from those tiny little seeds….
Let the 2016 season commence!