Well it appears that I made a few changes to our web site and most of my blog posts disappeared too! Don’t know where they went and can’t find them.
Here we are in the third month of the new year already having survived hard frosts, gales and lots of rain. We have also had some sunshine, always very welcome, and that has enabled us to get to grips with some gardening.
The new pink plants that were planted out into south facing border early last summer (see left) have come through the floods of last July and subsequent wet spells in fine fettle. The lovely blue/green foliage looked good and healthy and we removed the leaves from neighbouring trees that had accumulated around the plants as we didn’t want slugs and snails to have hidey places so that they could sneak out and have a feast!
A week or two ago we gently teased the soil around the plants to aid good air circulation, removed any weeds and sprinkled a few slug pellets around the plants.
The cuttings taken last autumn are now being potted up and it is hoped that there will be plants for sale at the end of next month or May (see photograph below).
I love this time of year as there is such a promise of new growth and little treasures to discover as the first primroses open, the peek of a violet amongst the leaves and the yellow catkins on the willow trees. The honey bees are having a field day amongst these same catkins and they are also visiting the nearby hazel catkins too. Quite a few bumble bees have been heard amongst the winter flowering honeysuckle, this shrub has masses of white flowers with a very striking perfume that pervades the air for some distance on a sunny day. Gorgeous!
Walking from our cottage across the hillside to visit the large pond with our little grand daughter is a mini adventure as we point out to her the pretty, cheerful primrose flowers, watching a bee on the dead nettle flowers and then hunting for frog and toad spawn at the margins of the pond. We even saw a couple of newts on the bottom of the pond; these little creatures with their orange tummies can often be found in our garden later in the summer and are the common newts, although that is a bit of a misnomer nowadays.
Rod recalls that when he was a lad he and his friends used to go to various farm ponds and “fish” for newts using a rod made from a length of wood with a small worm attached to it. He described the newts as being greedy! I hasten to add that no harm was done to the newts during this activity; the boys simply lifted the newts from the water and then let them go back in again!!