Like most of the country, we've had snow, frost, biting arctic winds and the result is that plants in the garden are three to four weeks behind this time last year. It's as though someone pressed a giant 'pause' button in early February and it got stuck on. I'm told it is going to warm up soon and when spring finally does arrive gardeners everywhere will be working flat out to catch up with all the sowing and planting that's been delayed. And the spring flowers will overlap with the summer flowers and...it could well be a hectic year!
But every cloud has a silver lining and the late spring has meant that I have had more time to finish the winter jobs that got put off due to the heavy snow.
The first was to replace a very wobbly rustic trellis at the side of the house. It had been in place for quite a few years and was only being held up by the rose that was attached to it. Needless to say, it came down very easily and I replaced it with one made from ash saplings from one of our woods (they needed thinning out anyway). A few hours with a saw, a drill, a hammer and some big nails and I was quite pleased with the result.
I also collected about half a tonne of horse manure from a local stables but it was a bit fresh to put straight on the garden so I filled up one of my compost bins with it and will use it later in the year.
My third job this month was a quick trip to a bustling Wray Castle to spruce up last years planters a bit and plant up two half-barrel tubs at the front entrance which are strategically placed over unsightly manhole covers. If the deer will keep off them they should provide a nice splash of colour outside the mostly grey castle.
|Planters and new tubs|
Words and pictures by Pete the Gardener.