Sunday, 23 March 2014

Apparently the 20th of March was the first day of spring and on the 30th British Summer Time begins, a couple of weeks after that I will most probably have seen my first Swallow and I'll be thinking of Christmas! Not really, arbitrary dates do not help me manage the garden according to the seasons that are predictably punctuated with unpredictable weather. For me I thought of spring when I spied the unfurling crooks of  Winter Aconites under scraped away leaf litter in January and it had arrived when their bright yellow flowers carpeted the ground beneath the trees on the driveway in February. The Winter Aconites have now finished, over for another year having had their fifteen minutes of fame. Hepaticas now  steal the show, Daff's are in full sail and all thought is of Tulips.

Mixed Hepaticas enjoying rare sunlight under the mantle of a large Box bush.

'Marvel of Four Seasons'
'Little Gem'

This coming week we shall be planting out vegetables into the Potager, I asked Mark to sow a few bits and bobs for potting on into three inch pots or transplanting into plugs. Lettuces such as 'Little Gem', 'Marvel of Four Seasons' and 'Cocarde' are now ready to go as are the various Chards and Leaf Beets such as 'Bull's Blood'.
'Red Drumhead' and 'Golden Acre' are the Cabbages we have at the moment, ready to plant, the latter is a round headed Summer Cabbage. As you can see spring has been around for a while; but I'm secretly wishing that the temperatures don't get too silly, i.e. hot, otherwise the slugs and snails will be on the rampage. Cool nights at this time of year allow the hardy lettuces and cabbages to establish before the conditions become clement for Molluscs. This time of year is the perfect golden opportunistic window for planting out your Lettuces (believe me they are hardier than you think), it happens but once a year!

'Bull's Blood'

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