Friday, March 29, 2013

What Do You Want That Old Thing For?

It's really not feeling much like spring here, the wind is biting and although we've had some sunshine today, it's now back to grey and gloomy but in preparation for the long, warm spring gardening days ahead (ever hopeful!) I started sorting out the muddle of tools that were falling over in my shed. I have a motley collection of various tools but my favourite ones are my old ones.

Apart from the dibber which I bought in a junk shop, all the rest have been passed down to me. There's my Dad's wooden mallet (I think he knows I've got it!), Aunty Elsie's asparagus knife, Granny's hoe, Grandad's rake and shears, and Grandpa's spade.  I love the fact that these have been used by other passionate gardeners, and the wood always feels much nicer than modern plastic handles.

I also have an old trug, which is currently residing in the conservatory but comes into its own in the summer in the veg garden.

My family generally think I'm nuts and are often heard to say "what do you want that old thing for?" as I stop them from throwing things out - I got very excited by this old tin of my Dads!

But on my way down to the shed though I did spy some spring cheerfulness, daffodils

wind flowers

 and the buds of ornamental rhubarb.

I hope you all have wonderful Easters and that we'll all have some nice, warm, spring weather soon!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Little Tiny Springy Steps

The weather is not really conducive to gardening today as it's raining and blowing a right old hooley. But earlier on in the week we had a sunny, if very cold day and the garden was definitely showing signs of it 'nearly' being springlike.

These crocuses in the front garden were planted before I bought the house,

I love the contrast of the purple and orange,

whereas these yellow ones were only planted last autumn and I really like the subtle yellow colour.

Clematis Freckles is still flowering away, although she's quite high up in the tree so I do have to remember to look up!

And there will be crumble for tea, but not for a few weeks yet I think!

Yesterday I sowed tomatoes in the heated propagator and tomorrow I will sow leeks and plant my shallots in pots.  I'm experimenting with gardening by biodynamics this year so I couldn't sow the leeks at the same time as the tomatoes. It does seem to require pre-planning and organisation, which is where I may fall down, but at the moment it's my intention!  I'll tell you more about it another time.

Oh, and I found my lost scissors, they were under the seed compost in the shed.  'Of course' I hear you cry, 'where else would they be?'!

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Little Bit More Mud and Lots of Light!

I seem to have an ability to attract mud at the moment (remember the snowdrop/dragon hunt of the other week?).  This Friday was Light Night in Sudbury.  It was a celebration of art and artists of the Stour Valley, from Gainsborough and Constable to modern artists, and yes, you’ve guessed, there was a certain amount of mud involved!

By the time I met up with Celia the rain had stopped and we started off by watching a light projection onto the church in the market square, images from both old masters 

and new masters - this one is from one of Celia's linocuts .

The path/track down to the water meadow was quite muddy but worth negotiating as the water meadows were lit around the edge by lanterns that changed colour 

and the trees were also lit up - it was quite stunning.

On top of a boat floating along the river was an illuminated mechanical swan - again quite stunning.

And there was mud, quite a lot, which was quite disconcerting in the dark and a degree of concentration was required to stay upright (but I'm pleased to say we all did!).

Fortunately we managed to keep our feet under the table when we retired to the pub to eat.

And then on Saturday, when traipsing down the garden to the greenhouse I spotted the first daffodil to open.  

In my excitement of photographing the daff I managed to completely lose the scissors I had in my hand - and I still haven't found them!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The White Forsythia is Flowering

When I posted about the buds on my Abeliophyllum Distichum (otherwise know as White Forsythia) several people asked me to post pictures when they opened so here they are:

It only opened properly this week and although it's still quite a scrawny looking shrub I'm so pleased that after 4 years it has actually got a decent number of flowers on it!

As well as looking delicate and beautiful they also have a very pleasant scent.  The very slight pink tinge isn't really visible except through the camera!

It's not an easy plant to locate, I got mine from the Place For Plants, but if you can track one down I would recommend it as a slow growing lovely early spring shrub.  I need to prune mine when it's finished flowering to try and persuade it not to be quite so scrawny.

I'll leave you with Mr/Mrs Robin who was watching me take photos of the White Forsythia!