11 February 2018

Dorset Garden Diary - Seed Sowing Time and Some Colour in the Garden

Hi everyone,

I don't know about you but January has whizzed by. We've had all weathers this winter from Storm Eleanor with high winds (had to secure the pottering shed door as it kept blowing open) and torrential rain (the pond level was close to the top) to frosty nights where even hot water poured onto the bird bath didn't melt the ice, sunny days, snow and thunder and lightning.
Snow was forecast today but it hasn't happened, it's been bitterly cold in the wind though.

For the first time in four years we've had starlings in the garden. For three days running in mid-January, between 12.00 and 12.30pm, a dozen or so landed in the garden and raided the lawn and flower beds for ten minutes or so then flew off. Apparently there's been sightings of large murmurations over the town which is unusual and great news.

I've been keeping the birds well fed - most of the leftover Christmas crumbs went onto the bird table but not the Christmas cake as it was probably 40% proof!!

I'll be honest, I haven't been out and done as much as I normally would but I did cut back some of the dead foliage and trimmed back the cottage garden except for the grasses.

I planted out some bulbs I found in the pottering shed - no idea what they are (as usual!), turned over the veg beds and dug in compost then sprinkled with coffee grounds. I intended covering them to warm up the soil for Spring planting but haven't got round to it yet. I did find a walnut, a spud and two parsnips which happen to be the best parsnips I've grown!

The webs lettuce and fennel have survived the winter

The garlic and onions are doing well

And this is the hazelnut tree - not sure if they are catkins.

There is colour in the garden. The winter jasmine is still in flower - very pretty (never has leaves on it)

the hellebores have flowered in the past couple of days

The bulbs are sprouting, we have a few daffodils and plenty of these gorgeous iris reticulata

And the primulas are emerging

I potted on the purple poppies from the greenhouse and put them outside and pruned back the sweet peas 'tickled pink'. Today I started to get my act together and sowed chillies, peppers, tomatoes, radishes and various flowers in the propagator which I've put in the conservatory where it's warm
and...I've marked up the propagator drills and drawn a chart of what's sown where as last year I put in markers and the writing faded which made life interesting.
I've put the spuds to chit - Charlotte's, Pentland Javelin (my favourite) and Maris Piper (him indoors' favourite)
and sown coriander, basil and parsley for indoors.

One of the jobs I should've got round to and didn't was sorting out the pottering shed - I'll do it when it's warmer.

Twice in the past week I've found feathers strewn over the garden. This is the first time it's happened and I'm wondering what's killing the birds...not sure if it was seagull or pigeon feathers. And talking of birds, the blue tits have been back a couple of times to check their nesting box and we've also had a couple of visits from the heron.
The first time it was strolling across the top of the garden but the second time it was by the pond...I'm glad we've got the netting covering it.
Well I think that's about it. There's plenty of jobs for me to be getting on with for the rest of the month. Stay warm and catch up at the end of February.
Follow me on Twitter @DaisyDigga