17 February 2019

Dorset Garden Diary - Frog Spawn and the Birds are Getting Fussy

Hi everyone,

Over the past couple of weeks we've had the coldest night so far and now we have unseasonably warm weather which makes gardening much more pleasant. The garden is springing to life. As is the wildlife. There is already frog spawn in the pond...
this is a month earlier than last year - it appeared just a few days before the beast from the east in March. The pair of blue tits are in and out of the nesting box and we have had visits from the heron and a woodpecker. The small birds, however, are getting fussy. We changed the bird feeder from this (the seed version)
to this
because last week we noticed it was at a strange angle and when him indoors went to investigate a rat had managed to squeeze inside the wire outer. Unfortunately, it's tail had got caught on the bird feeder stand and it had died. Not a pleasant task for him indoors to have to untangle the rats tail and remove the feeder. I don't like rats but I did feel sorry for the poor thing. Anyway, I decided revert back to the type of feeder we used to have. But the birds don't like it and they won't feed from it! Anyway, it's staying up...I'm sure they'll get used to it eventually.

Last week was the annual clearing out and tidying up of the pottering shed. Before

and after
Much better. Him indoors also cleaned a lot of the pots and we spent some time tidying the garden.

Today has been very pleasant and I finally got round to sowing seeds:- mustard and cress, dill, parsley, coriander, antohi Romanian pepper, tomato Alicante, razzmatazz chilli, cucumber passandra, lemongrass, organic corn salad, radish and some free trial seeds for leek stocky F1. I also planted a couple of avocado stones to see if they grow.

The hellebores are in flower

the iris reticulata are so cute - only about 6-8 inches high

alpine narcissus - also 6-8 inches high

tucked away behind some leaves a primrose

And indoors the amaryllis is amazing

Well that's it for this week, apart from a light shower tomorrow morning the week ahead looks mild and dry...good for getting out and tidying the garden.


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3 February 2019

Dorset Garden Diary - It's That Time of Year Again

Hi everyone,

Hope the snow didn't cause you too much inconvenience. I cancelled my travel plans on Thursday afternoon because the local radio was adamant the snow and ice was coming in at lunchtime and of course, it didn't arrive until the evening. We don't normally get much snow here by the sea but it did settle and hung around until the following afternoon.

There was a heavy frost last night but the sun has come out and is trying to warm things up a bit. I've put the seed potatoes into egg boxes to chit, this year I'm growing Pentland Javelin and Charlotte second early. I'm going to grow them in pots because they haven't done so well in the veg beds although the nitrogen has been brilliant for breaking down the soil. And talking of soil, last weekend we finally put the manure on the veg beds

I sorted through the seed packets today - I can't believe it's that time of the year already. I've put them in order of sowing...March is going to be a busy month! There were a few packets of flowers that were out of date so I've sprinkled them on the flower beds and we'll see if they grow.

I also decided to cut back the other Miscanthus in the cottage garden but I've left about two foot or so of stubble for small animals and insects to shelter in

As you can see there's already plenty of greenery around the cottage garden and the honeysuckle is coming into leaf on the arch.

The daffodils are coming up

and I've no idea what these are so that'll be a nice surprise
A tiny primrose is beginning to unfold
And the iris reticulata have suddenly sprung up, they're only about six inches high.

In the greenhouse the jasmine is close to flowering

the bird of paradise has settled in nicely
and there are more lemons!

That's it for this week. According to the  weather forecast there is a warm front coming in this week but bringing rain with it - think I prefer the frost!



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