Thursday, 15 April 2010

Chasing Spring

As spring continues to unfurl, the garden reveals what is hot, what is not and what is just plain dead. Echinacea ‘Fatal Attraction’ seems to have pulled through (woohoo!) and is pushing up little scarlet sprouts while the Zantedescia has not (boo!) and nor has the Weigela (meh). Interestingly, there seem to be shoots on a lilac branch that I cut last spring and turned into part of a wigwam for a clematis. At about eight feet tall it is the biggest cutting I have ever seen – that is not a willow, obviously – and if it survives the summer I will have to find it a new home, somehow.

Just got back from a few days in Wales and some more full-on gardening. Everything in Berkshire is running 2-3 weeks behind where it was last year, but west Wales is at least 2 weeks further back even than that. The new veg patch is coming on nicely, though, and it is absolute bliss to be able to sow entire packs of new seed rather than feel honour-bound to use up the scrappy packs left over from small sowings in previous years. It is quite disproportionately exciting. Also discovered that nothing brings joy to my mother’s heart like a row of climbing beans, so beans there will be...soon. The picture above is celandines last spring - it does not look like that at the moment though.

Received a couple of Artichokes from Robinson’s seeds (aka The Mammoth Onion) this morning. Pretty impressed: healthy, robust, hardened off and in remarkably good nick; and nicely wrapped too which made it even more like getting a present than usual. Some of the best plants I have had by mail order.

The car was covered in volcanic ash this afternoon. Interesting reminder of a small and interconnected world. Man.

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