At last I was able to get out into the back garden and feel the sun on my back! I have been itching to get out there for weeks, but every time I plan a day, leave it clear, forget about the housework and chores, the ground is either frozen solid, covered in snow, or it is raining! Today however, even with a light, granular dusting of snow, I was able to get out and finish off preparing the garden for this year. I cleared the deck as I had been stashing broken pots and other odds and sods there, and then started on the garden. I edged the lawn, which makes such a difference. Also, so many weeds already. Little tufts of grass and chickweed, but it was easy peasy weeding as things are only just starting to show, so the beds are quite clear. There are plenty of lovely crocus up and about, and a small smattering of snowdrops. I really should get some more as they are a joy, but I like them best en-masse, so it looks like I might have to save my pennies and invest in a large order.
I pulled up, quite easily, an old red stemmed cornus which was quite close to the front of the bed close to the pond. I am trying to take back a few of the shrubs, and there are cornus bushes everywhere as they root so readily, wherever an old tip has touched the ground, a new plant has grown! I also pruned back the variagated acuba which keeps threatening to take over the garden. I am pleased to say that after it's rather radical haircut late last summer, it has made lots of new young fresh growth within, so I am planning to keep nibbling away at it to keep it close to the fence, a lovely backdrop for the dahlias and mecanopsis which are infront of it....so long as the thick compost mulch I gave them in the autumn was enough for them to survive the worst of this winters weather.
The next plan was to tackle the pond. The weeds needed tidying up, leaves dredging from the bottom and the waterfall needed a little clean out. It wasn't to bad, however, we appear to only have 3 goldfish left. I know that horrible ginger Tom cat sits on the edge of the pond fishing....if I catch it....anyhow, we are going to try and create something beautiful, but cat proof to put over the pond. Netting is just so ugly...maybe something ingenius with bamboo, who knows.
One great thing about these windy winter days is it blows all the dead twigs from the weeping willow onto the lawn, so I raked all of those up and already the garden looks great. I noticed that the angelicas and dicentras are all up, hope we don't have a really cold snap as I don't want to loose them.
That was it for today - only did a half day shift, but achieved a lot. Finished the afternoon by watering the plants in the greenhouse, which are all coming along wonderfully. The Fushcia cuttings that Mary gave me are all growing rapidly, and the broadbeans that I moved from the conservatory to the greenhouse have really made a lot of growth. I really do need to get them in at the plot next week!
Just a quick little addition, once again, mumma hamster has 8 little babies. I gave them their first major clean out today as 9 hamsters in a confined space is SMELLY! They are all adoreable, and we would love to keep them, but between them, the fish, the giant stick insect and the antfarm, I think I have enough to clean out and feed and look after.