Last week I suggested that a cold spell was needed to set the garlic and fruit buds on the apples and pears, I will keep quiet in future!
This weeks weather has again seen an ever falling barometer, usual for this time of year. Daytime temperatures have been around 6°C, falling to below freezing each evening. The weather coming predominately from the north produced hardly any rain, however the change of direction to southerlies on Thursday left us with around three inches of snow to wake up to on Friday morning. Living in the south-west the snow never remains around too long and the thaw has already set in as I type.
Not much been going on this week in the garden, the spring bulbs are breaking through very nicely. The native hedge that runs along the side of the boundary is beginning to break as can be seen from the hazel catkins on the right. Our camellias are looking as though we will have a splendid display this year. Most are pot grown as our patch is not large enough to accommodate such large specimens.
My trial of going “peat free” this year for seed sowing and potting composts is going reasonably well. I have “test” sown some two year old seed of hardy annuals and tomatoes and I am pleased to report that germination has been very good. The only problem I have experienced is that the compost does seem to get waterlogged very easily, this I will adjust by adding some Perlite to the mix in order to assist in the drainage. As far as any seed sowing is concerned I have sown shallots ‘Banana’ and Prisma F¹, these are now in the greenhouse on the soil warming cable bench. I have sown sweet peas ‘Matucana’ and ‘Unwins Special Mix’ these also are in the greenhouse.
Our crab apple is looking rather resplendent at the moment but I have noticed the blackbirds giving it the once over so I guess in about three weeks time it will be stripped bare.
Hopefully the weather may improve next week and we will be able to get on with more seed sowing and planting up some bare rooted roses.