So here I am still trapped indoors – today because of the ice and maybe later more snow. So I’m pleased I’d brought a little bit of springtime inside – this snowy looking thing is a pot of 3 hyacinth bulbs, which I brought in last week. If you had potted up hyacinths and got them ready for flowering in December you might have ‘held’ them outside in the cold until you wanted to bring them in to flower – and fill the house with that lovely spring time smell. One week on and they look altogether much more like it.
They’re replacing the ones I brought in at Christmas which have faded now. As and when I ever get a fork into the ground again they’ll go in the garden and flower again next year – but at their natural flowering time later in the spring.
I’m delighted to say I’ve got another pot outside so I can have more in a week or two.
I’d love to get cracking in the garden but things don’t look like changing outside any time soon. The Bloms bulbs catalogue arrived yesterday and got me quite excited at the prospect of actually gardening. But I am thinking about what little veggie seeds I can start off indoors in the next few weeks. Of course a greenhouse that’s in one piece rather than stacked up against the house wall would be good – but soon it’ll be up I hope. In the meantime I’m saving all the loo roll cardboard tubes and kitchen roll tubes to sow beans and trying to fathom where would be the best place to put the veg bed. Not having seen the sun for some time makes it a bit tricky though!
Believe it or not there is life stirring under all that snow. Spring bulbs amaze me, they fight their way through whatever the weather throws at them and make it into flower surprising us all.
Of course if you were organised (or planting in other people’s gardens as I was) the bulbs will have gone in over the autumn, but here in the new garden I have hardly planted a thing. I shoved a pot of grape hyacinths in because I saw they were sprouting, and I have some alliums in pots which I transplanted whilst they were still green last summer, but the lovely species tulips I’ve been collecting every year from Chelsea didn’t get very good treatment. As I should I dug them up after flowering and kept them in the garage. Then they came here and just sat in the shed until the week before Christmas, when I put two big pots together. But there are loads left. I must put them into compost as soon as it thaws otherwise we’ll have tulips in September, but that’s not looking likely any time now.
And if you’ve got some bulbs hanging around somewhere that you didn’t plant on time, never mind, just get them in. They might flower at slightly odd times, but they’ll sort themselves out next year. Very clever things bulbs.
It looks just lovely out there, the white stuff has completely hidden the disaster that is my garden. So the only work that’s happened outside today is to clear the path to the door for the postman and to feed the birds again. They’ve been swooping down even though they did have an audience of cats peering at them from the window at one point. However, I discovered they don’t like olives. Please tell me they won’t do them any harm. I had some left from Christmas and they’ve been on the table for 3 days now and the birds were starving this morning and ate everything else – clearly not to British birds’ tastes! To make up for it whilst I was out I bought some proper bird seed to add to the crumbs and cheese they have been getting which got a much better response.
One thing I did do was to the little conifers I have though and the bay trees. The weight of snow on things like confiers, cordylines and palms can do quite a bit of harm, breaking branches and getting things out of shape, so give them a shake. And I have a lovely yucca still in its pot which flowered wonderfully last summer, I can’t wait to put it into the garden in the spring and so I want to save it. I’ve put the pot on its side so that when the snow thaws it’ll just run off instead of seeping into the middle of the plant and rotting it.
This is Lilly pictured this morning about 2 cm away from a hot radiator pipe. How she didn’t burn her nose I don’t know. She is positively disgusted with what’s happening outside and has shot in and out once only to my knowledge asking to be put out of the door where I cleared the snow rather than hopping through the catflap into the thick stuff. Her friend Mistle is upstairs and has taken over the bed – he too has not been seen to leave the house. Good news for the birds at least.
Looks like the weather is staying like this for a few days so it’s unlikely much will get done, but at least I can think about it! If the sun comes out I might at least take some measurements and draw up a rough plan rather than working with the one in my head.