Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Spring is on the way...

Well, all the snow has now gone and the temperature has gone up to about 10 degrees centigrade during the day.  Spring isn't quite here yet but the plants are starting to wake up now.  Here's my first flower of the year, primroses I keep in tubs and put on the windowsills of my living room so I can see them when sitting on the sofa.

I also spotted this pretty flower when out on my walk today, I don't know what it is, but it's a tall shrub in a hedgerow covered in these flowers. 

So now it's time to get outside and start gardening.  I pruned my clematis yesterday and have started to tidy up the pots around the house.  The snowdrops are nearly open, and the daffodils are making good progress.  My rambling rose is showing signs of life too - I really like this time of year, when new shoots start to grow and I can look forward to the summer.

In the vegetable garden, I have now finished moving the raspberries, will include a picture in my next post.  The onions are now in the ground under a plastic cloche - these are a great help in our latitude as they warm up the soil before planting and protect the young plants from extremes of temperature, wind and rain.  It means I can plant and harvest earlier than would naturally be the case.  Today we prepared an area for the broad beans (fava beans in American I think?), manured and composted it and then covered it with a cloche.  I'll leave it like that for 2-3 weeks for the ground to warm up a bit before planting the beans.  In some years I've actually got them in by now, but the soil was frozen pretty much constantly through December and January this winter, so prudence suggests I should give it more time this year.

Finally, I got around to something I've been meaning to do for 8 months.  I took a picture of myself for my blog profile.  It was a nightmare - both my partner and mother are technologically challenged so I had to do it myself.  I had to position the camera on the windowsill and press the shutter at arms length so if you look at it and think that my shoulders seem to be attached to my ears, you now know why!  Despite the fact I waited until I had my hair cut so as to be more presentable, I don't like the picture over much, and it did require 8 takes to get me looking human.  At least after the haircut I don't look like Marge Simpson at the moment, unlike some mornings when I bear a remarkable resemblance!
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