So the grass has finally decided to start growing and our gardens are beginning to cheer up. What a contrast with this time last year! Of course we have no idea what the summer holds but it would be very nice if we had a ‘normal English summer’ for once? My description of this would be some lovely warm
weeks, but not roaring hot, some rain at times, but not too much, steady growth in the garden and not too much stress from these extreme events!
Despite the very strange weather last year I did manage to harvest some potatoes and although on the small side, and a low yield, they have kept very well, unwashed in a multilayered paper sack. My onions were also smaller than usual and despite the awful rain I did manage to ripen them and I finished the last ones at Easter, not bad going! This year I planted seed potatoes on Easter Saturday in sticky ground working from a scaffold board to reduce the risk of turning the soil to mud. If we don’t have any more persistent heavy rain, our clay
soil will be ready for planting and sowing before the end of April.
I hope you enjoyed the show of Daffodils at the Spring Show. This was really against the odds of any being in a
condition to show at all. Not once but twice they struggled out from under the snow. The display on Westmore Green was not at its very best but a lovely sight nonetheless. So for these reasons the Daffodil is my plant of the month. If you have them in your garden please only remove the old flower stalk and leave the foliage to flourish and make a new bulb. You will know when to cut the foliage down because it will have turned a
yellowish colour; use a pair of shears, strimmer or mower and in no time the grass will have recovered. I am often asked if it is necessary to feed them after flowering. Our soil is usually good enough for them to use the nutrients already there to make good bulbs but if you feed them with bonemeal I am sure it will help them to make bigger bulbs.
There are so many different types to choose from and there are strong opinions about which type is best for gardens. As a general rule use small flowered types for small spaces and large for large spaces. I am very fond of the wild specie Daffodil (Narcissus pesudonarcissus); it establishes quite quickly in grass, forming drifts of small flowers that are sturdy and reliable. Planting from October onwards is best as it helps them to establish and start to form roots over the winter period ready for their spring display.
I suppose I should be pleased that more and more dog walkers (me included) are picking up and taking their
poo home. But why oh why do
some folk think
that it is ok to then throw the bag (sometimes bright colours)
into the hedge? I have
recently removed six bags of dog poo from the hedge just on the
other side of the
stile at the bottom of Goatsfield Road into the sledging