Wednesday, March 23

Spring means primroses and goings on …

21st March the first day of spring kick started us into some overdue action in the garden and on the plot. We actually spent the first full half day of the season working on the plot pruning and tidying. Martyn spent a second half day clearing, digging and burning yesterday. Then today we had another afternoon mainly tidying the permanent fruit beds. More photos of our progress are on Martyn’s blog.
Beds are being dug so that soon we can plant out the fruit currently patiently waiting in the greenhouse. The raspberries were planted this afternoon. The fruit bushes on the plot are looking healthy and coming into growth. The greengage and plum trees have flower buds which I hope don’t suffer from any frosting. One fruit centred job that I never look forward to is the pruning of the blackberry which was done belatedly this week. The way we tackle this is explained here.
The trouble with things beginning to grow is that we may have harvested our last carrot as the ones still in the ground appear to have started to go mushy. Our last carrot wasn't a bad effort though weighing in at over 500g and that was after peeling.
Going by the sights and sounds spring was very much in the air.

In the garden we can almost watch the camellia, magnolia and crab apple buds opening.
The frogs are back – maybe some have never really left as males do sometimes hibernate in the mud at the bottom of ponds. They made their presence known by the now familiar croaking of the frog chorus. Obviously I wasn’t the one being serenaded and over the past couple of days more frogs have arrived increasing the level of activity. I just hope the croakers have managed to attract enough females and leave our fish alone as the frantic males can latch on to anything that moves in their desperation to grab a mate and fish don’t always survive unscathed!
The native primroses are looking fantastic full of flower so that must mean it is spring.
Activity has also increased in the web can nest box. A tentative attempt has been made by a pair of blue tits to start nest building – very tentative as they seem to take as much material back out as they do bring in. One bird has spent the last two nights huddled in the box so hopefully this is a sign that they are going to take up residence. Up to date images can be viewed here - well almost up to date as the latest activity won’t be available until later in the week as we have been too busy working outdoors to process and sift through the images.

The sun has shone all day (it's been actually warm) and Martyn has mown the lawns for the first time this year - IT MUST BE SPRING!


  1. Re the Bluetits tentatively moving in to the nesting box... wouldn't it be nice of we humans could do the "Try before you buy" thing, and live in a house for a short while before committing to purchases it?
    I love the idea of the 500g carrot - though it evidently wasn't a very pretty one...

  2. Glad to hear you are benefittig from the same good weather I have been having. I have seen plenty of activity too and also have some frogspawn in my pond which has made me very happy...I had no idea that male frogs sometimes hibernated at the bottom of ponds!!

    The flowers are looking nice to be getting back into the gardening again, it's always tiring when the season first get's going but that lovley tiredness that makes you feel alive once again!!

  3. Looks like you've been very busy. Love the pics of the frogs; primrose are super and the video clip of bird in nesting box interesting. The weather has greatly improved in Northern Ireland too.

  4. It definitely looks like spring has arrived for you!

    That's one mighty big carrot :)

  5. The primroses are looking wonderful :)

  6. That, my friend is a CARROT :D I love your frog photos, hope you get lots of little tadpoles, so cool (quite jealous) :) x

  7. Just got frogspawn in our pond. I love the native primroses - we have a couple of clumps, one in the front garden and one in the back. They are much paler than the gaudy primulas but so subtle!

  8. It would Mark - although that wouldn't help against unfriendly neighbours moving in after you did.

    I wish the lovely weather would last Tanya.

    More video of the nesting bos to upload WIG. The trouble is now that they are in the box a lot there is lots to sift through.

    It was a mighty carrot Robin and tasted surprisingly good for the size. Much better than shop bought ones.

    I just love native primroses Mo

    We usually have tadpoles, Carrie but I don't know how many managed to avoid becoming fishy snacks. Last year keen frosts killed lots.

    All the primroses are seeds taken from the couple that I once bought VH. I tried sowing bought primroses seed but had little success - it seems to need to be planted fresh so I sowed straight from the plants.

  9. Your native primrose are so pretty. You must be very busy now with spring planting on your plot.

  10. I love the primroses, they're one of my favourite flowers. Great frog pictures.

  11. Oh those primroses!! Glorious!

    Love the carrot - what a hefty root!! Wow.. it's cold here today (again), so your spring tonic was just what I needed! Thanks!

  12. We haven't really got started planting yet Diana - soon though.

    One of my favourite flowers too Jo, the frog face on just sat looking at me and croaking!

    The good news Nikki was I dug some more carrots today but not as big as this one. I think our weather may drop off again at the weekend. Hope you have some good weather too.

  13. That second frog picture made me laugh, what a character!

  14. He was Josephine - very proud of his croak!

  15. What did the mega carrot taste like? Pity there wasn't a show you could have entered it for .

    Enjoyed reading about your spring progress.

  16. The carrot tasted just as good as the earlier smaller ones Linda and what was even better was I found more yesterday - not as big but fairly big.

  17. I love your primroses, and that is the largest carrot I have ever seen! Hoe lovely to have great chunks of time to spend up at your plot getting all in order.

  18. It is good to be able to spend timeas we want, Janet especially after such an inactive long winter period

  19. "Interesting"I really enjoyed your blog post, i always got good, relevant and useful information from your new and unique posts, i m sure your blog will keep us continues update. Thanks for providing us such useful information.

  20. Mmm, those primroses are fabulous, also on my 'wish list'

  21. Don't try growing from a packet of seed BW. Buy one plant or scrounge one and take seed to sow freshly. If you were nearer you could have some seed from mine - I wonder if they would travel OK?


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