The Weather is improving

The weather gods must have been listening when I last posted, the weather has improved (somewhat) and we’re now back to what I would expect to be getting in April (showers and sunshine). So spring has come with a rush and we’ve got peculiar combinations of plants in flower in the garden at the same time.

We had Blue Tits in one of the birdboxes for a few days but they seem to have gone away. My thought was with the oak being late into leaf, the caterpillars were also late and so the birds were unable to get enough food for their young (either that or the adults were had by the sparrowhawk which frequents our garden.

The frogspawn has hatched and we seem to have a reasonable supply of tadpoles (assuming the ducks don’t eat them) but we haven’t seen any live frogs in the pond. I say live because the crows seem to have managed to find them and we’ve had a couple of dismembered frogs by the pond.

The tomatoes are still struggling to burst into life (actually looking back over photographs I’ve taken in previous years, they look much the same) despite having a few days of record breaking temperatures. What is different this year is that there’s more light in the polytunnel and greenhouses because the trees are later into leaf. Despite it not being ideal, the only place that I was able to put up the polytunnel and greenhouses is shaded by an oak tree throughout most of the morning. However, this year, because the oak is a fortnight later coming into leaf, the sun is shining brightly on them, raising the temperature quickly in the morning. The bad thing, as a result of this, is that the temperature in the polytunnel is going up and down a bit more than I would normally expect.

I planted the raspberry canes from the allotment and the first of the dwarf french beans in the polytunnel earlier in the week. The Strawberry plants are growing well and, hopefully, we will start to see some fruit in the next few weeks.

My raised bed is due for delivery today. The ground isn’t ready for it but I wasn’t expecting the delivery to be so quick. My plan (subject to modification) is to lay one raised bed this year, see how it goes and then to lay another later in the year. I had a look around at various places for raised beds, thought about using sleepers and other forms but ended up with WoodBlocX. They’re not cheap but, unlike many other places I looked at on the web, they look substantial enough to last many years whilst not being so thick as to take up a lot of space just for the surround. We shall see. Anyway, when its in, it’ll provide somewhere to put all the leaf-mould and compost we seem to have collected over the past couple of years.

So, all in all, spring is definitely on the way.