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April Garden Activity

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In this long-delayed Curiously Creatively update, I will be telling you about this year’s spring preparations in the garden. Over the autumn and winter months, I have been trying to continue doing odd jobs and not to let the garden become a bleak no-man’s land. It is all too easy on cold days to ignore the garden, except for fetching in another bale of peat or tipping the vegetable peelings in the compost bin. During the last couple of years, I have tried hard to be less of a fair weather gardener; I cannot say that I have completely succeeded, but I think there have been improvements. As we never entirely stopped gardening after the summer activity, it has been easier to pick up the work again in the spring.

So where does all this industry leave us then? Well, I am forced to say that we are never as far forward with various jobs as I would like to be at this time of the year. However, many seeds are a–sprouting and we have plenty of spring colours on the ground. Much of the colour comes from the very productive self-seeding forget me nots which have scattered themselves liberally around the garden. We have blue ones, but I do want to add some different colours to the mix this year. These little flowers are so useful for brightening up odd corners and filling in gaps. We have plenty of nasturtiums self-seeding again and this year I am determined to try to use them in the kitchen as we usually have a plentiful supply. Cheerful yellow Welsh poppies are also poking their heads up all over the place.

I am delighted to report that it looks as though we will have some lily of the valley this year, on the third attempt at raising them. I paid a visit to Homebase recently and succumbed to the temptation of having one more go at these lovely flowers. The shoots looked healthy, so I was optimistic of success, though the roots were imperilled when some nocturnal creature decided to dig in my newly planted patch. Fortunately, the roots survived being dug up (by said strange creature) and then being roughly stuffed back in the soil (by me). I have long wanted to have some lily of the valley plants because I remember them fondly from my grandparents’ garden, growing under the hedge. Fingers crossed that I will have flowers in a few weeks time.

While in Homebase, I had a rummage in the marked down section and bought seed potatoes in two varieties. As you might imagine, they were already considerably chitted. I have five each of Kestrel and Nicola, which have sat around in the shed awaiting my attentions (and becoming even more chitted into the bargain). Finally, I am pleased to say that my seed potatoes now nestle snugly in my new Dealz potato bags (€1.50 each). We have been able to use our own compost for some of our planting so far; with careful attention, I am hoping that our compost bin will yield a good supply this season. I do however have the perennial problem of an over abundance of eggshells in the mixture. Still, I suppose there are worse horticultural problems to have.

Look out for a further garden update soon, and do let us know how your garden grows…

Spring Flowering Garden

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After a hiatus of about a month, the creative blog urges are creaking back into life with the coming of spring (or what passes for it in this part of the world anyway). This is going to be a pictorial post to celebrate the colourful blooms that have popped up in our garden so far this spring. I have been trying to remember to snap our spring blooms this year so that we have a record of what we grow. When the winter cold is upon us once again, it will be nice to have the pictures to remind us of what is just around the corner.

Snowdrops

First signs of spring…

 

Some of the plants were already here when we moved in but others (such as the daffodils and crocuses) have been planted by us in the last few years. I am particularly proud of the snowdrops and I am anxiously watching them each spring to see whether they have increased in numbers yet. Sadly, I don’t think  they have, but at least they have survived unlike my lily of the valley bulbs that never saw the light of day. I would like to try to plant some more sometime as I have always associated them with my grandparents’ garden in my childhood memories.

We planted crocuses a few years back and these seem to have settled in nicely, becoming quite well established. I can’t remember how many I bought, but it’s probably reasonable to suppose that a few didn’t survive.

Purple Crocuses

Spring blooms

Nevertheless, as you can see we had a good showing of a couple of different colours this year. I wish crocuses stayed around a little longer into spring, but they always seem to be battling the unkind elements, especially the wind and rain which doesn’t do them much good. It’s lovely to see them though, even if it is for a short time. You can just also see the purple/blue of an anemone in the back ground. They don’t look as plentiful as on previous years, but maybe they came up when I wasn’t paying attention!

More crocuses

Three colours…

Japonica

Cheerful yellow blooms

Another bright spot on the spring landscape is something for which I can’t claim credit, that of the japonica in the side border which is certainly a very cheerful sight in the early part of the year. I don’t know what this variety is called, so if anyone knows just drop me a line.

The bright yellow flowers look as though they should be appearing later in the year, somehow I always feel that their bold colour looks more summery than spring like, but I am still very glad to see them.

Another spring favourite of ours is the creamy coloured primrose plants that we have grown near the bulbs. These busy flowers seem to be in action for most of the spring and summer and they form lovely delicate cushions of blooms. I usually try to deadhead them with small scissors to prolong the flowering period, though I admit that it is a rather fiddly operation, only undertaken when I am in a mood to be dedicated to the procedure.

Primrose clumps

Spring cushions

Yellow Primroses

In need of a trim.

You can see from the second photograph, taken a few weeks after the first one that the plants are beginning to look a little straggly. Time for a haircut methinks.

I have still got several more pictures tucked away, so I think that I will post up the rest next time. Watch out for further updates from the Curiously, Creatively spring garden. We’ll also be giving you an update on what vegetable seeds we have been sowing.

Spring will continue in due course…..has it sprung yet where you are?

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