Waterford, south-east Ireland. 6th March 2021
We, The Head Gardener and I, shared the credits yesterday by separately breaking two spring gardening barriers. This week has seen more activity in the garden than the previous month. We might call it “work” but as we enjoyed it so much that would be inappropriate. Last Sunday and Monday were especially beautiful days, sunny and warm, and we spent all of each day outside. The other days were dry though not at all as warm but that was good enough to allow us spend the days outdoors.
We spent most of the week tidying up the beds, picking any weeds found, some cutting down and pruning where needed and freshening up the surface of the soil. This created quite an amount of material for the compost bin and several hours with the shredder before piling on to the heap. As material was added to one compost heap, I was taking it from another and spreading it on two of the beds – all part of the cycle of gardening.
So, these broken barriers? Mine was the first cutting of the grass. At long last the ground was dry and firm enough to allow me take out the mower and make a cut without doing damage to the soil surface. It’s a good sign that the grass is growing for it shows temperatures are rising and plants are coming into growth. Thankfully, I had managed to cut the grass quite late into the winter so there wasn’t a great amount to collect. There have been years when the weather has warmed, with strong grass growth, while the ground remained so wet that cutting wasn’t possible and eventually there was a lush meadow waiting to be mown.
With grass cutting, grass edging and spreading of compost, I had enough by 4.45p.m. today and went indoor – now, don’t think bad of me for I went and made the dinner for the Head Gardener who was in one of her “lost time” episodes and worked away until after 6p.m. – the second spring barrier broken which I always regard as a bit step forward towards summer and warmer days, more growth, more flowers and more pleasant times in the garden.
For the moment, let’s take a look back in photographs at the past week beginning with the cutting of the grass. Now, obviously, I couldn’t take photographs while on the mower but did take a walk around afterwards – which showed me I had missed one square of grass but I came back to it later. Cutting the grass is a three-phase operation here: most can be cut with the ride-on mower; the push-mower will get the corners where the bigger machine can’t reach and then I trim the edges with a battery-operated strimmer.
And, then there was the compost – I’ll let the photographs tell the story:
Crocus continue to provide lovely patches of colour in the garden. Crocus tommasinianus is first to come into flower and also first to go over but there are still some looking well. It is good to see the crocus attract bees and there was a steady flight of honey bees and bumble bees to the flowers all through the week – I managed to capture one with the camera.
Primulas are a favourite flower of mine, the ordinary everyday primulas that have been grown in old gardens for generations. I imagine many of these are crosses between the native primrose and other garden primulas – the Wanda primulas especially seem to do well in this regard and the crosses lead to nice colours and even the occasional double-flowered crosses. These are simple flowers and the most wonderful flowers of spring.
Hepaticas don’t grow especially well for me but then, perhaps, I don’t give them the attention they require. They came as a gift from a friend who grows them to perfection, each a perfect jewel, and when he offered me plants I told him that I only wanted those which would grow without any attention from me, ordinary ones which would simply get on with the business of growing themselves. They have managed to stay alive and to flower each year and one had been good enough to self-seed and spread it itself about a little – all without any help from me!
The snowdrop season has not finished yet though it is certainly winding down at this stage. I hope I have not repeated too many of those I have posted in previous weeks. In my defense, I can say that these were all photographed during this week and are all still in flower:
I’m sharing this blog with a group of fellow bloggers who contribute to a “Six on Saturday” theme which is hosted by “The Propagator” on his blog site. To read more contributions to the Six on Saturday theme go to The Propagator’s entry for today, scroll down to the comments and you will find other bloggers have posted links to their Saturday entries there. Lots to read!