Thursday, 26 March 2009

March 26th, 2009

Spring has definitely come to our garden again and it is a riot of colour. First to show up were the snowdrops and crocus then the daffs have started blooming like mad.

We even have a few primulas leftover from being planted last year that are blooming too.
And even the occasional tulip in bloom here too.

I am so happy to see spring arrive and not only have the flowers been showing well, but I have noticed a few bees in the garden already.

Well with the first sign of colour and the flowers blooming that is a sign for me to start my seedlings for the summer garden, as surely, summer will be right around the corner.

The top two tiers are Brian's flowers. :) But he has cheated and bought his. Mine on the bottom I started from seeds I saved from last year. Mainly Marigolds and calendulas and some nasturtiums. His are Fuscias and geraniums. Should be more colour this summer to follow the show from the spring flowers.
I also started my tomato plants and they are even bigger than this photo now. :) I did give a few to the plumber for installing my new mixer tap. I have been wanting a mixer tap almost from the moment I moved here. And thought a few tomato plants a worthwhile tip.

Peas are in the paper pots and lettuce is in the tray. And a few more flower seeds sprouting too.
And in the garden growing already is my Purple sprouting broccoli, that I over wintered under the poly tunnel. Nice looking leaves but only small heads so far.

And my Swiss Chard did well under the polly tunnels too. Nice to have some fresh greens already to eat when spring arrives.

This one is a red variety. I love chard not only for eating but it adds such lovely colours to the garden too.

Besides the chard and the broccoli, I pulled some beets and dug some potatoes and carrots that have overwintered too. And my fav veg the Caldo nero or black kale, has been going all winter too. The kohl rabi has been a bit disappointing, but it is all still a new learning curve of what I can and can't grow in my little garden. I also have a few herbs going well, both the flat and curled parsley are doing well as is the sage and rosemary and thyme. The oregano is just now starting as is the lemon balm and the mints.
The Plum tree, Apple tree, currants and gooseberries have new growth also and I can't wait for them to flower.
Besides the above in the last week I have some new seedlings sprouted, lots of summer squashes and more peas, and some sweet corn. The propagator is filled at the moment with some pepper and aubergine seedlings. Soon I hope to start my bean seedlings in a few weeks time. Also planted outside is a trough of carrots and lettuces. So it is all go here!!!! Now I just hope the slugs will leave my little plants alone!!!

Hedgehog Diary....
Well Tiggy is still here. And is now living outside in his new pen. And he has decided to go into semi-hibernation. The temps have become cool again, but he has a very well insulated nest box that is waterproof and filled with straw, paper and some towel bits. He will get deep in the middle of this bedding and is sound asleep when I check on him. Snug as a bug in a rug.
Brian and I go on hog watch to see if he comes out and is eating. For some reason he has decided his food box is also his litter box. One thing is I can tell for sure if he has been out at night and if he is eating. There have been a couple of nights where he hasn't been out at all. He has lost a bit of weight and is now down to 1200grams from 1345 pre -pen weight. So he is using up some of his stored fat while he hibernates and also he has a much bigger area for exercise too.

Here he is checking out the pen area behind his food box.

Besides his food box and nest box, he has a snuffle tray which is filled with dried leaves, rocks, bits of wood and soil. All sorts of goodies that hedgehogs like to snuffle.
If all goes well this Sunday and the weather report is favourable and Tiggy is awake and not hibernating, then we will open up the pen and he will be able to go or stay as he pleases. And just so that we are ready for his release. We painted a T on his bum. I used some water based acrylic paint so it isn't harmful to him and will eventually wear off. I wanted to make sure to know if it is him visiting our garden or not after his release.
And I think we might also have another hedgehog visiting the garden. We have just in case stuck out another feeding station just to be on the safe side. The first night or so I noticed something had eaten some of the food, but not seen anything the past few nights, but then again it has turned a little colder and wetter. I will let you all know when Tiggy is finally released. We will miss him, but hopefully he will go on and have lots of little Tiggys. :)


Paddy said...

I think you are right Pat, summer is not far away.
And good luck to little Tiggy.

Pat said...

Thanks Paddy. :)

Nettie said...

It's still quite unseasonably HOT here "down under" at the moment. It's supposed to be cooling down here now seeing as it's AUTUMN but the past week it's be up in the 30's temperature wise...& sticky...YUCK.
Spring is wonderful...think I'm getting too old for the HOT HOT summers we get here in Oz.
Bring on Spring! - but that's not until - September, October & November here in Oz.

Pat said...

Ohhhh Nettie, I don't like it hot. Prefer the much cooler temps we get here. Enjoy the pool while you can. :)