Sunday, 21 February 2010
It is so frustrating waiting for spring! The seed order has arrived, the Charlotte potatoes are lined up chitting quietly on the dining room windowsill, but it's still too soon to get anything done.
One thing we were able to do (and 'we' in this case is mostly Granny in the Annexe, assisted by Brian and I) is to plant the bare-rooted fruit trees we had bought. In all we had a damson (Merryweather, pictured), two plums (Victoria and Opal), two pears (Concorde and Winter Nelis), three cooking apples (Grenadier, Lord Derby and Lane's Prince Albert) and four eating apples (Beauty of Bath, Claygate Pearmain, Ellison's Orange and Sunset).
These varieties were selected on a trip to Dolau Hirion Fruit Trees in Capel Isaac where we explained our requirements, topography and rainfall and the apple expert recommended varieties. Most are maidens, so it will be a while before we are able to enjoy the fruits of our labours, but it did feel like a very satisfying achievement to finish planting them yesterday.
I have to admit I was feeling disillusioned with the garden. Three years solid now of unremitting rain had dampened my enthusiasm for it somewhat. Things just refused to grow - like beans, for example - and the slugs were the only ones enjoying the conditions.
But it hasn't been a total disaster. Some things did well, like the courgettes (eventually) and there's still food to be found in the garden. I've just picked the last of the sprouts for tonight's dinner and there are a couple of small January King and Savoy cabbages still to eat.
My new lawn has done well too and is firmly established; at least a wet year was a good thing for a freshly sown patch of turf.
The optimist in me believes that it has to be better this year, which is why I'm champing at the bit. GintheA and I cleared one of the raised beds ready for the Charlottes, but it's the only bed dry enough for any kind of work. Everything else is still too soggy and today covered in a fine layer of cold white stuff.
In the meantime all I can do is plan things, write lists of jobs for Brian to do (fix the polytunnel is high on the list - the door has blown in and it looks like Steptoe's Yard in there). Then, and only then, can I start planting seeds. I just have one final week to complete at work (I've been covering for maternity leave and the new mum is back) and then it will be March and I can make a start on things.
Posted by Maggie Christie at 4:51 p.m.