So When I Got Home …

… it was raining.

My gardening plans came to nothing, apart from a quick look round and some photographs taken on my phone.

The pansies have survived their first night in the ground and the miniature daffodils have started to open. Pity about the rain, although I think the droplets suit them.

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Grape hyacinths shaping up well. Out soon, I think.

 

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How to Combat February

When February hangs around too long, you need these.

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Well, I do anyway. Everything seems grey, brown or green at the moment. Green is gorgeous, of course, but I’m longing for rich, intense colours. Jewelled, stained glass colours. The colours of boiled sweets in a tall glass jar.

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Anyway, saw these yesterday and thought they would provide a temporary solution.

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By the way, I quite like February.

It’s Starting!

Definitely a feel of spring about the place today. And about time too!

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Snowdrops abound; a suspicion of daffodil buds. Two or three pale crocuses have opened today, lonely and straggly in their oversized planters. (Where are the others?)

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I’ve planted out some more red tulips, which were a most welcome gift. A lot to look forward to there …

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Tiny shifts, tiny events everywhere, from the unidentified and intriguing (dark red shoots emerging in unmarked pots) to surprise discoveries (shy, white blooms of forgotten winter-flowering honeysuckle). And last year’s biggest rescue mission: white narcissus bulbs, found in a terrible, neglected state and given an emergency home in a huge plastic box. Too close together, too many in the box, but still alive and raring to go, by the looks of it. Let’s wait and see.

Looking Back

I took these last Sunday in the Peak District. How the weather can change in a week! Today: grey, raw, sleet and general murk. Just shows how we should make the most of things while we can.

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Brace Yourselves

Cold but searingly beautiful up on the moors this weekend. Pale gold grasses; stiff bronze bracken; hard jet shadows. Presiding over all,  a bone-white moon. Faint but welcome warmth in the sun. The light so strong it shows up every imperfection in my camera. I really must do something about that …

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A Garden in Winter

With not a snowflake in sight (though I’m hoping for snowdrops)!

It’s so mild that I’ve been tempted outdoors to do some jobs in the garden. I’ve re-potted a cyclamen (an indoor plant, this one, so not very daring of me) in the hope of keeping it flowering a little longer. I’ve rescued some hyacinth bulbs that I put away last summer and forgot about. Guilt made me look for them and give them a new residence. They were sprouting, and therefore deserve a chance, but they’ll have to remain outside as I found a large grub in the roots of one; I can’t risk them around my avocado plants and cacti, in case any more beasties are lurking therein.  The amaryllis bulbs had completely collapsed – eaten by said grub, I suspect.

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Something is flowering!

Last but definitely not least, I’ve tidied up the two old sinks I use for bulbs. A few plants had decided to set up camp: marjoram, which had seeded there from an adjoining sink;  Ajuga, or bugleweed, which spreads like purple wildfire; and a berried shrub whose name I don’t know. Nothing wrong with any of them, but they were threatening to drown the spring bulbs. Now I’m looking forward to the colourful return of my miniature daffodils and irises.

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Life returns.
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Messy, but better than it was!

‘Someone’ had put a plastic pond-liner at the bottom of the garden, exactly where my snowdrops come up, year after year. It didn’t seem important in summer, when we bought it, but I suddenly realised how close we are to snowdrop time and moved it away. The shoots look pale and flattened, but I think they’ll recover! (I posted about snowdrops in February 2015.)

Definitely a lot to look forward to in the next few weeks.

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Flying saucer in a plantpot! Life is everywhere if you look for it.