clematis mayI have come indoors for a bit of a refuel and to get a raincoat. To call this weather disappointing would be an understatement.   Rain I can cope with (only because I’m thinking of the garden), but cold? It’s only 10C outside.

Even the four legged lawn mowers look uncomfortable.   I went down first thing this morning to shovel poo and give them an apple.   I don’t think anyone could enjoy shovelling,  unless of course you are a gardener who knows in a year’s time this stuff will be gold. fresh off the horse

The older stallion, I have noticed, is the greedy one. He eats cherry branches, any low shrub, and even cow parsley. But alas, neither of them seem to show any interest in the annoying vinca (perriwinkle) which is creeping inexorably about the terraces.   So that proves it’s a pest. No predator whatsoever. If you exclude the strimmer and mower.   But I can use neither with all this wet weather about.

mulched brassicasInstead I am mulching like mad.   Locking in all that moisture that persists.   I have finished all the brassicas in the lower vegetable bed.   And they all seem to be surviving and almost putting on a spot of growth.   My aim is to have these cloches on the brassicas for ages without having to untangle all the netting and have to get in there with a hoe.

The mulch is from castorama and very cheap for the 70 litre bags.   I actually bought them way back last winter thinking I could use them as a potting compost.   But the stuff is so rough and crumbly, I wouldn’t put them anywhere near a seed.   But as a mulch – perfect. finished brassicas

If I had more bags of the stuff I would mulch the onion bed.   It’s a thicket of small and exciting weeds. And lots of self sown cosmos from last year.   But I have managed to shoe in a few rows of the sown spring onions from early spring.

spring onions, reallyDare I show a picture? Well, if I have photographed a barrow load of fresh horse manure already, there is no low level to which I will stoop. So one thicket of onions, garlic, spring onions and weeds.

Luckily there are other pleasures in the potager right now apart from weeds. I ate another strawberry, tied in a few peas that are starting to shoot sideways along the netting. Don’t they know how much work one puts in to getting the darn things to shoot up?  And I planted another dozen lettuce seedlings.   This cold weather won’t be a problem for the poor leaves. They only bolt in the heat. And when will that come back? persicaria may

wood pileTo warm up I decided to attack the wood pile that has been serving as a wall between our lawn and the duck pond next door.   There is a bit more landscaping to do here, so getting rid of the logs was a nice warm the blood task.   I moved them to the wall below the swimming pool, ready for the car to take a few loads to the wood shed.   But as I can’t reverse successfully up the track (it’s a skill I haven’t mastered and don’t want to scratch the paintwork on the car trying) it will have to wait for someone else. piano before

But getting the wood out of the way meant I was able to give it a good clean and tidy.   And remove heaps of accumulated weeds and leaves from under the soon to be trimmed chestnut stump.

removed wallThen a brisk hour pulling out the wrong weeds, raking, sowing grass seeds and it is taking shape. duck pond landscaping

To finish the day I potted up the lemon verbena and placed it in the courtyard.

potted up verbenaAnd then as I was freezing but determined to get the most out of the day, I added an extra pair of socks to my cold feet and went up to the very messy pottng shed, where I potted on a few hundred basil seedlings. They are tremendously titchy right now, but with a warmer spring, they might surprise me and put on some growth. potted up basil