March 2008


*apologies to Short Circuit fans..

I finally got off my backside this afternoon and built the bed i’ve been threatening to build for the last month or so. Bed 5 is now built! well.. semi built. it needs filling with soil/compost, which is being delivered on Thursday, so i really had to pull my finger out and get it built (and tomorrow’s weather forecast is rain – i really didn’t fancy working with a drizzle running down my back). Its worked better than i thought it would, but its very rough ‘n’ ready, makeshift – and shows it! hopefully once its all planted up with stuff it’ll look much better. I’m also hoping in the long run to get the poles hammered into the ground a lil further, although some of them (the ones behind the boards) will be coming out as the compost will keep the boards pushed up against the front poles. Either that or i’ll string some netting over, or some trellis, or something. I’m inventive!! Anyway, considering its not cost me anything (old boards, poles from the trashed greenhouse) I’m quite pleased with it, and i don’t think i’ve harmed the trees in the process either.

Photos behind the cut, as per usual. tomorrow: one girl went to get, went to get a barrow, one girl and her dog, went to get a barrow.. :D (ok not taking jess, and its a wheelbarrow. but i couldn’t resist.)

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I’ve written before about the is-it-isn’t-it way that spring is beginning this year. I’m certainly not the only one to have noticed: everytime we get a bit of sun and warmth and think “at last!” the weather sends a frigid blast down our necks.  and, although this week is scheduled to have some (rather more seasonable) warmth, next week is going to have another cold spell – hopefully, winter’s last hurrah. As Metcheck.com writes:

“A bit of a turnaround in the weather over the next week as we go from wet and windy to mild and sunny, then back to cold and snowy. Trust us, this could only happen in the UK.

It’s the result of what we call a Meridional Jet Pattern. Over the past few weeks we’ve had a active jet with areas of low pressure screaming in from the Atlantic. The first “buckle” in the jet occurred last week as Gale Quintessa hung around for ages, trapped in an upper vortex. This week, the opposite occurs as the jet retreats North and high pressure builds in under the upper ridge.

By the end of the week, we’re heading back into trough country and low pressure will race in from the North-west, deepen and drag down some cold Northerly air.

Models are starting now to agree that the change will happen, there is of course some disagreement in the intensity and exact track, however the terms swings and roundabouts as far as the weather is concerned has never quite been so apt.”

So if you’re a gardener: be warned!

With all that in mind, i think nature is holding out too. there’re some preliminaries going on, but i know, as a gardener, that the best way to know when to plant things is to look around and see what good ol’ momma nature is doing. So. here are some of the observations from this afternoon’s ramble (behind the cut as always), which lead me to conclude that while momma nature might get fooled occasionally, next week’s cold blast will be winter’s last hurrah. So i don’t know about anyone else but i shall be planting accordingly!

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I’m struggling some at the moment. In some ways i’m in limbo: waiting for things to happen. waiting for the compost to be delivered. waiting for the weather to clear (yes, i know what we talked about, sez, i mean in terms of getting non-hardy stuff planted). waiting for the broadies and sweetcorn to harden off so i can get them in the cold frame. its all creeping forward slowly, and i want it all to happen! spring to be here! instead of this slow creep. its demoralising.

I’m having a lot of bad dreams at the moment, with the result that i’m not sleeping as well as i should be. I don’t know why, and i don’t know what about, i just know i wake up either shaking or drenched in sweat. Michiel told me i’ve been tossing and turning a lot too. There’s obviously something my head needs to sort out. I tend to go quiet when i’m struggling with stuff on the blog, and write when i’ve got it sorted out in my head. That may be the wrong way to go around it but.. that’s me.

in terms of the garden: my broadies and sweetcorn are going great guns. In fact, they’re growing out of their loo rolls so thats why i’m hardening them off; hoping the cold outside will check them a little, cos otherwise they’re gonna get planted out before last frost risk date (early may for us). my tomatoes, tomatillos and peppers are doing well too. I’ve sowed a bunch more seeds today, hopefully they’ll come up soon too. My garlic chives never did come up. i think i know why: i covered the pot with clingfilm and they may not like that. so i’ll try again. mint is struggling too. may sow some more.  Compost is being delivered on thursday: I’ve got to get bed 5 built in the next few days (and go buy a wheelbarrow!). i also want to get the cold frame up and ready. the potatoes are chitted and ready to go out very soon so that’s another job. its all about to kick off, i think. and Sez sent me some lovely seeds including climbing borlottis, purple french beans, and some lovely peppers (including chocolate pepper: sorry girls, its in reference to the colour, not the taste!).

The knitting is going great guns. I’m about halfway through a very large panel – about 4 of the smaller panels across – and so large it won’t all fit on one needle (stretched out i mean). its a checked pattern that looks really good. I’ve got some lovely chocolate brown wool too that goes well with that blue so gonna do some squares in that as well. I got a book on knitting out of the library to look into other stitches and to my delight there are lots of techniques out there so when i finish this square i’m going to knit up a sampler and have a go at some of them, some of them are so pretty.

Lastly: the housing association we rent our flat from has a newsletter, and they’ve appealed for someone to try & review green gadgets. I’ve put in for this, so hopefully i’ll get to test something cool – a wormery would be great!! We’ll see though. :)

As surely the entire gardening blogosphere knows by now.. lol.. the UK had snow on Easter morning. well, most of the uk, certainly the northern/eastern half. and we did too! Although i missed most of it, i was asleep, and by the time i woke up most of it was melted. But Michiel did take some photos for me at about 6am, thankfully, and its these i’m posting here. behind the cut. (having photos on the main page seems to do wierd things to the sidebar, sadly).

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Dentist was cancelled. apparently he was stuck in bad traffic, couldn’t get there till 3 and couldn’t guarantee we would be seen for 45 minutes after that. Very apologetic. gave us the option of staying or rescheduling. we’ve rescheduled for 2nd April at 9.30 …. hopefully the weather will be better too! So.. a reprieve! YIPPEE! :D

i got to go tomorrow. i hate having dental work done. i really … really.. really hate it. i’d almost rather put up with pain than go have it done. i said almost. i’m not stupid. i’ve ignored my teeth problems for at least 8 years now, and it needs sorting out.

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I’ve been having fun this afternoon, doing my kid with the sellotape, glue and glitter act… and of course, i have to share!
Mom – do not click the “more” till next week! I mean it!!! *looks at mom fiercely*..

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this winter seems to be dragging on and on and on.. although the signs of spring are starting to appear all around us, the weather isn’t similarly improving. the next two weeks herald cold winds coming down the UK from the North/North East, with a temperature fall, possible snow and so on. In fact, according to the BBC, the snowfall may even rival the snowfall that occurred over Easter 1983: “The Easter period this year is going to be characterised by a cold Arctic wind which could bring snow to rival 1983. Once the cold airflow arrives the computer models suggest the cold air could linger well into April.”

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some more photos, taken this morning to share – behind the cut, of course.

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Little Jenny Wren came up with a lovely idea – on the 14th day of each month, she will blog what her day has been like, in intensive detail. She’s opened it up to others to join her, and i jumped at the chance, so i recorded my day yesterday in excruciating detail.. This post is *very* photo intensive so not recommended for anyone on dialup.

[By the way: this is not a normal day for me, nor should anyone take it as being indicative of such.]

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