The most exciting time of the year for gardeners with possibilities, dreams, and expectations.
The usual problem at this time of year is the fast-changing weather, with warm sunny days waking the plants and bulbs up with its warm glow but then during the evening temperatures drop which can damage the new growth from those plants that have sent out leaves, blossom, and runners. If severe, the cold can seriously set back those plants and even destroy this year's crop of fruits if the blossom gets cold.
Many gardeners, especially new ones, are tempted to get off to a good start and get their plants and seedlings out early but this rarely works out.
We have had a few touches of frost so far which even affected a few plants in the polytunnel, but they will recover.
Our fruit trees are now sending out their blossom so by the end of this month any frosts would be disastrous. We shall see how things go.
This photo shows the old fence by the patio which has now been dismantled and rebuilt in blocks.
As Paul has finished building the main garden wall, he has moved down to the lower areas around the stable block. The main garden wall is over 240 feet in length with an average height of 5ft so that was the largest of the building jobs to do and it is a relief that it is now completed. The photos above show the old wooden fence in front of the patio and its replacement wall in blocks which has turned the patio into a small courtyard.
There is a good-sized bed in the front of the wall which will be planted with appropriate plants and bulbs. The Sweet-Peas will also be planted at the back of the bed and a climbing frame will be fixed there to enable them to reach for the skies.
As the weather has been so windy here along with the cold and damp, we have not been very productive so far but Loraine is very busy planting up the potato crops for the year. All of the Early and second-earlies have been planted into bags, some in the polytunnel for an early harvest, and she is now working on the main crop of potatoes and is getting on famously. Her seedlings are also coming on thick and fast and she has started planting the first crops of lettuce, radish, etc.
The mound which runs down to the orchard is being given a haircut to hold back the brambles.
This is looking East towards the ramp and the original fence is now falling apart.
The middle of the mound is cleared of brambles and other plants.
Our plans for this area may also include a root cellar specially made to store our harvest and fruits over the winter months in temperatures that will ensure the crops have as long a life as possible. The ideal temperature for a root cellar is 30-40 degrees which keeps the roots and fruits from waking up and starting to grow again making them unedible.
The cellar would be set into the mound with a door on the front looking North so the sun would not raise temperatures, the insect hotel looks towards the North to give you an orientation of the build. The build would be fairly simple, but still, hard work, with a concrete floor, hollow breeze blocks for the walls, and a concrete laid roof, all hidden by earth so all you will see is the door. However, that is a task for the future when the orchard starts to come into its own in a few years, by then the crop from the trees should be fairly substantial.
Not much else to report on as it was a quiet month, apart from Paul doing the above works, he also fixed the fence between our neighbours and us, and then creosoted the fence and it now looks great.
Have a nice Easter and see you soon.