Well, it's been a while since I've had anything to report in an 'In the Garden' post but February saw our first tentative foray back out there, since November.
Like last year it's not that there isn't plenty to be getting on with, but I was pleasantly surprised when comparing last year's photos at this time to what it looks like now. Our hard work in the Autumn has definitely paid off and nearly everywhere is looking fairly tidy.
Last weekend we made our first visit of the year to our local garden centre for potting compost, as Martin wanted to get some chilies started off. We weren't going to bother with chilies this year as they haven't been that successful for the last few years, but Martin had some seeds for Christmas and Monty (Don) said they should be planted in February. I think we've been planting them too late, so we decided to give it one last go. They are now covered up and sitting nicely on the windowsill waiting for some sunshine to get them started off.
This weekend we were back at the garden centre for more dirt. This time for farmyard manure, soil improver and ericaceous compost. We wanted to try to top up and breathe some life back into our raised beds, which have been planted pretty intensively over the last few years, with not much goodness being added back in.
We also want to try and re-pot the blueberry, which we have had for a couple of years and has outgrown the pot it came in. Blueberries like acidic soil and hate lime, so ericaceous compost is absolutely necessary if we want this plant to continue to thrive. I just hope that moving it doesn't impede it's growth or fruit for this year. It does appear that this is the right time to move it, so it will definitely be on the agenda for the coming weeks.
By the time we got back from the garden centre and unloaded the car, we just about had time to revive the strawberry bed, before the weather turned. I cut back all of the dead growth and dug all the plants up, so that Martin could top up the bed with nice fresh soil and manure. We then replanted them all, gave them a light watering and a good spray with the bug gun as some were looking a bit worse for wear.
I have to be completely honest and say that it was a real big effort to drag ourselves out this weekend. It was cold and we knew it was going to rain and neither of us really felt like it. Hopefully a bit more sunshine and a bit warmer weather will get us motivated again.
We did have a very pleasant distraction from a new friend who just popped in to visit. How gorgeous is he?
We just managed to get packed away and back in before the rain hit.
From an 'in flower' point of view, I had a look back at last year's February post and things are looking very much the same, with the Hellebores looking far better in their pot than they ever did in the border and the Snowdrops doing us proud again out the front.
The wallflowers that we planted up in the Autumn are still looking very healthy and all are showing plenty of signs of flower buds, so it will be interesting to see how then look when in full bloom.
We've also got good signs of life in the bulb pot that we've had now for a good few years. The same can't be said of a new one that we had at Christmas. It's looking a long way behind, with only about three little green shoots showing so far. Hopefully a few warmer days will see it pick up.
I'm not sure where I'm going to go with the gardening updates this year. I don't want my blog posts to be like my 'Garderners' World' magazine, just a repeat of what happened this time last year, though that doesn't stop me loving reading the magazine when it drops on the mat.
I am going to try and keep my posts fresh and whilst I am sure there will be some repetition, I am hoping to be able to report on different activities across the year. Watch this space ... Id love it if you followed our gardening year again.