A mainly dry and warm February with just one fall of snow early on. Still some leeks left, though they need lifting now before they bolt. The kale is also still going strong and throwing out very tasty florets. The first act of the new gardening year has been to set the seed potatoes chitting. We are growing the same varieties as last year, “Belle de Fontenay” as an early, “Sarpo Mira” as a blight resistant main crop. These both did very well last year, which was very, very hot.
Some early appearances from the wild garlic and the rhubarb, and buds appearing on the blackcurrant bushes.
“…begin with the near and familiar. It is in learning to love and cherish our own little tree, or field or brook that we become fitted for wider and deeper affections”
R. S. Thomas preface to The Batsford Book of Country Verse.
We live on a tiny road, that winds up through the forest from the village below to our hamlet and then on to the next village about 5k up the road. Between our house and the next village the forest varies between conifers, firs and deciduous mixed woodland, mainly beech, oak and ash. We have walked this route for over five years now, in all weathers and all seasons, building up a large library of photographs. During our walks we have seen wild boar, foxes, pine martens, stoats, feral cats, ravens and numerous buzzards and failed to photograph any of them! It’s an ever changing scene through the seasons, with autumn possibly the star as the forest really glows at that time of year.
The garden is nearly in full shutdown now, just kale and leeks remaining, though we have planted three raised beds with field beans as a green fertiliser to over winter. We have had one fall of snow so far which hung around for a few days but has now all melted.
Currently suffering from a bad attack of manflu, hence the shortness of this post!
Its been a month of contrasts with heavy snow at times interspersed with warm sunny days, though at the moment its overcast and drizzling.
The good news is that the seed potatoes are now bought and chitting. “Belle de Fontenay” earlies an old french variety, and “Sarpo Mira” main crop. The latter are a new variety of blight resistant potatoes from Hungary
The next job will be sowing our broad beans “The Sutton” into old toilet rolls as shown in the videos by the 10 Minute Gardener.
Our daffodils and crocus plants are beginning to show through as is the wild garlic. In the orchard area new buds are showing on all our fruit bushes leading to thoughts of crumble to come! The strawberry bed obviously is in need of a bit of attention in the coming weeks.
The only veg now left in the garden is our Kale, and even that is looking very sorry for itself.
We have tried bringing other veg through the winter but they have always involved a lot of work for very little reward. Step forward broad beans and purple sprouting broccoli! They just didn’t cope very well with the snow and extreme cold. Never mind, in a few weeks it will be time to plant out the shallots!
We have had our first snow overnight and it’s been snowing off and on all day today. Due to go down to -9C tonight so yesterday I dug up the last beetroot and swede, leaving kale our only vegetable left in for winter.