Monday, March 14, 2005

Exciting excursion into my Back Yard!

Woke up this morning to find the sun shining on snow on the tops of the Welsh Hills. Lovely sunny morning, but it's clouded over now and rained a bit. Forcaste is that it will be in the 60s later this week, will be so glad to get outside to do a bit of gardening.

And that's where my good news comes in. John spent a lot of time this weekend making a set of steps so that I can get into the backyard again. I tried them out for the first time this morning, wrapped up warm in my windproof cardigan, taking my camera with me. Next time I'll take the tripod too, as several pictures were very blurred. I don't like using the flash outside unless it's unavoidable as the colour balance seems to be all wrong to me.

But it's great to see how everything is starting to grow. There's several daffodils flowering from last year's inside bulbs, and a blue hyacinth, but I'm afraid that was one of the ones that came out very blurry.

Some of the foxgloves are are doing really well, huge and succulent. But some that I planted further back into a corner seem to have been rather chewed by something. Slugs or snails I guess.

My favourite campanula has put out lots and lots of shoots, now I'm looking forward to it flowering. It's much more compact than the other campanula, which has a tendency to get very leggy and also attract a lot of greenfly. The strawberry plant is beginning to grow, I must put it into fresh compost in a bigger pot. As well as strawberries it has very pretty pink flowers.

All that dust on the leaves is sawdust from the steps. It's a shame John didn't sweep up after himself , but I guess the next shower will at least wash it off the plants.

There are some tiny ivy leaved toadflax flowers out in one corner, and the periwinkle is putting out shoots too. No signs of the hostas yet, it's possible they got completely eaten by the slugs and snails last year. I might try some biological pest control for the slugs this year, but I think it's too early to do it yet. You have to wait for the frosts to be over or the nematodes die.

Some seedlings have survived the winter. I sowed French lavender and agapanthus seed at the caravan last year and brought the seed tray home. Just a few lavender have survived the winter, and it looks as if I might have two agapanthus seeds germinate, but then again it might just be two grass seeds!

The primroses are flowering their socks off! We have both pins and thrums (the ones above are thrums), so I'm hoping that I will get seed later on. There are also some primulas from last year. Their pots were rather dried out, so I gave them a good slosh of water. The violets are just beginning to show some new green shoots, one morning I will look out and the flowers will have almost magically appeared, I love violets, with their little furry bits on the petals.

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