Gardener's Diary Post

February 2024

Spring in winter…

The random patchwork of weather continues as we are beset by further storms, suffering more losses – the large willow tree by the Arcadia kingdom column at the bottom of the Parkland lurches over – but rights itself again as the the top heavy crown branches are cut off for clearance. It will hopefully settle in again to the space left gaping by its upended rootball. By the Middle pond in the woodland there are a couple more losses and this whole area needs to be tidied up. Finally in the Wild garden part of the large sycamore at the entrance to the Allotment falls, a beech tree beside it is gone, with lots of deadwood snapping and falling down.

So there is plenty of clearing away of all this damage from more high winds, logging and stacking any sizeable fallen wood. The rest of the brash and deadwood is destined for the bonfire. There is also a small collapse to the drystone wall at the entrance gate from falling branches which has been rebuilt.

The posts supporting the old stretch of wire fencing in front of the house have rotted away and fallen over and so this whole section is taken away. It no longer served any practical purpose anyway, and the bedding here will look a lot tidier without it. A low mossy stone dyke still separates and outlines this part of the garden.

With all of this going on it is somehow reassuring to note that there has been no major damage to any of the artworks which mostly still remain undercover.

The spring water source feeding the Temple pond has been blocked by compacted silt – the little reservoir is cleared out, a new section of pipe put in to bypass the blocked area and get it running again. However the problem just seems to have moved on as the separate supply to the cottage and outhouses is now not functioning – further investigation and intervention is needed.

A small Scots pine is planted behind the Wood wind song stele to replace the original fallen tree. Once all the debris had been cleared away this space looked very bare and unbalanced, though it will of course take some considerable time to regenerate and make sense of itself again as a fully composed area.

The greenhouses have been given a quick wash down and space made – the fragile terracotta containers still need to remain inside for now, but things are rearranged so that there is room for seed trays. Onion and garlic sets are readied and seed potatoes lined up on the table for chitting.

So seed sowing has begun in earnest, groups of early start vegetables and flowers for the Kailyard and Allotment now line the greenhouse shelves. The mild temperatures give hope for germination.

The jet washing of paths and patio areas in the front garden has begun as a start to the annual spring clean up of these surfaces.

And springtime promise it must surely be as all the bulbs are now pushing through in sequence behind the full-on display of snowdrops. New buds appear on shrubs and trees and everywhere things are starting to perk up. Even on the greyest of days there is a freshness within the light