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She’s gotta legs

Some early colour

Before the Beast hit I put down a number of flower bulbs both new and old.

I happened upon a great deal on hyacinth bulbs having spent the last two season unsuccessfully looking for bulbs locally. I put down a lot of these bulbs in pots so that I could have some great pots of their beautiful perfume around the house. I had a few bulbs over so rather than wasting them I put them down in the greenhouse to see how they went. They came up just fine although a lot slower than the bulbs planted in pots and kept in the house. Obviously the cold weather has a stagnating effect on their development. No harm. It just means that I have bulbs coming into flower at different stages and I extend the period where they are dotted around the house. Lesson learned for next year.

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I also had a number of primroses sitting around in three inch pots from last year. I really thought these guys were dead and buried as they never really developed last year. However I left them in their pots and over wintered them in the greenhouse. To my great surprise and delight they started to bloom a few weeks ago when the temperatures started to come up slightly. This is just another example to me of how resilient plants can be.

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Seriously? This again?

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the garden the cold weather has returned, showering us with another layer of snow. It’s now half way through March and we’re still getting terribly cold and unpredictable weather. I’m holding off putting down any seeds for now. The temperatures even in the greenhouse are close to zero degrees and there’s no way to tell if seeds put down now will be able to be moved outdoors in the next few weeks. I’m going to just sit tight for now.

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Start your engines

Well the snow has passed finally and this looks like the end of it. Fingers crossed.

I bought most of the new seeds I need for the season. this season I’m going all out and trying a huge range of veg. I don’t really have a need for a huge amount of any particular veg so a little bit of many different types will help give me a new challenge and experience in growing this types. I can decide later what works, what doesn’t and what I want to invest in more heavily for the next season.

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The Beast is Being Tamed

We’re into the third day of the Beast from the East and things are starting to turn now. No new snow last night and there are signs of a thaw kicking in. What was previously a clean white sheet of snow is thinning out to once again reveal the grasses, plants and driveways.

The biggest sign of change is that the temperature in the greenhouse has risen from 0 degrees Celsius yesterday to 5 degrees today by mid morning. The water gathered at the bottom on the watering trays no longer has icy shards running through it or curling up around the pot bottoms. This is a bit of a relief as I have a few plants either over wintering or coming up early in pots.

I have about 30 strawberry plants taken from last years plants runners sitting tight before they get transplanted outside, hopefully into new dedicated beds. I also have a number of flower bulbs coming up, snowdrops, hyacinths and tulips. I hope to get some of these hardened off and planted out in the next week. The others such as the hyacinths are growing as potted flowers for use around the house. These are my favourite flowers and the smell of them around the house makes a great incentive for getting up in the morning.

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Another practice I’m trying to get into the habit of this year is giving the wildlife in the garden a bit of a hand up. Given the current weather and the scarcity of food, an obvious start seemed to be putting out some bird feeders. We have two nice little robins that hang around our gateway so I hung up seed feeders for them and other small birds.

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They’re already proving very popular and are helping the birds keep going in this harsh weather. Hopefully the weather will turn soon and the birds can get back to foraging among the tress and lawns.

The Beast has Landed

The Beast from the East has landed here with a vengeance. Almost 4 inches of snow has piled up overnight. The lawn that has already been struggling and cutting up from months of heavy rain is now covered in a sheet of white. The daffodils only recently courageous enough to pop their heads above ground are now being drowned in a sea of white. Thankfully I haven’t yet gotten up to planting up window boxes, putting down bulbs or spreading seed. If I had, I’d have no doubt they’d all be wiped out and destroyed by the cold. The only plants outside worth protecting were my strawberry plants which were only new from runners last year. I threw a fleece over them late last night and as you can see below that was just in time to prevent them being swallowed up by the oncoming snow drifts.

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I shook the fleece out this morning ensuring the plants won’t have a heavy and freezing weight piling upon them. I think that fleece will be in place for at least a week or two.

The greenhouse was covered with snow and you can see below how dark the inside was with the shroud of snow blocking all the light. A few quick swipes with a yard brush managed to clear that up. The temperature inside dropped sharply overnight to 0 degrees Celsius. Mild ice formed from the water pools left from watering the over wintering and new plants.

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I hope this shock weather clears up soon. Once again Irish weather has shown itself to be utterly unpredictable and subject to drastic change on a whim. This doesn’t bode well for this years gardening but hopefully we’ll get a bit more consistency after this storm blows over.