If I had realised what a risky venture it was I wouldn’t have put the first coat of preservative paint on the lychgate yesterday, as much of it has washed off as it had little chance of drying since then because of the continued mist and fine rain. I could see part of the structure from the house – a greenish upright but a definitely new wood-coloured horizontal! Never mind – the thrill of the sound of cowbells in the tree every time I knocked them and the joy of green freckles and drips down my cuffs made it all worthwhile, even though the lychgate still needs three green overcoats.
At least the dampness and the different contrasts thrown up by the wet soil has brought things to my attention that I had missed before, being blinded by snowdrops and hellebores no doubt: numerous grass-like spikes of fritillary foliage and a clump of tiny hellebore seedlings a few inches from the parent plant (I wonder how promiscuous she was, or if it was a purely incestuous relationship?).
I shall probably have to keep the lid on my paint tin for a little while, although the Cuprinol Garden Shades dry within an hour or two (in dry conditions) because showers, possibly with some snow, are forecast for the next few days – if it lets up I shall be out there in my overalls in an instant! In the meantime I shall continue with some seed sowing, having quite a pile of packets waiting in my ‘March’ pile – probably keeping the trays in the house rather than risk the currently unheated greenhouse. On my ramble this morning I checked progress of the January sown salad seedlings and other bits in the greenhouse and on impulse popped the rhubarb forcer over the emerging rhubarb shoots on the way back. We bought the forcer years ago mainly for its decorative role and don’t use our rhubarb as much as we could, but I am awaiting this year’s crop so I can try out Croft Garden‘s recipe for rhubarb spelt cake, which was posted just after our rhubarb breathed its last for 2012.