Decisions Pending

shootsandleaves1 shootsandleaves2Despite initial thoughts on the wisdom of the rapid appearance of new shoots and leaves around the garden – in this case, from left to right and top to bottom, crocus (with ubiquitous and unwelcome seed pods from next door’s laburnum, bluebells, wood anemone, Tête-à-Tête narcissi, hemerocallis and what may be brodiaea or more likely muscari – the relative mildness and absence of a ‘real’ winter continues. After the cold winters of the last two years it is easy to forget that there have been several years in fairly recent memory when there was a complete absence of winter harshness in the UK. Those blogging for longer than me may be able to put a date on some of them, but in the meantime we can ramble and garden with fewer layers than we might usually wear in January and enjoy looking out for these signs of early spring, albeit with an eye open for more rain. However, elsewhere in the world the weather has been doing its own thing and other bloggers have had different stories to share.

Photo0153Whether these new shoots, or indeed the buds on a friend’s apple tree (right), have made the right decision to appear with a flourish like this in mid January will become clearer as we move forward into February and March. Before then, however, the Golfer and I (more I than Golfer) will need to have decided how much of the bargain greenhouse we have just bought on eBay to utilise as a ‘cold frame’ – the options and permutations for the space next to the existing greenhouse are numerous, and our original thinking is further challenged by the likelihood of this acquisition being of better quality than our original. We have to dismantle and collect it so it is as yet ‘unseen’ – but then a decision will need to be made as the Golfer will be itching to get the job done!

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17 Responses to Decisions Pending

  1. As gardeners we take all of our experience and knowledge and we guess, we guess about what winter and spring will bring us. Most of the time I feel like I am right, but at the same time I am so grateful that unlike my father and grandfather I am not betting the farm on each decision. If I am wrong I prune or replant and I sit down to breakfast with very little thought about the consequences of my decisions.

  2. Julie says:

    I was reflecting on the weather today whilst I was weeding the strawberry bed. We moved here in autumn 2009 and have had 3 hard cold winters since then. My feelings about this garden have been tainted to an extent by the water logged and flooded land each winter which has stopped me getting on with necessary jobs and meant that I have felt very behind each spring. It was a revelation to take my coat off today and enjoy the sunshine as I did some weeding. Long may this continue!!

    • Cathy says:

      Sorry about your waterlogging – is it your soil or your location that is an issue? We are very lucky as our soil is deep and well drained

      • Julie says:

        It is the location that is the problem – all the gardens around us are prone to water logging too. Still, it has not happened this year and we are normally under water by now. Hopefully it will only be a problem in bad winters. I do envy you your soil though – water logged clay is not much fun.

  3. rusty duck says:

    It was definitely colder today. I set forth into the sunshine with good intentions but it didn’t last long. Not least because the ground is still so very boggy. But I’m worried about all the seeds left outside to get a winter chill before they can germinate. At this rate there will be a lot of no shows.

    • Cathy says:

      Mmm, and think of those bugs and viruses not being seen off by the cold weather either… Nature will sort herself out, one way or another, won’t she?

  4. Christina says:

    Your greenhouse acquisition sounds very interesting. Here the temperatures are milder than usual but February is usually the worst month so I’m sure we have some cold weather to come but it does mean winter will seem very short which is lovely.

  5. Annette says:

    I don’t think it’s a very wise apple tree and it must be in a VERY sheltered spot to provoke these buds. How exciting with your new greenhouse! What size is it? Will you be able to accomodate it? Well, guess you figured that out before… 😉

    • Cathy says:

      Not sure what will happen to that apple tree as it is clearly quite confused! You can read more about the greenhouse on Tuesday – and yes, it is an exciting change of direction 🙂

      • Annette says:

        Re the rose matter for your wall, Cathy: I just received my Sourire d’Orchidée in the post. A very charming, long flowering and scented rose (wow, all these qualities 😉 )…you may want to look it up on the internet. 🙂

        • Cathy says:

          Thanks for continuing to think of my rose question Annette – your smiley rose does indeed sound lovely! I have taken note of all the suggestions and have been checking them out – have also been looking at ‘Wild Goose’ and ‘Clarence House’.

  6. Nice to see someone having a garden growing… we are plunging below zero again and more snow…and a greenhouse…my dream.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – I am certainly realising the benefit of having these winter/early spring flowering plants, and of living in a temperate climate like the UK – even though it is unpredictable! Do you have room for greenhouse? Must pop over and look at your blog 😉

  7. I’m keeping an eye on my fruit trees and canes as I really don’t want them to burst into life too soon! I remember in the past couple of years the harsh winter weather came in at the end of the January so we may yet be in for a cold snap. I wouldn’t mind as I think it does the garden good to have a bit of a shock to start the year off! Your little shooting plants will be fine, I think. A lot of plants are quite hardy once established!

    • Cathy says:

      You are right Caro – lots of things can put up with a cold snap although I suspect any fruit blossom might be at risk. My roses all had little pink shoots in January last year too, so survived all the snow.

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