Some of you probably know that I am retiring from work at the end of this month. I have only two more courses to teach! It's an exciting, though somewhat scary, prospect. Right now I am finding it very hard to think about anything further ahead than 31st March. It's as if the world will end on that day, and I don't need to bother about long-term plans - though I do need to, of course. A competent gardener knows full well that you have to plan ahead if you want to be successful, and late March / Early April should be a really busy time.
To some people this photo may epitomise Spring:
Yes, the tall bi-coloured Soleils d'Or are lovely enough, but to me THIS epitomises Spring:
The little greenhouses are all outside now, and rapidly filling up with pots and trays of little plants.
In the absence of a "proper" greenhouse, these things are a real boon. I don't know what I would do without them. I have lost track of how old these ones are. In fact they are hybrids, cobbled together from elements of several such items. After a few years the plastic (both of the frames and of the covers) becomes brittle and will crack. The frames last longer than the covers, and it is useful that you can buy the covers separately. I need to get some more soon, because my existing ones are full of holes. That will be unacceptable once the chillis and tomatoes need to go in them.
Another job that is getting more urgent by the day is the completion of at least one more raised bed. Over the weekend I made a start - I sawed two of the big timber sleepers in half, to make the end-pieces for the bed.
Maybe over the Easter weekend I'll get round to building the bed? I have all the "hardware", I just need the motivation! A lot will depend on what the weather is like, I think.
My Hellebores are probably at their best just now. I don't yet have a lot (though my collection is expanding...) but they have mostly produced a decent display of flowers. Here's a small selection of photos of them.
I'm thinking ahead about these too. The seedlings I have grown from seed over the Winter are still too small to be planted out, but they are getting bigger all the while, and it won't be many weeks before they are able to take their places in the border.