warming up

Well it may be a little overcast and chilly this afternoon, but for the last few days there has been a distinct feel of spring in the air.  Everywhere are glistening clusters of snowdrops and fresh green clumps of narcissi leaves, which we find most exciting.  For the first year ever I have managed to prune all our roses by mid February, and I am so pleased about it because they are all putting on good vigorous new growth already.  Only the climbers and ramblers have yet to be tied in to their supports on the old high brick walls, but that is a treat of a job to look forward to.  Right now the walls are looking very bare, as we've been working hard clearing unproductive damson suckers and trying to get our rampant culinary blackberries under control (so fat and so delicious, but so very thriving on the quantities of muck we've been mulching them with), but as the roses become established there are going to be beautiful curtains of tumbling fragrant blooms.  I can hardly wait.

Barney and Jak have also been working hard on perfecting our new compost system - seven huge deep bays built with railway sleepers given to us by a kind farmer neighbour - and we are looking forward to becoming less reliant on muck once we have our own lovely crumbly compost.  

This is a time of year when there is also much to be done in the polytunnel, and all the little seedlings sown in the autumn are now romping away and having to be potted on, hopefully giving us earlier, stronger crops with better roots and more wonderful flowers than if, as often happens, we had found ourselves to be too tired in the autumn to get around to sowing them.  The sweet peas,  larkspur and wild carrot are looking particularly strong and energetic.  Just how we'll be feeling too after a few more days of lovely sunshine.