|"I want to go out to play! But it's raining :-("|
.....and then feeling totally lethargic and blah, and even trying to write a blog post seems interminable.
There are always indoor jobs to do, like sorting through my apples which are going off rapidly due to the mild weather. It's just not cold enough in the garage. I should be stewing up the ones that are going off but it took me an entire day to prep and cook double quantities for this mammoth cauldron of chutney so I'm a bit sick of apples! I even did some housework rather than peel and chop apples again, which is almost unheard of!
|Apple, date and walnut chutney.|
Most of what I've been doing outside has been ripping out brambles and chopping back saplings which always threaten to take over. I have wild patches in the garden but there's a limit to how much I want to be completely impregnable jungle! It's actually a job that I really enjoy despite thorns still getting through my thick gloves. The veg patch is still a mess as it's rather soggy for digging and weeding so that will have to wait.
One job I did finally get round to doing in there was to dig up the dahlias that I grew from seed. Yes, seed! I didn't even know you could sow dahlia seeds and get mature flowering plants in one season! They came from a packet of Thomson & Morgan seeds, a mix of flowers 'for butterflies'. Well they were a pretty poor selection for butterflies (no Verbena bonariensis?!) and was a rather odd mix of flowers, many of which I didn't know at all. It wasn't anywhere near as popular with bees and hoverflies as the plants that grew from the 'pollinator mix' that I saved seed from and resowed last year. Probably the most popular plants were the dahlias and cosmos, which were also the plants which flowered the longest. Anyhow I now have 5 healthy dahlia tubers for the price of a packet of seed, so it did work out to be worthwhile after all! There's a garish pink, a garish orange, a lemon and a couple of creamy ones. I'm assuming they are dwarf ones but who knows, maybe they will be bigger next year?
|Lemon Dahlia in the middle with garish pink with yellow centre |
on the right towards the background. The orange one was very similar.
|Pink Dahlia again, amongst pretty Cosmos |
that I forgot to save seed of!
|Here it is again attracting a bumble bee, |
and a Pisaura mirabilis spider. Don't worry, the bee wasn't harmed!
Back to January in the garden and the weather has been so mild that we've only had one frost since well before Christmas! Some overnight lows have been around the 11C-12C mark, which is ridiculously warm. I've seen a blackbird with a twig in its beak, and although the only birds actually singing are the robins, which do sing in winter, there seems to be more lively twittering going on when I go out in the mornings to let out the chickens. Yet as far as flowers go, my snowdrops and hellebores are only in bud and nothing seems more advanced than normal for this time of year.
|Prunus subhirtella, my spindly ornamental cherry, is enjoying the mild weather.|
The only thing is that the blooms are a bit wasted unless we have blue sky to show them up!
|A close up of one of the flowers.|
|Some buggy thing has been nibbling my Primrose!|
In the absence of flowers (or bugs), when we do get some sunshine after a shower, there are always droplets to use as photography subjects.
|Little mossy forest.|
|Euphorbia myrsinitis (one of the earliest to bloom).|
|Another Euphorbia (probably wulfenii characias), self seeded.|
|And I keep being drawn back to those Hydrangea petals!|