Footprints In The Snow

Snow in Kitchen Garden

Hopefully all the plants are tucked up safely and enjoying a nice sleep. I’m trying to enjoy the snow whilst it lasts… people grumble about the snow (I realise it makes life more difficult, travelling is a big worry and it will ultimately turn to a brown, messy slush….) but there’s really magic in each snow flake, you can see it sparkle, so I enjoy it while it’s here.

Garden Snow Collage

I love to see different footprints in the snow and I try to follow where the rabbits and foxes have been. It’s interesting to try and work out  who the little footprints belong too… although with my over active imagination I imagine following prints around the back of the shed and unexpectedly coming face to face with a Yeti!

Winter views

There’s not too many outside jobs to be done at the moment so I started to put together a wish list of  plants for the kitchen garden this year. I’m a huge fan of Sarah Raven so I’m starting with her catalogues as she has a great range of products and her customer service is brilliant. After what seemed an endless task of chores today I finally sat down with a cup of apple & ginger tea and started to paw over the catalogues… but more of that next time!

seed catalogues

This weekend is the RSPB Big Birdwatch so I’ll be spending an hour tomorrow counting our feathered friends (chickens not included) to see how they’re fending. I’ve never done this in the snow before and I’m hoping it will make the process easier! The results are sent into the RSPB and the information gained throughout the UK provides a useful snapshot of which species are in decline or booming!

SnowChicks

I’m sure Bella and Milo will want to join us in the garden room for a spot of birdwatching too but I somehow think that their furry minds may not be on conservation!

IMG_4108

For the Love of Dahlias

There are certain things in life that I would happily collect indiscriminately  (herbs, pots, seed catalogues etc) but thankfully there is a little voice in my head that says “Enough! You don’t need anymore!”. I’m not generally known for doing as I’m told but I usually listen to this advice.

Just recently, however,  my thoughts have turned increasingly towards Dahlias and the strange thing is, the little voice has deserted me! I usually prefer my plants to be subtle, frothy perennials, understated and pretty, but all of a sudden I need a fix of acid brights and in your face brashness! Is this me intuitively knowing what will work well in my south facing plot… or have I simply lost the plot? 

My family bought me a great present from Sarah Raven’s Dahlia Collection  and the parcel arrived yesterday. Hooray! I know that Sarah Raven’s seeds and plants seem fairly expensive but in my experience the quality is excellent and the service is outstanding.

Dahlias

Unfortunately, this little bag of tubers is doing nothing to help my obsession – especially as it arrived so beautifully wrapped with two additional plant catalogues… full of dahlia pictures!! I’m already wondering how to recycle the hessian and ribbon as I love to re-use things. I can’t stop looking at the beautiful Dahlias!

This is what they could look like this Summer!

I’ve only grown Dahlias once before and I didn’t get to enjoy them properly before the slugs had a feast. It was a sad day and I vowed to grow only slug repellant plants after that, especially as I don’t use slug pellets or chemicals. So much for garden vows, eh?

Okay, I must go and order some more Dhalia tubers before the bossy voice comes back. I’ve seen a lovely magenta variety that the bees will simply love!

It’s cold out there…

It’s too cold to do anything in the garden so I have the perfect  excuse to spend the evening warming my toes in front of the fire, looking at seed catalogues and dreaming of the vegetable heaven to come. So tonight seems as good a time as any to get blogging!

In the New Year I found an old tin of seeds in the shed and it was like finding hidden treasure! Most seeds have passed their expiry dates but I haven’t got the heart to throw them away so I’ll give them a chance. Now, I know there will be folks out there who think that this is probably a very bad idea but I’m optimistic. There are plenty of new varieties to try as well - I now have so many packets of seeds and good intentions that it will be interesting to see the results. 

“The love of Gardening is a seed once sown that never dies”.    Gertrude Jekyll