Every Monday I pour my morning coffee and plan my week. Last week was so busy with talks, writing, a course day on Saturday; there was little time for gardening at home, so I scheduled Sunday as a whole day of gardening at home. Lovely. I knew the weekend was going to be cold, however as the week progressed it became clear that the light sprinkling of snow forecast was likely to develop into something more substantial.
During the gardening course at Homeacres* on Saturday, the snow didn’t settle, but the wind was bitterly cold. By the evening, the snow fall intensified, covering the garden and we woke Sunday morning to a winter wonderland, in the middle of March.
(*My next blog will be about my work that day)
My greenhouse is old with lots of gaps. I was concerned about the more tender plants in there so went to check before breakfast. The layer of snow on the roof made it so much darker inside, but the tender seedlings were fine thankfully on their heated benches. The snow had blown in onto onions and broadbeans, but they are more resistant to cold.
In the front garden, my raised beds had disappeared.
The pond, with its frog and frogspawn population, fortunately didn’t ice over completely – much to the delight of thirsty wild birds. The teasels, holly, dog roses and seedy wild plants in my front garden all provide a habitat and food for wild creatures – it looks untidy but to the wild birds, it is a valuable winter larder. I don’t think the finches got any seeds from those teasels today though!
My neighbour Audrey fills her tree every day with several bird feeders and we sprinkled some dried bird food too for ground feeders, including dried bugs.
This snow squashed cloche prompted a visit to check the allotment cloches. Here, the brassicas have been cropping for months and are mostly finished.
Does one ever grow out of the pleasure of being the first person to walk on virgin snow? The only footprints at the allotments were from wild creatures.
My allotment still has last winter’s corn stalks to remove – something that keeps being delayed by illness (2 months of a flu bug takes its toll!) or bad weather. No problem though, it will be easy to clear when I get the opportunity.
The perennial broccoli looked rather cosy in a mini-drift. I shook the snow from the winter brassicas to prevent damage to the plants. Still many more meals from these abundant veggies.
My neighbour Adam has a huge pile of well rotted manure on his plot which attracted the attention of some hungry creature.
This is the bed of beetroot – it survived the Beast from the East under 2 layers of fleece and a layer of enviromesh, hopefully all will be well when this melts too.
I harvested this on Friday from that bed. The beetroot need trimming and aside from a little woodlice damage is looking well. This was an experiment to see how beetroot might store in the ground. I have been fortunate that rats and other rodents haven’t found it.
A snowy mangelwurzel!
Adam’s scarecrow is having a bad day!
At home, I am concerned about the early fruiting plum which is full of blossom. The temperatures are set to drop tonight – the fruit is especially sweet and delicious so I do hope it produces some.
Fortunately the layer of snow started to slide off the polytunnel by itself and didn’t damage the structure.
I’ve enjoyed the snow but real spring weather would be very much appreciated now!