Early spring gardening musings

So… what have I been doing this winter? The garden was soaked but snow wouldn’t stay for more than a day or so. Any kind of nice-ish weather meant going outside for a walk, hunting-gathering much-needed Vitamin D as we went. What else to do? Well reading about gardening is a great way to get through winter.

Apart from reading fantasy novels of course, I read up about all kinds of berries and also about wine-making (meanwhile our neighbours’ vine all but drowned in yet another January downpour).

I read Sepp Holzer’s book on his kind of permaculture. It was a book from the library and someone else wanted it (again?) so I read it twice in three weeks. Still wondering how much digging I could reconcile with permaculture. Main takeaways:

  • don’t believe what others tell you about what can or cannot be grown in region X, at altitude X, or anything else;
  • build terraces and create microclimates to maximize your usable space (the agricultural/digging bit) and the variety of creatures in the area;
  • observation, experimentation and independent thinking beats government regulations and subsidized projects hands down;
  • old varieties of plants are more adaptable as well as richer in nutrients than the new good-soil-maximum-yield varieties;
  • work with what you have, if it’s a wet meadow, don’t try to turn it into a dry peace of land, make a pond and grow wetland flowers.

Meanwhile I’ve been enjoying the birdsong and sunshine way too much to remember to take picture… I’ll add some to my next post! Gardeners’ World in five minutes. It’s springtime. Finally!

Spring is here. Definitely

Our small town garden is busily trying to spiral out of control. That’s spring where I live!
Fortunately, I love to watch stuff grow. But keeping up with the weeds (that is, finding a use for most of them in our limited space) is a bit of a challenge. In

Gaia’s garden

, a book about permaculture, is a chapter called ‘Pop’ goes the garden. I suppose it’s wonderful if that happens to a patch of neglected or poor soil. Around these parts, however, it’s a yearly feat which usually means it’s time to put your wellies on.
The strawberries are flowering like mad – but they’re hiding their bounty under big leaves thrust upward to catch more of the sun’s rays. I’m really hoping that it either won’t rain too much – soaking their roots – or the shrubs and tree nearby will lap it up as quickly as it falls.
Being in the garden in the evening means I don’t get around to blogging very often. So I’m writing this post while commuting by train. Perhaps I should try blogging while I’m in the garden?
One thing about evening gardening: as the light fades, faint noises can be heard between the shrubs and leaf litter. It’s snails and slugs coming out for dinner, or possibly breakfast. It’s quite possible we have ‘a lack of (slug-eating) ducks’ but last time they visited I shooed them off because I don’t need that particular kind of action in my rather small backyard…

Update: all weathers including rain and storm this week. Need to keep an eye on the plum tree because its branches were flopping all over the place. Prune those, or risk losing plums next year by branches getting ripped off.

On the plus side… well, let’s say next time I’ll explain why I’m up to my eyeballs in pea plantlets 🙂