Saturday, February 09, 2008

Back to the Garden

We are having a mild, dry day today. The sun looks like it is going to stay out all day!

I may have mentioned this earlier, but I have decided that I am going to plant my vegetable garden this year. It was so wet last year, that I gave up hope very early on and didn't even plant the sweet peas that I have grown every single year since moving to Whitelees.

In preparation for the planting that will take place in May, I decided that I'd rake and cover the vegetable plot with my trusty old black ground cover. This stuff wears like iron and I have been using the same plastic ground cover for over ten years now.
I usually have enough home made ground cover pegs to hold the stuff down, but I could only find six! I have improvised with cement blocks and old bricks. Thankfully we have lots of those still lurking around. I know it doesn't look great at the moment, but think off all the weeds that are being suppressed by the ground cover. Think of all the digging I won't have to do!

While I was out, I did a little check around the rest of the garden. I picked up after the dog (bleh!) filled the bird feeders and took some pictures as evidence that life will return once winter is over.While I was taking photos, I discovered a potential problem with my corkscrew hazel Corylus avellana 'Contorta'.
While I was taking a photo of the catkins that are taking shape on the corkscrew hazel, I noticed some branches that grew last year were straight! I cut those out right away. The straight variety of hazel is much more vigorous than the picturesque twisting variety. Left to its own devices, the straight hazel will win over and I won't have those decorative twisting branches anymore. There - problem averted! The rhubarb is coming up! There were some old rhubarb clumps here when we moved in 14 years ago. They weren't very productive and had big woody roots. I grubbed them up. After that we had no rhubarb here for years. Two years ago, I bought and planted a new clump, variety Timperley Early. I dutifully didn't harvest a single stalk of it last year and let the plant be a plant. This year however, if the weather is good, I will be harvesting a few stalks. I thought I'd take a photo of a very hard working hand.

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