I rarely heed what the calendar says, I go by what is going on in the garden . . . . but even then I have to be on my guard. The first day of spring isn't until the 20th of March .. . .but with lambs in the field and frogs in the garden, spring has most definitely arrived in my garden.
Experience tells me that the risk of frost is going to hanging over my head like the sword of Damocles so I had better not plant a single thing in the garden until the end of May. I've been lured by balmy breezes in the past only to have my tender plants killed. They are knocked right back by a late frost or burned by the high winds that always show up for a few days at the end of May.
On the 28th of February, The Man of the Place showed me a frog that had found its way to a log on the top of the woodpile. We usually find toads hibernating in the firewood, but this was a frog . . . .We let the frog hop away into the garden. Naturally I went down to the bottom of the garden to check the pond for more frogs and possibly some frogspawn. . . . .There was nothing.
A few weeks later and the activity levels have picked right up. I was in that part of the garden filling the bird feeders and heard the low, gentle croaking of frogs. Squelching over to the pond (the ground is sodden and it is almost too wet to walk on) I heard panicked frogs leaping into the water to hide from me. I also saw this!
Evidence of frogs wantonly breeding in my garden. I walked around the pond, inspecting things. I found my old pond sieve in the water. I reached in to get it and banged it on a rock to get rid of the blanket weed that was inside the sieve.
Inside were two little newts! I'm so glad I didn't hurt them! They are such delicate little things. These looked to be last year's babies. I hope they survive the horrid great diving beetle larvae that predate tadpoles in our pond.
When things dry out a bit more, I'll be able to give the lawn a cut. In the meantime, I'm tackling the greenhouses. There are panes of glass to replace and an awful lot of scrubbing to do.
Monday 18th Sept 2017
1 day ago