Tuesday 5 May 2020

Blooming Spring

Perhaps it is the concentration of lockdown but I cannot remember a Sping that is as prolific as the one we are currently enjoying. I was up with lark this morning or, in our case, with the blackbird. Although the sky went overcast at 6:30 the dawn itself was glorious. (Sunrise was officially at 5:28am but we get it later than that - I'll explain some other time)

I'm including a few of the shots I took. The first Iris Sibirica of the season (above left). And then I could not resist another shot of our Magnolia Stellata in the morning sun. It has been unusually prolific this year. In fact, that whole East-facing border looks great with lilac, rhododendron, spirea, weigela, corokia and azalia all in blossom at the same time (actually I am substituting a late afternoon shot - the back lighting works better - see at the bottom of the page). And it's not just our garden. We live very near a disused canal that was turned into a walkway some years ago - it's where the Codgers take their daily lockdown constitutional. 

The May blossom is just staggering at this year, especially the pink. On closer inspection I saw that, unusually, it is a double pink. A double-flower growing in the wild! So, I now have an Autumn hawthorn propagation project - and a challenging one, I suspect it will be

Back to work
I'm grateful to Jim and Judy Jack for a donation of pots. They have saved the day although I'm still busy making smaller ones in lieu of fresh commercial supplies. 

Nearly all food containers get pressed into service as you'll see in this next photo. You may also notice other examples of recycling - something we have done long before the current trend. Perhaps you spotted the odd shower door or two in the background. Great for protecting the soil in the winter and warming the soil bed in the Spring. I reckon they give me a two-week advance on the season. Wondering about the bottle tops? A friend collects them and somehow turns them (via a charity) into wheelchairs for children with mobility problems (the caps are worth more than the bottles, I'm told)

Don't throw away
The clay pot was too nice to throw away when the frost it it (can you see the crack near the bottom of the pot? The answer: Gorilla glue - or, rather, a cheaper alternative. What are the irises growing in? An old paper shredder receptacle - cut down to size - about 12" in this case. And, drilled for drainage. Incidentally, returning to yesterday's safety point, you can more easily drill the bottom of a plastic milk carton before cutting it in two. That way, it is possible to securely hold the container by its handle minimizing the risk of slipping. You can also see an example where I leave the handle on, making a handy container for loose material. Versatile things, milk containers. Don't throw them away!

The garden calls
I could go on and on but young tomato plants grow bigger as I type. There's work to be done - so, I'm afraid, I must go ...

Best wishes from the old Garden Codger

PS - an email has just popped up telling me that the chicken grit will be delivered today. I'll let you know if it does the job as a cheaper alternative to horticultural grit

PPS - I get asked about my photos. The secret of a good photo taken with a mobile? Easy! Clean the lens first - and do it every time you switch to the camera. How's that for a truly professional tip?

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