Tuesday, 24 April 2012

April Showers and Spring Birds.

A busy afternoon in the garden as the sun was out for a change not that I am complaining about all the recent rain as we really need it (and more). It has prevented me from doing a few things outdoors that I would have rather got done by now, but nothing too urgent.
The week or so of constant showers has really bought the hedge rows to life though, lots of late spring flowers sprouting up nettles, burdock etc and the earlier ones such as cow parsley, lords & ladies and jack-by-the-hedge are coming into flower now.
Plenty of wildlife in the garden too the afternoon sun bought out a few orange tip butterflies and plenty of bird activity at this time of year - the shrill alarm calls of blue tits alerted me just after lunch, they were disturbed by the presence of a little owl perched on the branch of one of the birch trees right next to a nest box. Later on a green woodpecker spent a good five minutes perched on one the neighbouring birches.
Plenty of great tits, chaffinches and robins around also - on pair of robins are nesting in the bank under the oak. I don't fancy their chances much though as a pair tried in the same place last spring and as soon as the chicks hatched it took about two or three days before the nest was dragged out of its hollow during the night. this year its more overgrown on the bank so they maybe lucky - I hope so.
I got four globe artichokes planted that had been over wintering in pots in the greenhouse after being split last autumn and put a few borage plants in the borders as well as potting on some tomatoes (tumbling toms) and planted out more broad beans.
The asparagus has been very slow growing up to now, and we have only harvested four spears so far (which made a very nice asparagus pea and mint risotto). The first spears appeared at the end of March after a lovely unseasonal warm spell but the return to colder weather during this month seems to have slowed the growth down to a snails pace, thankfully though all the crowns i planted are putting out spears which means they survived the winter frosts. With any luck we will be eating it again this weekend.

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