My camera has taken a hissy fit and is not playing ball at the moment but normal service will be resumed next week.
Anyway, after an absence of 3 weeks I had 3 pupils from the local secondary school working with me for about 2 1/2 hours this morning as part of the RSD (Rural Skills Development) Programme. I do feel slightly sorry for the kids that I have over the winter period as they obviously are not allowed to use chainsaws etc so get lumbered with clearing away all the scrub that I have cut down and such like. I do try and show or at least explain something new to them each time, even if it means doing a particular task a bit earlier than I would normally consider doing it. So these three boys appear and as I had just removed the black plastic sheeting I had laid down the west facing wall border, I figured I would dig it over with the assistance of one of the boys and the other two could barrow loads of manure in for the border. Of course, when you ask for a volunteer, it's two steps backwards all round - only this time the volunteer got the good job and the other two got, quite literally, the sh*t end of the stick. And it's a fair trek from the manure heap to the garden gate!
So we got the border dug over, the manure spread (except for the area earmarked for carrots, parsnips and other root veg), and I'll dig it all over once more before planting the veg in this border.
After the boys left, my impatience overcame me and I sowed some Rainbow Chard, Lettuce "Winter Density" and some leeks - these are now nestling in the potting shed covered over with glass.
I then took a look at the fruit bed area and the blackcurrant bushes which were seriously out of sorts last year and as a resuly were all given a really hard pruning, are all looking good and are all nice open goblet shaped bushes, so now that the wood is in it's second season we should be expecting a crop of blackcurrants from them this year. The gooseberries are growing away well too but I'm not too sure what they'll crop like
I then weeded one of the small beds by the side of the summerhouse that is planted with lots and lots of mixed bulbs, some of which are beginning to show - good job too as the snowdrops are beginning to droop and fade.
In spite of the recent second (or is it third or fourth ?) cold snap, the perennials and roses etc are all beginning to show signs of growth and I would hope that the daffodils will start to open within the next week or certainly fortnight if the weather turns bad again.
And to finish I staked and tied in a Ceanothus, var "Skylark" and trained it skywards as it had developed a tendency to assume a ground hugging attitude, which is not what is required when it is planted against the wall in the sunniest part of the garden. Anyway, it is now pointing skywards and will hopefully put on sufficient new growth this season to allow it to be traied against the wires on the wall itself.
So all in all, a productive day, which if you had seen the snow lying in the garden at 8.30 this morning, you would have thought nigh on impossible, but it turned into an absolutely glorious spring day -just to remind me why I do what I do ;)