A sunny day and a chance at last to clear a load of stuff from the office and take it to the plot for storage or installation. We installed the bird seed feeder bracket as well as we could, but the screws need a bit more power behind them to go all the way in. In the meantime, I’ve taped it to hopefully stop it moving on the screws. The bird food is a mix of no mess food and some old sunflower hearts I found in the garage yesterday.

The elder has a good number of new branches growing up through it, so I am still holding out hope that they’ll take over from the dead tree and it’ll be a mix of both and ultimately offer the birds more cover again.

We moved the biggest log onto the left border, behind the Russian sage, which has just started showing a few small leaves. The small hole underneath it has been stuffed with a couple of small pieces. The big geum to the right really needs some thinning attention.

The bug hotel is looking quite good. I’ll get rid of the grass and cress, but I don’t mind a bit of speedwell for now – and the dead nettle is great.

It looks like a few bees have already emerged from the bee hotel behind the shed. The ones with holes in the mud were definitely closed previously.

Amazingly a couple of garlic are already up. Now starts the game of putting them back when the blackbird pulls them out.

I have planted new bulbs in Bed 3, which I hope will actually flower in the summer and not just completely fail like the sparaxis. I’ve put Nanus gladioli Nymph roughly around the foxglove in the centre. 25 Peacock orchids have been planted in groups of 4 all over the bed. 12 double freesias have been put in close to where the clumps of daffodils are, and across the front edge. I had to pull up a big clump of forget-me-not, which was both in the way and overwhelming some tulips.

This is the last harvest from 2023. The water is so high that the carrots are just putting out loads of roots (or occasionally going soft). There’s some chard left in the ground, but I don’t think it’ll be up to much.