I fetched some wood for home from the field yesterday and brought back a big stone too. There was a bunch of broken rock in various sizes, which had been turned up by the plough. I went down to the plot to do the first mow of the year today and added the stone to the pond. It looked great on the beach, blending quite well with the pebbles and green slate.

The forget me not at home is flowering, while my much younger plant is now growing hopeful-looking new shoots. The irises all around the pond have started to fatten up and form flower spikes. I saw three different diving beetles while I was messing about in the water.

The bug hotel looks great, littered with a good mix of things I’ve planted and weeds that have self-sown – and a couple of bulbs that came from the pond soil. The callicarpa looks less great, with some brown leaves. I’m hoping it’s simply wind damage.

There are lots of seedlings coming up in the front bed now. I checked on the veg beds for progress. The cucumbers aren’t up yet, but there are a couple of probably cucurbit seedlings coming up outside the cloches.


Most of the sweet peas have been pinched. Some are a little behind, marked for the future with clippings from the others.

There’s a mystery bulb in Bed 10, which has very suddenly emerged. This was only a flying visit, so I’m still undecided on leaving it here for a bit longer, or getting it into a pot while it’s still young.

The first shoot of the loosestrife has bent in half. I’m not sure if it’s suffered from not being wet enough, but more shoots are coming. I must try and get more earth on it, but if only it would get its roots down to the water, we’d be laughing.



Today turned out to be the day for the woodland corner. In the morning I finished clearing the mint and grass out of the bed under the elder. When I came back after lunch I saw a couple of sparrows on the feeder at last. The soil below was littered with food, which isn’t usually the case, so I must get ground feeders of whatever kind in my absence.

I went to put the hellebore in the front left corner of Bed 3, forgetting that I’d sown seeds there. I started carefully scraping a hole and uncovered a load of germinated candytuft seed!

I put a tile in to try and stop the clump of mint I’ve left from spreading out from below the tree. I put a few grape hyacinth back behind the tile too, to help out.

The bottom go the old bug hotel had completely rotted and just had a slug and a few woodlice inside. I’ve set it into the ground a little, against the fencepost. The hellebore has been planted in front of it.

I planted the three lungwort along the bed, the middle one towards the front to give room for the volunteer hawthorn to grow. I may regret this as the earlier volunteer under the elder is already 3′ tall.

The grape hyacinth bulbs have been separated into smaller clumps and dotted around the main plants. I arranged the last logs I have in the bed and then broadcast sowed larkspur and cornflower. I put a few corn cockle at the back and I hope some morning glory will go back there too. I’ve made another apple and willow screen for them to grow up and to try and keep the grass back a little. There are a couple of holes in the chicken wire which is probably where the hedgehog (which has been back recently) is getting in, so I kept those clear.


The car park had been mown this morning, which was wonderful as we were able to take 4 bags of compost straight to the plot. One went on Bed 6 to build it up, one on Bed 7 and the other two are stored for mulching. Bed 6 is pretty deep now, so could possibly be left next year.

We put up a small wigwam for the cucumbers and I’ve planted the seeds under sealed plastic bottle cloches. I watered around them afterwards, hoping it’ll soak in as needed. A row each of carrot and beetroot is finally sown too.

I gave the perovskias their spring prune, doing it the asparagus way, snapping the branches where they readily snapped. They both have a few leaves coming now.

I moved the foxgloves from near the pond to behind the big log and moved another big potted foxglove to next to the other big transplant. It would be nice if they could settle in and start to spread.

I cut the grass back around the paving slabs and now the gate shuts properly at last. I hadn’t realised how overgrown it all is.

The pond is fine, a little low, so I topped it up with two watering cans to help out.

I broadcast sowed candytuft and godetia at the front of the left bed and put cornflower and corn cockle at the back. Then I covered that with compost. The veronica and physostegia seem to have died back a lot.

I made my first rough apple and willow fencing with my saved and foraged branches for the fence behind the foxgloves. I may be able to get morning glories or nasturtiums climbing up there.


I’ve potted on all the tomatoes and buried them a little in the soil. The Romas look good, while the Red Alerts leave a little to be desired.  It was chilly outside and I protected them as best I could and put them back inside a quickly as possible. So hopefully they won’t have been affected by their time outside.

All the cosmos and trailing nasturtiums have been moved on too. Again, with the hope that they’ll buck up a bit. Not all the bush nasturtiums are up yet. The marigolds have a terrible germination rate so far. I’ve covered the resown seed with a little compost now too as leaving them open to the light had achieved nothing at all.


I went down to the plot to fetch more pots today. The tomatoes are looking like they’d benefit from being potted on and buried a little in the compost.

With rain due tonight, I also strimmed the whole plot, running over the paths as best I could too, so I can hopefully give it a proper mow before it’s time to do the edges again.

I did some pond watching of course and saw 4 diving beetles, including one grabbing its air bubble before diving again. There are also tiny little creatures that almost look like fish fry. So far they don’t look or act like mosquito larvae. They could be the larvae of anything with all kinds of flies darting over the surface of the pond.


At last the plot was dry – to the extent that I now have to keep an eye on the pond bank plants and make sure they aren’t going to dry up.

I did the fortnightly removal of algae from within the pond. I also used the small fork to scrape lots of weed from the sweet flag at last and I hope it might pick up a bit with new growth soon. I placed more foraged bark on the front bank. I stuck my arm in the water and it turns out that the billowing in the liner is actually the fold, not the wall. So there’s nothing really to be done or worry about. Maybe a frog will hide in there one day.

I opened beds 6, 7, 8 and 9. I raked and composted beds 8 and 9, so they are now ready for action. Beds 6 and 7 need to dry off a little before I rake them over and add compost.

Mum brought down all my new logs, including the huge one from the ditch in Church Lane. I’d first seen that floating in a flooded ditch, then seen that it was huge when the water level had sunk somewhat. Finally I decided that I wanted it in spite of / because of its size.

I broadcast poppy, candytuft, godetia and larkspur seed in the front bed. The callicarpa is now getting leaves. I wonder if it will be a refuge for birds in a few years. I placed another new log and tried to get it to sit as flat as possible to keep the lemon balm and helianthus back. I might dig it down into the earth a little more.

I filled a hole behind the helianthus and lemon balm with broken up helianthus sticks. There are more helianthus sprouts coming up, so hopefully this won’t be too empty of desired plants.

I added some candytuft seed to where my pink and white  tulips have disappeared in Bed 3. There’s a bit of a gap at the moment, but new irises are coming up this year.

I dug over the patch of ground right by the shed and added a scoop of leaf mould. The black leaf bin is absolutely full of ants, but there are no birds anywhere to help me out. Once Bed 10 or 11 is empty again, I think it’ll have to be emptied and left for animal attention. Hopefully I can attract more birds to the plot meanwhile. I planted a big foxglove in the patch. I want more foxgloves this year for their wildlife worth. I might try and get that one out of the terracotta pot too.

The garlic and onions are looking good; only  a couple of little slug nibbles. I placed a coconut with mealworms soaking in water for young birds. It was completely empty the next day.

I transplanted poppies and godetia that were evicted when I planted the remaining garlic bulbs in pots at home. They’ve gone into gaps in the trellis bed.

I placed another big log along some empty space under apple tree. Assuming that my reserved logs are enough to edge the future woodland area, I believe I have all edging logs now. I have some thinner, less straight pieces set aside for fitting in that area and elsewhere in beds set aside too.

Bed 2 has been open all winter and was a good example of how covering the beds really is beneficial. It had many more weeds and the soil was tougher to deal with. I weeded it all and pulled up all the chard. I put the roots on the compost heap and then broke up a pile of helianthus sticks and covered the bed with a little layer of those sticks and then covered that with a layer of shredded chard leaves. That was then covered with compost to make a lasagne bed. Little red bits of stalk showing here and there may mean that the blackbird destroys the bed while I’m away, thinking they are worms.


More seeds sown on a windy day.

  • 8 x runner beans
  • 1 x courgette
  • pot of malope
  • tray of morning glory
  • 4 x trailing nasturtium
  • 4 x Summer Carousel nasturtium
  • 4 x calendula

The nasturtiums and calendula are for Suzy’s balcony and I’ll take anything left over.

The grow house is now up, tied to the drainpipe and weighed down with the slab and some bricks. Everything from today has gone in, along with the trays of sweet peas, which have started to come up, and the tray of calendula and zinnia, which is also just starting to come up.


A nice day, but the left hand side is still a little under water. I cleaned up a bunch of algae from the pond with the net. The sweet flag is a bit taken over by algae, which I keep trying to remove, in case it’s stunting the plant’s growth. Both loosestrife have finally started shooting, which is a relief.

Mr B told me a mad story about our neighbour being paranoid enough to think they were being filmed. Both by Mr B and by a wildlife camera hidden inside my robin’s nest box.

I broke down all the dead stalks of the helianthus and took out lemon balm and helianthus roots that had gone too far out. I’ve kept the stalks for now, in case they make a good material for stuffing holes behind logs.

I also got completely stuck in the mud as it was very wet where I was working. Good for pulling out roots, not good for moving your foot.

I planted a big lupin and a couple of salvia from the nursery in the trellis bed. It’s not looking bad for filling up, as long as the everlasting peas come up. A small lupin has gone into a gap in among all the self-sown corn cockles. There was evidence of vole tunnels when I dug the hole for the big lupin. I found a few holes in the beds and there was one in the top of the bug hotel too.

The onions have started to come up and all the garlic has sprouted and there are gaps waiting for the oca.

The triangle weeding is all done now. It was smothered in grass and in getting that out I’ve taken out a lot of mint too. It’s all over the place and I think I’ll need to get a good number of plants to fill up again. The back of the everlasting pea seems to have died, but there are new sprouts. The front of the orange geum has died off, so that plant won’t be as massive.


Another good forecast, except it decided to rain on me and Mr B for quite a while we carried on gardening regardless. My aim today was weeding and I re-weeded the ledge and finally planted the rhodanthemum, which has been sitting in the grey pot with leftover pebbles all winter.

A couple of dunnocks came to visit, sitting on the fence and gate for quite a while as well as hanging out by the elder. The bird seed has gone down a little more and has been a little spilled, but I’ve not seen any visitors to it yet.

The pear tree has started blooming. The apple tree is just starting to come to life. Something has had a bit of a dig in the bark below and poked at the bark shelter, but there’s still no sign of anyone using the hedgehog house.

After the rain, the pond suddenly looked very integrated with the plot. Just the front ledge to perfect and some more inhabitants to attract.

I weeded all along the trellis bed and fought the grass and weeds out of about half the triangle, producing a heavy bucket of rubbish. Hopefully the soil can keep drying so the weeding gets easier. The big logs are doing a good job of keeping weeds back, so I must keep looking for more to fill the gaps.

I need to start replanting the nursery plants soon before they wake up too much. The first one has gone out – a little foxglove, tucked into the wood at the edge of the pond area. The old ivy roots make such a beautiful domed shelter. I hope it gets used at some point.