Winter waiting…

Oh what a wet Winter we’re having! Floods left right and centre and I’m not sure I can remember when it last stopped raining. I’m quite fortunate as my house is pretty much on high ground but even our sewer pipes have been backing up a tad.

The ground, naturally, is sodden. I have open sandy soil with great drainage but the water tables are so high that there is simply nowhere for the water to go.

Downsides

The downsides for torrential rain are in most cases obvious. Flooding, puddles, a general damp feeling in the air and a good potential for mouldy build ups and rot. And that’s before the floods recede.

Other problems are that all the nutrients in the soil will be getting washed away leaving fairly depleted soil come the spring. This means plants coming into growth soon will be working pretty damned hard to get the good stuff for them to put on a good show in 2014. Plenty of natural and slow release fertiliser will need to be added come the spring.

Another downside – warm and moist means slugs and snails and a lot of them. Be on the look out for them in 2014 as I expect a plague!

Upsides

We’re having a really mild winter. That means very few frosts have been and killed off any borderline hardy or tender plants. That also means the soil is starting warmer so will reach a decent growing temperature very quickly giving a longer growing season and potentially a great display.

It also means I haven’t had to clear any snow from the driveway 🙂

Winter chores

With the garden a sodden heap, a lot of the gardening is relegated to planning. This in itself isn’t a hardship as it has to be done anyway so why not in front of the fire while it’s blowing a gale and throwing it down outside? It does mean that the outside jobs – the clearing, turning of the heap etc – are backing up.

I’ve gone through all the seed catalogues and then remembered the 3 tins of seed packets I already have and gone through those too. I had to bin quite a few! New seed ordered and veg planned for the year ahead. Tick.

In between rains I’ve been very brave [tongue firmly in cheek] and ventured outside to squelch to the compost heap and turn it. It is amazing how fast a heap will decompose if you do this, giving you usable compost far quicker than if you just leave it. There is something very satisfying about seeing a steaming heap too. Or that could just be me.

There are leaves everywhere. No matter how many times I cleared them, new ones have found their way in and around the garden. I’ve now learned to live with them and let the blackbirds scuff around looking for slugs and good luck to them.

The rest of the chores are the cleaning of the greenhouse glass, the sweeping of the floor of the shed and just light maintenance as and when you find it.

Plans!

The plans for 2014 are, for me, quite exciting.

I’m getting a new border, a fig tree and a nature pond. A nature pond you say? Yes! This came about when finding the site for the fig tree; the stone circle that I’ve prevaricated over for long enough finally had to be removed and plant the tree in a relatively sunny position. Half way through removing said stone circle the clouds burst and I got soaked to the bone, but the circle was no more. In it’s place was a round hole… which promptly filled up. Inspiration struck once viewed from the house as it looked rather good. Having sought approval from the committee (never had to before being married!) and getting the project rubber stamped, it is now being planned…

Didn’t you say a new border too? Yup, a new border in front of the garage-which-isn’t-a-garage. Long story but suffice to say you can’t get a car to the garage let alone in it so it’s having a new border.

What about that fig tree you’ve been banging on about? Well… After several revisions to the master plan, it’s now going where the pear is. Where for the pear? In the new border. But you can’t move tree once they’re out of dormancy. Nope, so I have time constraints and everything so really, what I’d like is it to stop bloody raining!!

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