Frogs, logs and unseasonal swimming madness
Mid-February means that the frogs are back in our ponds doing what frogs do at this time of year. This usually lasts just a couple of days and then throughout the year we come across them in damp bits across the garden helping us with our battle against slugs.
Some years the frogs get their timing wrong and if we get a cold spell after they have spawned the frogspawn gets frosted and we sometimes get a second flush. This year the weather has turned very cold again with frost and snow so we shall see.
Whilst cold temperatures and a dusting of snow is tough on the frogs it does, however, look very pretty.
And we have some snowdrops doing what they do in the snow.
We have been busy getting on with some of our seasonal tasks – mainly woodland and coppice management and dealing with the products thereof and tidying up the veg and flower beds when the weather allows.
Coppice management produces the pea sticks and rods for making rose and sweet pea supports.
These bundles of pea sticks will be used over the next few weeks to provide support for the peas and mange tout which I am sowing in guttering at the moment. The longer ones are selected to provide material for making domes for sweet peas to climb up and to support roses and clematis. The photo below shows a support made from hazel for one of the old-fashioned roses – the name of which I have long since forgotten. (Note to self – must improve permanent labelling.)
(Caroline is my new one-day-a-week gardener and will feature in future postings.)
In future weeks there will also be a new runner bean tunnel but as the beans don’t get planted out here until the end of May there’s no rush to do that. Photo below is one from a previous year.
Caroline and I have also been pruning – some results below:
All these add structure to the winter garden.
But back to ‘logs and unseasonal swimming’.
Ian had help moving logs from Caroline’s 2 sons.
But there were lighter moments in the hard day’s work
And then they asked if they could take a dip in the natural swimming pond – in FEBRUARY at 4 degrees!
Finishing with some unseasonal (i.e. trying to pretend it’s spring when actually it’s still very much winter) stuff going on in the greenhouse to cheer us up…
Looking at the weather outside I think I might be finding more tasks in the greenhouse this coming week. And I think I’ll leave the ‘unseasonal swimming’ to the ducks…