The sun finally came out at the weekend, just as half term was drawing to a close. We spent all of Sunday pottering in the garden and it was good!
This week is a good time to finish fruit tree pruning, as usual we have left it to the very last minute but cherry and apple both got a good trim just before their buds burst!This is something that all my children can now help with, Bonus Boy wields a mean pair of secateurs and the Tall One is very useful for those hard to reach branches.
Once the patio was covered with prunings ready to be bagged up/chopped for firewood Bonus Boy and My Girl indulged in the, now traditional, den build. All the prunings were moved back onto the lawn and construction began. There will be no clearing up allowed now for at least a week!
Et Voila – an amphitheatre fit for a bit of Shakespeare!
Bonus Boy ran home from school yesterday so he could do some more whittling with his Swiss Army Penknife (that caused outrage amongst the teens I can tell you, ‘Why can he have one at 7 when we had to wait until we were 12?’ – times change, I’m more relaxed, what can I say?!). He has now made several swords, a dagger and some wands. Sticks are just the bees knees!
We have also planted lots of seeds which are taking over the house with most windowsills now sporting a tray of compost or some pots. We have started this year with flower seeds as my daughter and I are very keen on a cutting garden to give us arms full of blooms come summer. Next weekend sees the beginning of veg seed planting. This makes me smile very broadly indeed.
At this time of year I like a bit of instant colour so we planted a hanging basket up with primroses and I sat back with a cup of tea and enjoyed them.
Children also like a quick result when gardening and I try to provide crafts and activities which encourage them out into the garden as often as possible. With the teens that usually involves vigorous hacking or digging but Bonus Boy loves making stuff and planting things and is turning into a very useful gardener in his own right. He has a bucket of bulbs by the front door which he planted in autumn and checks every day and this week we made a hairy cress caterpillar which should be sprouting over the next few days!
We chopped the pointy bits off the inside of this egg box so that it would lie flat and turned it upside down. We decorated it with pom poms, gave it a cheery face and pipe cleaner antennae then filled the holes with damp cotton wool and sprinkled that with cress seeds. He’s sitting on our kitchen windowsill and being watered daily, when he’s good and hairy we’ll give him a trim and indulge in some egg and cress sandwiches for hungry gardeners.
We found our first real caterpillar of the spring and held him in our hands for a while before popping him back on a leaf to bask in the sunshine.
This week we have planted:
Sweet pea – Old Times
Sweet Pea – Eclipse
Geranium – Moulin Rouge
Chinese Forget-Me-Not – Chill Out
Osteospermum – Daisy Mae Mixed
Cosmos – Sensation Mixed
Nicotiana – Sensation Mixed
Alyssum – Snow Cloth