Spring is the nivest of all the seasons
Nevertheless, if the old saying about March coming in like a lion is to be believed, then, hopefully in just a week or so, milder conditions should be with us and March should go out like a lamb.
While this notion may be open to ridicule, what it really means is that the seasons are turning away from winter, and heading pell-mell into spring. It may occasionally be chilly, sometimes even be laced with the odd snow flurry, but generally temperatures are moderating, and crucially daylight length stretching ever longer so that we will soon have more hours of daylight than of dark, and as the clocks go forward, we suddenly have much lighter evenings.
Nature responds very positively to this change. A seasonal biological clock operates which starts to shake the plant world out of its winter rest and suddenly invests it with an urgency to start growing.
Bulbs are generally first to shake a leg. Snowdrops have been with us a while now, and have now been joined in flower by crocus and the earliest daffodils. Primroses, too, are now packed with buds and flowers and are perhaps the stars of the spring garden.
Hot on their heels the shrubs, too, are coming to life. The wonderful blousey flowers of camellias are already showing, with Daphne and Forsythia not far behind. Roses will not be flowering until June, but their stems are smothered with fat leaf buds, which if you need to be reminded should prompt you to get in the garden to prune and feed them in anticipation of their spring showing.
As usual, Wifey is busy in the greenhouse sowing vegetable seeds of the hardier garden vegetables: leeks, broad beans, cabbages and sprouts. About now we should also be thinking about preparing the beds for seed potatoes.
This morning my garden pond was partly frozen over, and it remains too cold for the fish to show more than a passing interest in any food I offer them, but be assured as soon as temperatures climb, they will develop a ravenous appetite. With that it is time to reconnect your garden pond filter and possibly dose it with a biological start-up, to allow the filter to “mature” as soon as possible. On that note, the UV bulb will probably need changing to avoid algae growing and turning the pond to pea soup.
On nice days we have already been quite busy down at Reedley, as veterans and beginners alike sense that change in the air. Spring is here, so don’t miss it. For gardeners and anyone with a love of the outdoors, it is probably the nicest of all seasons.