A Spring in My Steppe

At last. Spring has arrived, accompanied by a water-butt-emptying lack of rain. Just before the weekend, we were supposed to “get it”. What we got was a storm in a teacup. Well more like an eggcup really. Leicester got it though and someone tweeted a photo of a flooded floral pavilion at a certain horticultural show that happened to have conveniently placed itself below the downpour.

My smallest water butt is now empty. Well at least I can give it a clean.  Piggy in the middle will probably run out tomorrow. My largest is still ok, though, so I’m happy for the time being.

Blossomed CarBut, suddenly, the crab apple is covered in blossom. So is the car as we move from blackbird crapping season to blossom-storm season. I used to park the car on the other side of the drive, which meant that the blackbird crap (resulting from aforementioned blackbirds engorging themselves on the crab apples that follow the blossom in abundance) fell on the drive and the blossom effect was a little less. But a £300 repair bill after a stupid act by a Council recycling operative (which the Council paid) sort of dictated a rethink of my parking plan. To be honest, if I still parked across the drive there would have been at least two more repair bills so far! It’s easier to hose off the blackbird crap and blossom.

The lawn around the tree is also covered in blossom. It seems that the tree tempts fate on an annual basis. We have lovely calm weather until the blossom breaks forth. But as soon as the tree is standing in all its glory, we start getting very windy days.

Sod’s law innit?

And I can finally look forward to emptying the greenhouse now there’s no risk of frost, even in this rather odd year for weather. The coming week is planting week. Two hundred and fifty plants will go to their new homes in the wall planters. Another hundred will get shoved into hanging baskets. About five hundred will become the first lot to get their roots covered in soil. And …. It’s fun. The greenhouse will suddenly empty.

There's a lot of emptying !
There’s a lot of emptying !

Not for long though. I’ll be able to move the five hundred begonias from the planthouses into the greenhouse where they’ll be a lot easier to look after.

And I’ll still find a bit of time to relax; to give the lilac a sniff.

Lovely scent.
Lovely scent.

To pick snails off the cardoon that shelters the lower,bare, parts of the lilac. The lilac was a freebie so I don’t know the variety and I’m trying to transform it from a straggly shrub into a tree. So far it seems to be working ok.

The eagle-eyed among you may notice some curly things in the background. These are supports for the tree lilies that are shooting skyward behind the cardoon.

The clematis montana are coming into flower, masking the former location of a pyracantha that got demolished by a winter storm. The pyracantha is regenerating so I’m hopeful it will start to flower and berry again in a year or two.

There are two, slightly different plants here. I can't tell the difference yet.
There are two, slightly different plants here. I can’t tell the difference yet.

And I’m going to have to deal with the last of the narcissus blooms.

Narcissii Going Over
But not today, eh?

Now resident thug’s a different matter. Acanthus spinosus was contained within the paeony frame last year. I think, maybe, I need to either re-contain it or bite the bullet and attempt to dig it out for the next ten years.

Your days may be numbered! Eventually!
Your days may be numbered! Eventually!

That bit of wavy blockwork on the right is part of the latest badger barrier. I can remove it once I’m happy that the bed of concrete encasing the bottom of the wire mesh behind the fence is solid enough.

And the lawns need taking care of. If I can still see them below the covering of crab-apple blossom when I get round to it.

I'm working on a mid-week post about lawn feed and weed products. Check back on Thursday.
I’m working on a mid-week post about lawn feed and weed products. Check back on Thursday.

4 thoughts on “A Spring in My Steppe

    1. Thanks. At least the blackbirds are seasonal, unlike the seagulls around here who are “immediately after washing the car”! I knew about the weather in Leicester and the flood in the Malvern pavilion because it was almost impossible to ignore the chatter amongst the locals!

      It’s been raining fairly constantly here now for 2 days. Which is good for my butts. But also a ruddy pain for washing the blossom of that malus (which is also a label perierat variety) off the tree and onto the car!

  1. Nice pun in the title, but where was the steppe? Have fun with your planting out. Hope you don’t mind me saying but your copyright notice is a bit intrusive in the middle position.

    1. The main lawn, dry and now suffering the same cold snap as the rest of the area, qualified on the basis of literary licence I’m experimenting with a new copyright app as I’ve found Watermark Reloaded to be unreliable. The trial version seems to default to the central position whatever I do. I may have to fork out the tenner for the full one. On the other hand, in that position it’s harder to crop out. Maybe increasing transparency would be an idea.

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