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Is it Spring yet?

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Is it spring or not?

Hard to say  judging by our weather which is so mixed. Last weekend in the garden it was spring like, almost warm and gardening in shirt sleeves with no jumper and it did feel like spring was just around the corner, ready to arrive.  Now it is  cold sleety and very wet, too wet to work on the borders and I retreated to the greenhouse to fill the root trainers and trays with seeds.

 At this time when it is still very early in the season, I  germinate using a warm heated mat under the propagators and keep the seedlings in the conservatory because it is several degrees warmer than the greenhouse.  I hold back  from seeding the most tender of the veg, such as french beans and annuals such as the climbing annual Ipomoea. There is still a chill, even in a conservatory and I find racking with plastic covers very helpful, adding in an extra layer of insulation until it gets warmer.

Later  say early April I will seed the more tender plants and start moving trays of seedings, which will by then be more established, out of the conservatory and into the greenhouse ready for hardening off. The conservatory is not heated but it is just warm and sheltered enough at this time of year  to make it ideal for growing on seedlings. For more advice and tips on sowing seeds and germination The Sunday Gardeners March Calendar and why not sign up for the monthly newsletter for regular advice all the year round.

In the garden the Hellebores are in full flower and I find them irresistible. The variety and colours are lovely, so delicate the flowers and they look great as a cut flowers in vase where it is possible to admire their dappled colouring more closely. Home grown veg is good but so too are home grown flowers.

The images show how attractive the Hellebore flowers are in close up, which could overlook the fact that Hellebores make lovely clumps of flowers with many blooms. They look great in a woodland setting and I am currently clearing a bank to plant another dozen which I hope will get established over the summer ready for a really good display this time next year. The advantage of planting them on a bank is to see into the flower heads and they will colonised the bank over time. Hellebores are an easy to grow perennial.

Clump of Hellebores


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