Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Year Turns

OK, I know it's still winter.  It's the first week of January, it's dark before five and I still see the dawn when I walk to work.  But it feels like new growth is beginning, the birds are more active and there is a general feel of optimism in the air...

I had to spend a lot of the week after Christmas working on college assignments, and I'm already back at work.  I still managed to make it out to the plot for a few short visits, dodging the storms and high tides.  We've had huge winds and loads of rain, but the days in between have been bright and calm. And thus far, I've had very little damage to the plot or the polytunnel.  Fingers crossed it stays that way.  My polytunnel is now 4 years old and the plastic is starting to crack, so every gale is a bit of a worry.

For Christmas dinner, I picked a turnip and green and red sprouts and baby 'Paris Market' carrots, as well as parsley and thyme and rosemary for the stuffing.  I had spuds in storage in my father's shed, and it was all delicious.  Since then I've been bringing home leeks and beetroot and parsnips.

While a few tender things have succumbed to frost, most of the plants have survived so far - even the chillies in the unheated poly still have leaves.  It has been very very mild, so mild that the asparagus has been sprouting.  I have since covered the asparagus bed (and the rhubarb bed) with a compost mulch, which hopefully will encourage it to retire again until Spring.

I got a few gardening gifts for Christmas; gloves (always welcome; I always wear gloves and go through tons of pairs) and best of all, an electric propagator for the windowsill.  It has seven modules which I sowed this morning with onions, leeks and tomatoes.  I do like having seeds on the go at this time of year, even if it is too early.

No doubt I will be snowed under with work and college again in a few weeks, but in the meantime I have a few quieter weeks ahead with just a couple of exams to study for.  Happy new year everyone!
Hyacinths smelling lovely on the windowsill

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