Spring is on its way

The wise people that know, ie, the old people of the countryside and farmers seem to think that spring is on its way and the garden is certainly showing signs of waking up at last.

The weather forecast for the next week, here in Indre, is positively fabulous when you consider the weather we have had on the whole for most of January. It’s time to get tidied up, weeded and sowing our seeds.

First task for me is to tackle the courtyard that has had wood and numerous other items dumped on it over the winter months (too cold to go the extra distance to place it all in an aesthetically pleasing place me thinks). I’ve already made a start and the impact on the eye and my sense of orderliness is immediate.

Composting is part of this process and the debris of winter is getting unceremoniously dumped on the compost heaps ready for feeding the gardens. We often have an unplanned garden on these heaps during the summer as self seeded sunflowers, borage, marigolds and a whole host of other flowers and herbs (and even vegetables) emerge – it is for me so exciting!

At this time of year things are growing, but the dreaded weeds are generally small and if you keep on top of them now you’ll reap the rewards later in the summer when your flowers and plants have grown and flourished and there is less place for the weeds. You also benefit as the flowers and plants get more of those all important nutrients and not the weeds – an all round win win situation.

This week we’ll be sowing our hardy annuals and perennial seeds but our advice to you is only sow half so if there are any problems you can re-sow some more later. It may be obvious but don’t forget to label well. We use white plastic plant labels and have tried every indelible pen that we can find but the end results have been the same, the label has worn off through sunlight, water or both. The best thing we can advise is to use pencil – to date we have had no problems with this.

I’ll keep you informed of progress but until then “happy gardening!”

What difference a day can make. Yesterday we saw our first crocus and today we have snowdrops - such a cheery sight. As the morning started off frosty but bright and sunny I have started to redistribute our compost heap and turn the other buts - soon have plenty of lovely new compost for potting on :slight_smile:

If you want to follow our progress visit www.penstemonsandherbs.com and see for yourselves the day to day running of a plant nursery in France.

Hope business is brisk for you this coming spring!

I know exactly what you mean Mark but we have the polytunnel and also like I say you can start some now and keep some seeds for the second sowing if necessary! Every year is so different so to be prepared we’re getting going now but we won’t plant out until we’re sure that the weather is settled! Also we need to be prepared for when all the gardeners want to buy plants and obviously if we left it too late we would not have them ready for sale on time, it’s a tricky business this weather stuff (not to mention the plants!) Anyway let’s hope for us all that we get a spring soon to make up for the early arrival of winter…

Yes it seems spring is on the way here in Brittany also! i have spent the day in the garden and veggie patch carrying out all sorts of neccesary tasks in readiness for the growing season.
I am somewhat cautious when it comes to sowing anything though as i was led into a false sense of security last year and we had heavy snow in march and then frost in may!