Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

Slow spring

Very slow, although today was really warm and in fact so HOT when I was working, that I had too go in to cool off and drink a lot of water. It's certainly a month of contrasts. The sunflower seeds have germinated and are showing the others the way. Still not a sign of the snake's head fritillaries but it really is cold at night and perhaps they are shy. We were doing totally different things most of the day and I had the better deal. Outside, digging and planting in the sunshine, Keith was taking part in a digital meeting inside in the gloom.

The extra shows a bit of reclaimed wilderness, I have never used string like this before but I've seen pictures in books! The sections contain a lot of old seeds that might just do something, I'd rather give them a chance than not. I have prepared a raised bed for some seedlings when they are big enough to move. I'm counting on the frost nights not materialising since it's been so mild at night, but in a day or two it will be down to just above freezing... I might have to take measures!

I spoke to Tomas in Umeå, who works at the camper van centre we visited last year, and described what we were looking for. He told me there is a big shortage of new vehicles since the German factories have been closed down due to the pandemic. 150 people with new vans paid for are just not getting them! So prices are high and vans are scarce. I told him we can wait till the autumn, it feels good to be on his list at least! He thought the van we looked at was a reasonable price for the current state of play, he was the one who imported it from Germany and he remembered it was orange. A real pro.

We bought more sacks of earth and then remembered we had some stashed away, it will probably be used anyhow since we have more raised beds to go in - one for my sweet peas, also "shy" so far. The main shows the evening light at the back of Betty's. We went up there to take the air before we ate. The sun caught the two daffodils very pleasingly. The rhubarb is flourishing since I have given it soil and water, the elephant ears are also looking perkier than I can remember them being. And almost every bit of the scrubby land is covered with the spikes of Lily of the Valley poking through!

It really is a busy time of year, but it's also a very lovely time - so many sights & smells and so much hope of future beauty too. In the spirit of hope I bought a few plants at the local garden centre, some to pop into gaps in the bank by the deck. They look so healthy and so full of promise, but I know from experience that it doesn't always work out as planned. I am a careless gardener - or perhaps lacking in knowledge. I like to walk round each morning and evening, weeding a little, watering, dead-heading - in that way I'm attentive - but I haven't much idea what I'm doing further than that sort of care. Don't read the books, don't watch the TV programmes, too busy digging!

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