In the last two weeks it has almost been like a switch has been thrown. One day it is near gale-force winds making standing upright difficult, the next it is brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies.
Genuine spring sunshine and warmth has made winter seem almost like a distant memory. However, I find myself right back in winter, or more accurately our winter garden. Currently under development, the pathways, irrigation and drainage systems are in place and now we are beginning to plant some of the larger specimen trees.
In my last blog I wrote about the woodland planting using small one-year-old whips. This time around it is a complete 180-degree shift as we heave some semi-mature trees into place. Things are made a lot easier with the use of a digger and forklift to get the trees into position.
Tree planting is always hard work but well worth the effort. By going the extra distance to plant a larger sized specimen, the area is slowly transforming from a muddy blank canvas. There is still a long way to go including soil preparation and planting, which we will carry out later in the year, but either way we have made a good start.
Elsewhere in the garden we have been busy with our annual tidy up. This has included cutting back and dividing perennials, raking up fallen leaves, re-edging turf and removing any emerging weeds.
The sudden change in weather has given everything a kickstart into growth. It is one of the joys of work to see perennial plants break free of their winter hibernation and begin to head skywards.
We have even had time to get some new hardy plants into the ground, although we have to be vigilant to make sure that anything newly planted does not dry out. A little trick we use here is to fully submerge a potted plant into a bucket of water prior to planting until the bubbles cease – this ensures that the plant is as wet as possible for when it goes into the soil.
Whether it’s a semi-mature tree or a pot-grown perennial, we have been busy planting, tidying and making good the garden ready for the growing season.