Spring Equinox

In time for the Spring Equinox, that fantastic moment when the day and night hours are equal, I planted out the shallots and most of the onion sets I had prepared in  trays of compost in the greenhouse. They had all developed good fringes of roots, so I eased them gently into prepared little holes in the raked soil of the main allotment bed. This year I have two sorts of shallots, and yellow, red and white onions, more than two hundred altogether. You can’t have too many onions!  I’ve covered them with fleece and a cloche tunnel to stop the birds digging them up. My friendly little robin stood about a foot away as I did this and then flew up to the damson tree to have a burst of song.

I also sowed the cabbage, cale, cauliflowers and broccoli seeds in trays in the green house and, and gave my new gooseberry and currant bushes a few gallons of water from the water butts.  It has been very dry this month and I think this is holding back a lot of the buds.

Julia and Dave, who have run the Edensor tea rooms for the last six years had their last day of  trading today. They are moving south.  Julia has been a good mate who has supplied me with loads (literally) of good vegetable peelings and salad leftovers etc for my compost heap, and I’ll miss her. She has promised me the archways and some other garden hardware from their garden which will be great for sweet peas.   

Last night I talked to Chris on Skype in Uruguay and he put his computer up to the window so I could see his full moon. But we have a full moon here too, and so do they in California. My astronomical understanding fails to comprehend how we can all have the same view in such different places. Chris says the moon is closer to the earth tonight than it has been for fifty years. Again, this is beyond my understanding. But the moon is a wonderful thing. I just wish it wouldn’t shine so brightly through my bedroom windows all night though.  I am not at all sure if I should be planting things with roots, while it is waxing, but I think that’s the right idea.  It’s a bit woo-woo, but makes sense.

Pip had a 4th birthday party last Monday. Twelve people and six dogs came and we all had a great time. He had some very nice presents, including a tennisball monkey, which he has played with a lot. He’s never had a proper toy before. The party was only for an hour over lunch, but we had hotdogs, little pies, ginger beer, and of course birthday cake with candles. I gave the visiting dogs party bags of treats to go home with after they had played rumbustuous games of chasing in the garden.  Pip like any four year old became overexcited, but avoided bursting into tears and being sent to bed. The friends who came, mainly our neighbours and those who have dog- sat our dogs and know them, humoured me, and enjoyed themselves. Something to break up these dreary grey days of March.  But the English weather hasn’t been as bad as Minnesota and places round there. I have been told that it hasn’t risen above 40F for the last thirty days in the Mid West.   We have had a few days where the air temp has been just nudging 50F, but nothing to get excited about. It will be a week or two yet before I put out the seed potatoes.

Finally, – where are the hens laying astray?  That is the mystery David is trying to solve, as they should be producing far more eggs than they are.  But they are looking good, and the two cockerals are very handsome. All the hybrid rescue hens are having such a great time with their little social interactions all day, one doesn’t like to mention their egg laying lack of achievement, though to be honest they are much more reliable than the Welsummers who form the majority of David’s breeding flock.   There was a newspaper article about the psychology of hens this week. Certainly when released from the batteries ours developed distinct personalities very quickly. 

Tomorrow, Spring officially begins. Hooray.

About mrsgarnettsgarden

After a life in International Development where I have seen many resililent women farmers bring abundance out of almost nothing, I'm now more often at home in Derbyshire with my husband David, a retired Archdeacon who runs the churches on the Chatsworth estate. Our garden and my allotment are the setting for a little diary of plants and pottering, aided and abetted by our dogs, Spaniel jess, and Collie, Pip. David is a hen fanatic so the chicken runs encroach ever nearer the house. I work freelance as an assessor for Comic Relief International grants, and also run a little not for profit agency to help African women get going in business, called "Lasting Solutions."
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