Spring proper is still a long way off, but I have been out in the garden, giving the brambles what for and generally making my presence felt.
When we moved to our current house four years ago, the idea spot for a compost bin presented itself. We were going to have two bays, paint them a fetching shade of sage green and create a shrub border and mini-woodland to render such utilitarian leanings invisible.
The border and woodland combo are actually coming together nicely, but what actually happened on the compost front was rather different. We threw garden waste, egg boxes and kitchen scraps into a corner. The heap was grumpy and sprawling. Engaged in what is known as the cool composting method (ie most organic things will rot if you leave them to their own devices for long enough), it pretty much minded its own business. It steadily grew. Stylish green bins failed to materialise.
But somewhere along the line, the orange peel and grass clippings transformed themselves into a mine of glorious crumbly mulch. And spreading joyous lashings of it on the borders and around fruit bushes and shrubs is an extraordinarily satisfying job. The woodland has pretty primroses and with a bit more space those bins are a definite for this year. Honest.
Down in the orchard, I just found mistletoe growing on apple ‘Pren Glas’. We have been trying, on and off, to get some going for ages. It might be considered a little perverse to spend time trying to establish obligate parasites on one’s plants, but we are pretty impressed down here I can tell you!