Well, it has arrived then? 2016, has battled its way through the muddle of the previous year to offer new adventure. 2015 really was a strange one, with the last month as daft as the previous. Blustery days, some torrential storms and ridiculously high temperatures. The grass has kept growing and there are whitefly everywhere. I have greens with their tops turning in as marauding aphids lay siege, it’s amazing. The Blue Tits are loving it, in fact the birds are busy everywhere and the bigger ones much more brazen these days, with Crows, Jackdaws and Pigeons all demonstrating a proficiency in circus skills in order to share the bird table and nut feeders. It is great entertainment actually and a delightful endorsement of natures adaptability.
The weather conditions have encouraged things to keep growing and leaf vegetables are actually looking quite good, do tread the rows from time to time to firm in the taller plants though. These buffeting winds do shake plants loose and if they tumble they are very difficult to repair. If you have planted any trees, shrubs or hedging in the last few months, make the same check. Whilst you are out there check the over wintered onions too, they have tops on them and the birds have pulled some of ours up. Look in on storage spaces whilst you are doing the rounds, the rodents continue to be very active, with mice it seems continuing to breed (I have found some very tiny tots recently). Thus far in spite of their growing numbers, they do seem to be leaving the peas and beans alone and there is evidence of germination. As the days move on, we shall be teased with seed potatoes and shallots and onions, Garlic, Asparagus and Rhubarb, all can be considered for planting and then it’ll be seed sowing time again. I do love to play with bits on the window sill and will have a pot of something started very soon. It’ll probably just be Lettuce, but that first flash of new green calls us to arms and is a standard that rallies for the start of a new beginning. I love it.
And finally, I am going to play with coloured potatoes this year. I spotted a wonderful platter of cooked coloured fleshed potatoes and was inspired. With Red, pink, blue, black and purple fleshed varieties available, the staging that I saw delivered a culinary carnival and I want to join the parade.
Happy New Year and happy gardening.