April evening bright, cold and clear


Gosh, but the April air is chilly here in Wenlock, even when the sun shines and distracts us. I gather it’s all the fault of the North Atlantic Oscillation which has dropped into negative zones and is drawing cold air from an unusually frigid Arctic. The weather people say there’s more cold air to come so it looks like spring, here in the northern hemisphere, might be late this year.

I took these photos from the kitchen door the other evening. As ever, the teasels up in the guerrilla garden continue to catch my eye, and I’m putting off cutting them down. At this time of year the garden-over-the-fence does not look promising. Very flat and wintered. But then it’s also just the moment to discourage some of the more tenacious weeds which are popping up there – couch grass and ground elder in particular. Except now the allotment plot is calling and that’s where all my effort is being deployed. So many compost heaps to turn over, and bins to turn out in hopes finding enough of something useful to spread on the raised beds.

Climbing peas and broad beans have been started off in pots, the onions and the first early Swift potatoes are in the ground, and it’s time to start clearing the polytunnel of winter greens to make space for the tomato and cucumber plants which are presently in the conservatory at home, along with trays of cabbage and cauli and perennial flower seedlings. They will all need hardening off, but not yet.

And there we have a problem. He-who-binds-books-in-winter-and-lives-in-my-house is now set on the outdoor pursuit of dismantling said conservatory (which though presently useful to this gardener, we both agree is hateful) and erecting in its place against our other back door, a lean-to greenhouse whose parts are presently lying in boxes in our sitting room.

It’s one of those projects that will be wonderful when done, but the getting there is fraught with many acts of plant juggling, issues of meteorological conflict and potential domestic unrest between gardener and demolition man. Prickly times ahead. I will  keep you informed.


Bright Square #15

22 thoughts on “April evening bright, cold and clear

  1. oh my ground elder and a prickly challenge – sending lots of good luck and fair weather your way, maybe a glass or two in the evenings too!!

    Seeing my parent teasels today reminds me I must plant out the few I started off in the greenhouse just in case the birds ate all the seed I have scattered. Must think carefully in terms of height!

  2. Love those teasels! And like Becky, sending lots of good luck and fair weather your way….sounds like you are in need of both

  3. Pretty nippy on this side of our fair isle Tish with the wind coming straight of the North Sea! Good luck with the renos, I’ve still got a huge list and no enthusiasm.

  4. Oh dear. I love the dramatic teasels but can only wince at the idea of greenhouse construction, having once, long ago tried helping a similar project. Good luck to you both. You will be very happy when it’s done.

    1. Thank you for those good wishes, Susan. I think we will need them. Am in the throes of seeing what might go up to the allotment polytunnel, but then it gets too hot in there for some things. Oh, the seedling angst!

  5. Great photo Tish. Good luck with the renovation. T and I survived an extreme make-over of our house, but I remember at times having to consciously stop and remind myself why I love the man. Hopefully the weather won’t be too bitter and you can escape to the allotment when necessary.

  6. Teasels make such good photos, don’t they, and they’re just right for the upheaval you’re dealing with. I’m excited because I planted lettuce in a long planter that’s sitting on our back patio and it’s been growing like mad, so we have a tiny salad every so often and it’s very tasty. I also planted Spanish lavender, just one plant, to see whether or not it would make it and so far it’s still alive although dwarfed by the flowering bushes on either side. 🙂 All our flowering bushes have masses of flowers and the buzz of bees is tremendous to hear. Our prickly pear is looking rather fecund right now as well. Spring in the desert. Good luck with the greenhouse and as Su says, escape whenever possible. 🙂


  7. Whilst here, a bit further around the hemisphere, we’re having a delicious run of halcyon Spring days … soaking them up, I am, because sure as eggs are eggses, the rains will return. 😀

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