Reasons to Smile

I’ve been feeling pretty fed up most of the time these past few weeks. I’d let myself get over tired and overwhelmed by a list of things I “really should be doing”. A couple of sunny days, some down time with a good book and the Winter Olympics, and some drastic list culling mean I am in a much better frame of mind now, positively Pollyannaish in fact! (Pollyanna, for those who don’t know, is a character in a book of the same name by Eleanor H. Porter. She is relentlessly optimistic, and prone to saying things like “I am so glad, glad, glad to be here!”).

For starters, we have used some worktop left over from having the kitchen done to create some more workspace in the conservatory. This is currently my indoor Seedling Central, complete with propagator, growlight and everything I need to sow seeds.

seedling central

It’s early, I know, but the growlight means I can keep a small number of seedlings healthy and happy, so getting chillies and sweet peppers started together with some perennials that might flower this year if I am lucky should give me a head start, and make it all less of a sprint later in the year. Such a wonderfully optimistic thing to do, sow seeds, I love it.

Then there is the promise of fruit, in the shape of three plum trees. They were ordered last Autumn, and I was beginning to feel a little nervous as I hadn’t heard anything from the nursery. I hadn’t wanted to chase them up, as I know they must have been having a difficult time of it with all this wet and mild weather – the trees are field grown and supplied bare rooted – but February is fast disappearing. I needn’t have worried, they will be here towards the end of this week. Very exciting, even though I know it will be several years before I am picking fresh plums.

And then there was today. Yesterday the forecast was saying dry but overcast. Dry, yes, but overcast? Not a bit of it, another perfect sunny day, this time with no chill wind, so I awoke to the sight of the Witch Hazel lighting up the front garden.

witch hazel

I am so fortunate to have inherited a fairly mature plant, I know they are slow growing, and this one, whatever it is, is having a really good year, even if I can’t smell it at all. It lights up the front garden even on a dull day, but when the sun comes out it becomes almost luminescent, and I love seeing it against the grasses and achillea seedheads.

witch hazel with grasses

We had to put the green bin out this evening, the one for collecting green waste for composting, so I set myself to get the last area of the kitchen garden weeded and as much other space cleared as would fit in the bin. Its funny, I used to hate weeding when my parents – very occasionally – got me to help in their garden when I was a child, but nowadays I enjoy the almost zen-like calm that overtakes me when I am involved in such a repetitive task. Today I had the sun on my back, the sound of the birds, and the welcome sight of lots of worm action in the raised beds.

worm in the kitchen garden

I’ve been really pleased with how well the raised beds have worked, they are easy to manage, I’ve had very few problems with perennial weeds poking through apart from grass encroaching around the edges, and most of my crops did really well. I am a little disconcerted at how much the compost level has dropped, I won’t have enough home made compost to refill them so will have to buy some in again, but it is bliss compared to my old allotment with its choking couch grass and rough and heavy soil.

My mood dropped somewhat when I turned my attention to the park border. When we had the kitchen done last year it completely took over my life and left me with very little energy for gardening. The park border was the area that suffered the most, becoming very weed-choked, and this year I am reaping the consequences in the form of a carpet of weed seedlings.

seedling forest

At least as I worked my way through the border, pulling up great handfuls of weeds, I was able to see all the fresh young growth already popping up. The soil here is really good, rich enough to nurture plants well but well drained too, and the weeds came out easily from the still-damp ground, revealing the frilly excesses of new growth on the aquilegias…

new aquilegia growth

…the beautiful leaves of aster divaricatus, which will be moved to the back border when it is a little warmer…

new leaves on Aster divaricatus

…and a veritable forest of new growth on the astrantia…

new astrantia leaves

I wish I could remember which astrantia it is, I don’t seem to have a single photograph of it in flower from last year! Ridiculous.

I love the sense of quiet excitement and anticipation that builds at this time of year, with the first new growth pushing up, the promise of bulbs opening soon, the thrill of suddenly remembering the colour to come later in the year. I even made a sort of peace with my beastly weed seedlings.

goosegrass seedlings

It’s all goosegrass, also called cleevers, stickyweed, even mutton chops, apparently! It does very well here. Very well. I have another huge swathe to clear in the front garden along the fence line. I’ll never be able to get rid of it altogether, it is prolific in the park next door, so I decided to get to know my enemy. Apparently, it is considered a sign of loam by farmers, and can be used as a medicinal herb. I am unconvinced about its efficacy in treating cancer, though apparently it was recommended as such in the 19th century, but it is apparently an effective diuretic, and as VP posted a few years ago, you can roast the seeds and make a caffeine free coffee substitute! Not sure I will be trying any of that, and I don’t really fancy the idea of using the young shoots in salads either, all those burrs that cause it to stick to anything and everything may be effective at helping it clamber up through other plants to reach the sun, but I shudder to think what the texture would be like on the tongue. The only thing I might be persuaded to try is cooking young shoots for a few minutes, perhaps with wild garlic leaves (I hopefully have some growing in a corner of the garden), and tossing in butter. I might even eat the results, though the description of it as being not the “most tasty of pot herbs, but is one of the healthiest” doesn’t really excite me! But hey, the green bin is full, you can definitely see where I have been working, and although there is loads more to do there is also loads more to enjoy, and look forward to. Definitely reason to smile.

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60 Comments


  1. Your Pollyanna remark made me laugh Janet! Not because we think you’re ‘one’ but because occasionally I think I start to sound like her already when sounding optimistic in the face of some challenges. I’ve read a quote somewhere too that its worth being optimistic and positive as it irritates enough people to make it worthwhile, lol! Seriously though positive people make for great company and in them you can confidence with.

    Spring is almost with us and there are so many reasons to smile about. You’ve been very productive and it shows! Would love to have space for potting and seeds like yours too! And funny enough seeing your weeded patch made me yearn to do some weeding when we get back…
    Mark and Gaz recently posted Barcelona We Meet Again


    1. Glad I made you laugh! Like the idea of relentless optimism as a weapon… The sowing and potting area is luxury beyond anything I had hoped for, am very lucky TNG is so tolerant, I do seem to be rather taking over… I’m sure there will be plenty of weeds awaiting your attentions when you get back here!!


  2. It’s amazing how a little sunshine can make you feel so much better. My garden seems to be a mass of weeds too – I haven’t done anything in the garden for ages I am pretending that the weeds are good ground cover, for now! I haven’t got anything in motion seed-sowing wise yet as we are away at the beginning of March but I will certainly get cracking on our return. Optimism is in short supply round here too, but once this horrible weather has blown itself out I am sure we will return to our normal selves.
    elaine recently posted a humdrum life …


    1. Hi Elaine, it has a disproportionate effect at this time of year, doesn’t it. I was doing the same ground cover reasoning – still am for the front garden! I’m sure your patience with your seed sowing is very sensible, particularly with your planned trip. I am always astounded at how long it all takes, I think the head start is my way of trying to avoid March Madness…


    1. Hi Sue, and there are more, I wonder why, others only seem to have one or two. It is quite scarily posh, only because of the worktop though, and I really should get round to finishing the edges… So very useful though. I am a lucky woman.


  3. Your seed central command station is very impressive, Janet – any arguments for eating goosegrass less so. Luckily I haven’t got many weeds coming up yet – mostly because the ground is under water! And optimism is a grand frame of mind. I must seek them out. D
    David Marsden recently posted Still Here, Still Gardening


    1. I know, not very convincing, the whole “eat goosegrass its good for you” thing, is it. I suppose fewer weeds is one advantage to the flooding, but I think it is a little extreme. If you get bored you can always come here and have a go at mine, I don’t mind sharing ;-)


  4. Wasn’t yesterday gorgeous? If we’d had garden furniture out I’d have considered lunch outside.. almost. The terrace felt like a real sun trap.
    Like you I was motivated to get sowing although in a rough and ready corner of the potting shed my facilities are less palatial than yours. Your witch hazel is glorious, they do seem to be very slow growing.
    rusty duck recently posted In Pursuit Of The Perfect Spud


    1. Hi Jessica, yes, it was pure magic, made me greedy for more though! Sadly I don’t think the plush sowing surroundings will mean better results, just less frostbite and no need to kick wellies off to go to the loo… As to witch hazel, I am honestly not sure I would have invested in one had I not inherited one, though I am happy to plant trees, so that would have been just plain stupid! Just wish I could catch a whiff of the (alleged) fragrance…


  5. You have been busy and it does make a difference when you have successfully cleared the weeds from a border. I still can’t get onto mine, they are absolutely waterlogged still, there is going to be so much to do when the rain eventually stops! Your propagation centre looks very professional, I think we are all terribly jealous!
    Pauline recently posted No Snowdrops were hurt by the Storm.


    1. Hi Pauline, I am very fortunate to not have heavy soil, though I do find myself wishing I had opted for borders about a meter less deep at times. I wish my propagation skills matched the professional look of the working area! It is a pleasure to work there though.


  6. Janet the smile is contagious I am smiling too, I know what you mean about the witch hazel, I don’t have one but I feel like that when the sun catches the orange willow stems, your witch hazel is beautiful,
    I am not sure if your weed is perennial or annual, if it is annual then if you can in some areas try covering with a few sheets of newspaper and put a mulch on the newspaper, I’ve found this works quite well with landcress which I get an excessive amount of,
    it sounds like the nice weather we had Saturday made it’s way south, it was nice to get out for a few hours and do some work, also to get a closer view of what is happening, glad you are feeling better, Frances
    Island Threads recently posted the waiting game


    1. Hi Frances, I think I might try your smothering approach along the fence line in the front garden, I really should have thought of that, thank you! Goosegrass is annual, just a prolific seeder. Willow stems are beautiful at this time of year, I wish they pollarded the huge willows next door to us in the park, they would be safer to live near and much more attractive. And do please send some more nice weather our way, but feel free to enjoy it yourself first!


      1. landcress is also a prolific seeder that catapults the seeds so I have to try and get it before it sets seed, apparently it’s edible too but I just don’t fancy it, I won’t send you our current weather as yesterday we has snow flurries and this morning there is a light covering of white, a bit chilly too, Frances
        Island Threads recently posted the waiting game


  7. Seed sowing the the most optimistic thing I know, I do get a bit frustrated though that germination is often very quick and then nothing happens for ages, or is that just me. Lots of reasons to smile in your garden and just think what good compost the weeds make!
    Christina recently posted A New Design for Sharing and Reblogging


    1. Hi Christina, no I don’t think it is just you at all, I just hope there is lots of good root growing going on in that long pause between germination and the appearance of the first true leaves. I’m also getting a reminder as to why it is a good idea to work with fresh seed, the cosmos germinated within a day, unlike last year, when I was using old seed and it was erratic and took over a week.


  8. It’s good to know that you’re smiling again, I think that even the most optimistic of gardeners have had a hard time doing so over recent weeks. I know that I have.
    Doing things like sowing seeds, or even just seeing new growth appear, all help to brighten our days. xx
    Flighty recently posted M and N…


    1. Hi Flighty, it has been hard to shake off the blues with all this ghastly weather, hasn’t it. It gave me such a boost to see the fresh growth on the perennials, a timely reminder that spring is just around the corner.


  9. There is a lot to be said for maintaining an optimistic outlook even (and especially?) in the face of adversity – and those unexpectedly sunny days must have made it easier, Janet. Well done for starting your seed sowing – there is a certain advantage in starting that nurturing process without leaving the house, isn’t there? Your witch hazel is lovely – and, even though they are slow growing, because they are small you can take in all that colour in one glance. I wonder what variety it is as the shreds are quite long. The only one of mine I can smell is Arnold Promise – but that was a first. It’s good to have the green bin for nasty weeds and branches you don’t want to shred (and excess leaves) – we can now include all food waste in ours, which although there is very little takes some getting used to. I am going out to check for new growth on perennials later after seeing yours!
    Cathy recently posted In a Vase on Monday: The Blossome


    1. Hi Cathy, yes, I have been reassured to hear so many others fail to pick up the scent from witch hazels, and at some point I must try bringing in a sprig, as warmth is supposed to bring the scent out, and there hasn’t been much of that. And I agree, optimism is a very useful weapon when faced with adversity. We have a separate bin for food waste, and it is good to be able to put the cooked bits and pieces out, though like you there is never much of it. I should have shredded the ivy I pulled up then I could have added it to our heap, but it was quicker and easier to use the green bin. Hope you find lots of new growth on your plants to give you those little bursts of joy – they make February so much easier to handle, even when the weather is so relentlessly foul.


  10. I’m so glad, glad, glad that you’re feeling better! Just getting outside and spending some time weeding helps me mentally. Although, just trimming down the ‘to-do’ list can be mentally freeing, too. All that info on the weed is quite interesting. Weeds can be much more interesting than we realize, if we just take the time to research them. Your witch hazel is beautiful. What a cheerful sight to see – especially during this time of the year!
    Holleygarden recently posted The Squeal


    1. Thank you, me too! I find weeding very therapeutic nowadays, not to mention excellent exercise, all that crouching and standing, who needs a gym! I find it fascinating that so many of the weeds I waste so much energy hating have so many uses. Though I still aim to have a garden so densely planted it is hard for them to get a foothold!


  11. Wow, what a fabulous potting area! No wonder you love planting seeds and nurturing them there. It IS such an optimistic thing to be doing isn’t it? One year, I started everything in my garden from seed–it was almost too much, but I learned a lot. I got a chuckle out of Holley’s comment–a little glad, glad, glad never hurt anybody! And weeding is surprisingly satisfying. So many activities we do don’t show immediate results, but weeding….ah yes, plain old mindless weeding….endlessly satisfying.
    susan@life-change-compost recently posted Calling all Gardeners! Pacific Northwest gardener needs advice…


    1. Hi Susan, yes I do love the way you can always tell where you have been when weeding, very satisfying. I am growing a lot of perennials from seed at the moment, and using annuals to fill in gaps, because with such a large garden I just can’t afford to buy all the plants I want. The choices are more limited, but it is immensely satisfying, and if I can develop better skills with cuttings of various sorts I can hopefully have the multiples of the plants I want by buying just one and making more. That’s the plan, anyway. Hence the enormous propagator and effort with the potting area.


  12. This positive post and your optimism has made me smile too Janet! I know the feeling about weeding, and I find it one of the most enjoyable tasks. Time seems to pass on a different level when I have my head down and my hands in the soil. Thank goodness we don’t have goosegrass as well – the ground elder is my fiend and I have heard it is also edible but I have never felt tempted to try it!
    Cathy recently posted Tuesday View (11th February)


    1. Hi Cathy, glad the optimism is catching! I find the same strange thing happens to time when I am seed sowing too, I am frequently amazed at how long I have spent, something about the concentration on one small task perhaps? A by-product of living truly in the moment? No ground elder here, thank goodness, but plenty of bindweed, which fortunately is not poking its head up quite yet. Dreadful stuff.


  13. Sunny days always make me feel Pollyanna-ish and quite ridiculously childlike! Somehow I don’t feel we’ve had it too bad here in London; every time the rain gets too much, along comes a sunny afternoon to buck up the spirits. I daren’t think about summer though, not given the length of last year’s winter!
    Hamamelis and earthworms are guaranteed to cheer things up and your perennials certainly know spring is on the way! I like the sound of mulching the weeds into submission and may well try that here in my fruit tree borders; they’re too wide to set foot on without boards at the moment – and that’s my excuse for not weeding!!
    Caro recently posted One month down, eleven to go


    1. Hi Caro, so glad I am not alone in my Pollyanna-ish tendencies! I think the east in general has come off more lightly as regards the rain, though the storm surge certainly wreaked some havoc earlier in the year. I feel bad for being fed up when all it means to me is more limited time in the garden, I can’t imagine what it must be like for those flooded out from their homes, with no end in sight, and everybody fighting about whose fault it is and what the solution to future flooding is.

      On a brighter note, I too am rather excited about weed smothering as an alternative to crouching awkwardly in the space between the willows and the fence, has to be worth a go. It seems to work in my raised beds for killing off the grass etc. underneath the cardboard and compost.


  14. YOU HAD SUN??? No wonder you are enjoying an attack of the Pollyannas! How wonderful! It is great to see your seedlings – even your weeds are a cheery sight (although I am fairly certain that I wouldn’t fancy eating them, even with the addition of a smattering of garlic). Seed central looks like a wonderful place to be – if I had anything as good as that, I would sit and admire it all day and forget the to-do lists. I hope the lovely weather sticks around for the planting of your fruit trees.
    The Gardening Shoe recently posted Balboa Park, Broadening the Mind and Bletting


    1. I KNOW!! It was shocking… Certainly can’t complain about a lack of variety in the weather at the moment, today is sunny too, hoping to get my plum trees planted assuming they arrive while it is still daylight, the bridge on to the Island is closed thanks to the tail end of the hurricane. Seedling Central is wonderful, allows me to “garden” even when the weather is pants. I won’t be eating my weeds…


  15. The Witch Hazel does look glorious, a nice plant to inherit! I’m starting to clear my potting and seed area now, it doesn’t look quite as organised as yours! I didn’t know that much about goosegrass, so I was fascinated to learn about it. And those moments in the sunshine at this time of year are wonderful, they just seem very rare at the moment.
    Wendy recently posted A Bee-Friendly Garden For Spring (1)


    1. Hi Wendy, the potting area only looks all smart and clean because it is new, the greenhouse is a disaster zone, but at least I have time to deal with that before I need to start moving seedlings in to it! I do, strangely, feel slightly better about having goosegrass having learnt a little more about it, but I won’t be attempting to eat it, I’ll stick to rocket and other more conventional things I think. Though I will have a go with new dandelion leaves, might as well, as I have loads of them too!


  16. Love seedling central. I haven’t sown any yet. I’ve been finding it hard to find my mojo. I’m normally itching to get going at this time of year but the weather has literally put a damper on that. But I did do a seed and bulb order today, so feel like I’m tackling my analysis paralysis bit by bit. We thought we might find out about the move yesterday. I’d got all built up for the news only to find out it wouldn’t be until March. Then I’m trying to make decisions about work too. Aaaarrrggghhhh! Yesterday was gorgeous here too once the rain passed through. The plot felt spring-like and there are bulbs pushing up all over. It is exciting and the sun raises the spirits – just need more of it. Heard the wind is bad up there. Stay safe. x
    wellywoman recently posted Say it with British flowers


    1. Hi WW, hopefully ordering new seeds and bulbs will give your mojo a kick start, the weather does make it hard to enthuse, I find I am assuming this will be a tough year for gardeners and gardening (still more for farmers) with limited fine weather and lots of slugs to contend with. Whoops, seem to have lost my Pollyanna mindset!

      So sorry about yet another delay in finding out about the job situation, pretty impossible for you to make decisions about your own without knowing, and the not knowing is the worst possible state to be in. No wonder you are having problems getting your gardening mojo going, I found it really hard to motivate myself to garden for large chunks of the time I spent in limbo.

      Thankfully we survived the wind intact and today the temporary lull between storms has brought more sunshine. Makes yesterday seem unreal it is so lovely out there! Take care of yourself xx


  17. A million and one reasons to smile Janet – your goosegrass is called Sticky Willie here, fun to play with when you are a child but not such fun to get rid of in the garden. It’s a common weed here in my garden too.
    I hope the weather continues to improve for you. We had our first snow here last night – thankfully it didn’t lie but today has been the first day for weeks that I wasn’t able to get out into the garden.
    Angie recently posted Wordless Wednesday – She’s always first!


    1. Hi Angie, I like your local name for my goosegrass, I remember us chasing one another around and throwing handfulls of the stuff at one another to see who could make the most stick when we were children! Hope the snow doesn’t stop you gardening for long. Wrap up warm!


  18. Lots of reasons to be cheerful, and they are increasing by the day ! I love your ‘Seed Central’, and I bet it is a lovely place to work. It is sooo tempting to sow more than can be managed at this time of year and end up with leggy, sickly seedlings. You are very sensible, having grow lights to stop that happening. Would you recommend them Janet ?
    Jane Scorer recently posted But does it make the heart beat faster ?


    1. Hi Jane, I inherited the growlight, and it certainly works well, I got good results with it last year, but it does cost to run. I am already thinking about changing how I plan my sowing for next year, perhaps buying chilli plant plugs, and just waiting until the light levels are higher. Bringing on too many plants early gets earlier flowers but also often means I need to pot on things that I could otherwise plant out as plugs. Its true that it helped me stagger the large amounts of sowing I was doing, and I have a lot of empty space to fill because it is a new garden, but I’m also on a tight budget and I’m not sure the running costs (about 4kWh for a full 8 hrs) justify the savings I am making given that I sow most of the perennials later anyway!


  19. Sorry you have been low in spirits – but this post has lifted mine!

    Although I don’t need to do any weeding for a wild plant blog, I love the smell of disturbed earth.

    I’m re-animating the tree following on my blog. Will you be following the progress of a particular tree this year? (Maybe your plums?) If so, let me know and I’ll add you to the list. (I’m also experimenting with the Linky system – that should make it easier to keep of Tree Following posts.)


    1. Hi Lucy, how lovely to hear from you, glad I boosted your spirits! I like the idea of joining you for your tree following, I will just have to decide which tree to follow, I am lucky enough to be planting several, ornamentals and edibles. I’ll try not to let my indecision stop me from joining in altogether!


  20. Glad to hear that you have found your found you va va voom Janet. Struggling a bit for mine at the moment after a series of nose bleeds culminating in ambulance journey to A&E on Monday evening where nose was cauterised. Feeling somewhat battered. Thank goodness it did not happen last night! No stretching or bending or anything strenuous for the next week or so but I can wrap up and walk round the garden and sort my seed boxes. Himself will have to plant out the newly arrived crab apple. Love your seedling central area. I have cleavers in abundance at the allotment so know what you are up against. Richard Mabey in ‘Flora Britanica’ writes that there is “a game in Scotland called ‘Bleedy Tongues’, in which anyone foolish enough to stick out his tongue has it cut by the rough leaves”. A definite no no for your salad bowl then methinks :)
    Anna recently posted Wordless Wednesday ~ 12.02.14~ Galanthus ‘Kildare’


    1. Yikes Anna, that sounds horrid, hope you are soon feeling less battered. I have this lovely image of you, all wrapped up warmly, gesticulating at himself with instructions on perfect placement! How lovely to have a crab apple to plant, I couldn’t quite work out how to fit one in with everything else I wanted, and all the over head wires. I certainly don’t fancy rough leaves on my tongue, so the goosegrass can just go on the compost heap… Take care of yourself, glad you didn’t need an ambulance after that tree came down…


  21. at first glance I though it was your office, and with such orderliness am sure the seedlings will do exactly what is required of them. Perhaps the witchhazel should be christened ‘Pollyanna’ since it seems to be looking on the brightest side of life. Glad you are infected with enthusiasm too Janet, along with all the plants that are starting to pop their heads through to see if the worst of the weather is over. Not yet alas – there are now 3 storms lurking in the jet stream but hey I’m so glad to be here!
    Laura Bloomsbury recently posted Tuesday triptych: Saint & King


    1. Hi Laura, my office, in stark contrast, is utter chaos. Worse now because a little re-arrangement has given me more space. The theory that this will allow me to be better organised has already been proved ridiculous, I just spread out more. I think it is time I put my hand up and confessed. Hello, my name is Janet, and I am very untidy. Lets hope the seedlings don’t follow my example!

      PS The witch hazel is now officially called Pollyanna, thank you!


  22. Hurrah for a good rest, some sunshine, and burst of high spirits. Long may it continue! We have pockets of pesky goosegrass too, the sticky round seeds bedeck our cats in the summer. At least it always does pull up easily, unlike the creeping buttercup.
    Your witch hazel is splendid again this year; I can’t wait until ours is big enough to pack a proper punch!
    hillwards recently posted Gold


    1. Hi Sara, I can just see your cats running around almost obscured by clumps of goosegrass! Your witch hazel will be worth the wait, I too have lots of shrubs that are currently barely there in terms of impact, but eventually will be a major source of structure and colour. Hope you are surviving the endless rain, you must be glad to live on a hill, though I imagine the local roads can get a bit exciting when you are commuting in to Bristol.


  23. I’ve been a little frustrated too these past weeks with the weather being so horrid and the list of to does getting ever longer but things are starting to pick up. Lots of whisperings and I’m delighted about discovering new ones every day. The sun is shining today and I will go and get some pruning done. Lovely hamamelis – I got Primavera and Diane, both are delightful but not as big as yours (yet). Haven’t sowed anything yet as I don’t like things to get too leggy but a conservatory is a great thing. Mine will only be finished in a month. Happy gardening :)
    Annette recently posted Februar – doch nicht so schlimm! / February – ain’t that bad after all!


    1. Hi Annette, how lovely to have a sunny day, enjoy your pruning. I hate leggy seedlings too, hence the growlight, but patience is reqarded by sturdier plants that soon catch up, assuming we ever get a sequence of sunnier days. Will you have space for seed sowing in your new conservatory, or is it to be a tidy living area rather than our scruffy work area?


  24. Love your workspace! There’s nothing better for chasing away the doldrums than to start some seeds. I plan to start some soon, but I usually wait till mid-March, since we have a much later last frost date. So nice to see the new growth in your garden–here the garden is once again covered with a new snowfall today. Hope the sun continues to shine for you!
    Rose recently posted Escaping Winter’s Chill With a Good Book


    1. Hi Rose, me too! Though I am beginning to get a little panicky about all the seeds I have set myself to sow, and I am contemplating buying some more too, can you believe… I hope there is a spring-like end to your snow soon Rose, and that you begin to see all those exciting signs of the new growth poking through the white stuff.


  25. Janet I was thinking back to your allotment and believing you must be so happy to have the raised beds….soon I will be cleaning and weeding the garden as many weeds have a strong hold here after so much neglect. Your determination keeps me going. And I recognized so many young plants starting to grow. I know once the snow melts I ill find similar growth. Great you are having weather that allows you out in the garden.

    Oh and I love the seed starting station. I need to get mine in shape and ready.
    Donna@GardensEyeView recently posted Dreaming in the February Garden


    1. Hi Donna, absolutely, I love not having all that digging to do! Hopefully we can help each other keep going, it can be hard at times, can’t it, when life and/or weather get in the way and we fall behind in what we want to do.


    1. Hi Alistair, I know, I am very lucky, no excuses for not sowing and nurturing! Wasn’t the sunny day wonderful, disproportionately uplifting after all those storms. I imagine you are beginning to make all sorts of discoveries in your new garden as things start to put on some spring growth. Hope you are having fun and that Myra is starting to feel more settled.


  26. Your goose grass looks likes our portulaca, a beautiful annual with a weedy cousin. :) My husband used to call me Pollyanna because I just knew everything would work out okay while he was convinced we were all about to die. I would love to have something blooming right now but will settle on shelves full of seeds under my grow lights. :)
    Casa Mariposa recently posted Everything That’s Right


    1. Not much beautiful about goosegrass! Good to hear I am not the only one with Pollyanna tendencies… And thank goodness for grow lights, they help bridge what feels like the long, long gap between February and actual Spring.


  27. Thank you for sharing your witch hazel photos. I was recently on the other coast of the US and had a chance to visit a botanical garden there. They had greenhouses full of lewdly wonderful orchids but the plants that really caught my attention were the witch hazels, braving the lingering cold. A wonderful sight and a sure sign that spring had arrived.
    james recently posted spring garden tour

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