Spring IS coming!

The weather is very mixed at the moment, but the very cold temperatures are gone for a while although we are still threatened with some snow this month – I’ve no idea if it will actually snow here.  On sunny, clear sky days there is already real warmth in the sun and the greenhouse heats up quickly if I don’t open the door early.  On dull days, like today it doesn’t feel very warm but most days this week the temperatures have reached double figures during the day , dropping by 5 or 6°C at night.

I wrote that I needed a coldframe to liberate the greenhouse from some of the planting now filling it before smaller seedlings need pricking out and therefore needing more space.

I found a cheap coldframe that I knew the plastic wouldn’t last long; but I had thought we would manage to set it up without tearing the plastic cover – lucky that when I bought it I had in mind to use the frame with a shade netting cover in summer for salad crops and stopping any young plants from burning in the intense light of summer.

I found this cheap coldframe in a local DIY store; it's far from ideal but will do for now

I found this cheap coldframe in a local DIY store; it’s far from ideal but will do for now

You might just be able to see the peas and broadbeans; yesterday I planted them out.

Thank goodness for duck tape! The plastic split while easing it over the frame

Thank goodness for duck tape! The plastic split while easing it over the frame

Crocus were a surprise last weekend

Crocus were a surprise last weekend

The crocus are mixed with Anemone coronaria 'The Bride' of which there are lots but mostly with quite short stems, I don't know why the white ones are short.

The crocus are mixed with Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’ of which there are lots but mostly with quite short stems, I don’t know why the white ones are short.

Euphorbia rigida is always the first to flower

Euphorbia rigida is always the first to flower

Just one Muscari is flowering, the rest aren't showing any signs that they might join in soon.

Just one Muscari is flowering, the rest aren’t showing any signs that they might join in soon.

It's a shame these yellow crocus aren't open but they were a big surprise when I found them while wandering around the garden

It’s a shame these yellow crocus aren’t open but they were a big surprise when I found them while wandering around the garden

Anemone coronaria 'Mr Fokker' has much longer stems

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr Fokker’ has much longer stems

I've been pruning the wisteria, nearly finished

I’ve been pruning the wisteria, nearly finished

After the rain at the end of last week, the garlic and onions suddenly pushed through the soil

After the rain at the end of last week, the garlic and onions suddenly pushed through the soil

In the other bed you can just see some lettuces that amazingly survived the freezing temperatures and are a very pleasant fresh taste in winter.

My Lonicera fragrantissima is living up to its name and filling the garden with its wonderful perfume.

Lonicera fragrantissima

Lonicera fragrantissima

Lonicera fragrantissima

Lonicera fragrantissima

Lonicera fragrantissima

Lonicera fragrantissima

Yesterday I also planted out some Salvia that I’d taken as basal cuttings in autumn and some plants of Sweet Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) that were sown 11th October last year.

Are you able to plant anything out yet?  It’s always best not to rush into planting – but I often do!

52 thoughts on “Spring IS coming!

  1. Rieccomi!!! ho cambiato la mail ed ha funzionato!!! Hai ragione la primavera è già nell’aria sembra incredibile… Una volta ho seminato anche io la Hesperis matronalis, mi avevano detto che profuma moltissimo, ma non è nato nulla. Poi non ho più trovato i semi!

  2. I did plant a Beech hedge today (not mine, a customers) but apart from that we are on a roller coaster of freeze, thaw. A little snow due for us this week too. I love your early spring flowers Christina that is a cheerful sign of spring. I am standing over my crocus willing them to poke their stems up. But this morning winter aconites opened, which was quite exciting.

  3. Wow, so nice to see spring has arrived where you are. We are still in the throes of winter, alas. Another storm due tomorrow. Feb. and Mar. are when we get our biggest storms. (We do need the water as last year was so dry.)

  4. An overflowing greenhouse isn’t a bad problem to have, even if it does require some improvising. Here, our temperatures are still on the cool side and we remain very wet, which are also not especially bad problems to have. By the standards of prior hot, dry years, the signs of spring are somewhat delayed but I’ve made use of the frequent rain to get some new plants in the ground, albeit not seedlings. I’m looking forward to spring too.

  5. It looks like spring has arrived in your garden! Warm, sunny days sound so nice right now. Those are almost unheard of this time of year in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, though we might get a few next week. We got one more dump of snow over the weekend which is in the process of melting. After that, I plan to start moving and planting woody plants, but will hold off on most herbaceous plants until perhaps April. Many herbaceous plants tend to rot in our cold, wet winter and early spring soils.

    • My soil is very, very free draining, very good in winter as it would be usual for anything to rot in the ground but, of course, not so good in summer when there is no rain for 2 or 3 months.

  6. I don’t plant anything out from the greenhouse until the end of April, and even that is taking a chance. Feb is always our worst month for frost and March isn’t much better. Our first crocus are opening on sunny days along with iris reticulata making us feel that spring isn’t far away. I’m sure you will find your new cold frame very useful.

  7. Lovely to see your expanding collection of young plants- I only have a few from autumn sowing and in an unheated greenhouse there have been losses this winter.
    I had forgotten how valuable lonicera is in winter. Yours is looking very good and if I close my eyes, I can imagine the perfume.

    • I only heat the greenhouse to frost free; last year I don’t think the heater came on more than a couple times; this year it has been working a lot more. The perfume of the Lonicera is possibly my favourite perfume in the garden.

  8. It’s lovely to see so many spring blooms in your garden, as well as the new shoots pushing through in your veg beds. Here we’re about a week behind compared to last year, that is, where spring bulbs are concerned. I think the cold weather before Christmas put them off. This is the first week I’ve been tempted to pick up a spade!

      • That’s very interesting, Christina. I think the cold shock has had the same effect on some of the cool season grasses too which might produce more flowering stems – calamagrostis acutiflora seems particularly sensitive.

        • I think we all underestimate how many plants need cold to induce growth; just think of tulips; everyone seems to think it is warmth that stimulates growth but without cold first they are very slow to grow, if at all. For me here in Italy where it is unusual for it to be cold before January it is worth my chilling all the tulips before I plant them, whether into pots or into the ground.

  9. What a good gardener you are, getting so much done in a timely manner! Spring is on its way here, too. Yesterday, when it was warm and sunny, I saw a Magnolia stallata in bloom and an Okame cherry just starting to show color…I would say we are a week to 10 days ahead of our usual schedule. Today, however, it is cool and windy again.

  10. Reading this makes me want to go and check my crocus – my iris took me by surprise so perhaps my crocus will do the same… we have has odd days with a hint of warmth but we are back to several days of cold again so I won’t be doing mych outside but I have done quite a bit of sowing and also potted up my dahlias, the latter much much earlier than before. I have been stripping wallpaper but have a streaming cold so am not venturing out much apart from my usual rambles! Your wisteria is looking great!

    • I finished pruning the wisteria today, it is always a very satisfying job, but it was very cold up the ladder today! I leave my Dahlias in the ground with a thick mulch. Gingers crossed they are ok.

  11. The garden looks set on the starting block and ready to go. It is fun finding things like the crocus at this time of year. I see something different every day now, even if it is only a bud swelling a bit more. The Lonicera looks very happy and must be a favourite haunt of some Italian bees. Amelia

  12. Yes Spring is definitely coming. Every day now brings changes and it’s wonderful to see. My Lonicera fragrantissima stubbornly refuses to bloom. I’ve decided to dig it up and shift it. Give it a shock!

  13. It is so nice to see flowers and green returning, and transplants for the garden. There’s hope here as well although right now it’s covered in sow again. I wonder if your garden will behave differently this year after your cold winter. The tulips have probably enjoyed it.

  14. Christina her garden is pure spring. With so many flowers coming out and blooming. I’m glad you’re having good weather and you’ve finished pruning Glycine. The plastic greenhouse is very good. How big the garlic and onions are. The fragantissima Lonicera has beautiful flowers that, as it says, perfume the whole garden. I’m still worse off with my leg and foot and I have Magnetic Resonance next week. See if they see anything doctors. I would like to go to the country house, put it in order and think what seedlings to do and start doing it in early March. But that is a dream, a beautiful dream. I am satisfied with seeing your precious photos of your garden. Greetings from Margarita.

    • I’m so sorry you are suffering Margarita. I hope you will soon be well enough to go to your country house soon. Good luck next week, I’ll be thinking of you. Christina

      • Many thanks, Christina. What I least like is that I think that at this rate I’m going to miss the month of March and April at the country house and I’ll have to buy some flower plant. I already had already prepared my envelopes of seeds and seedlings! But we are human and when the disease comes we have to pull forward with it. I reiterate my thanks Christina. Greetings from Margarita.

  15. Spring is creeping in here too although it takes some believing as it’s been a cold and grey weekend. It’s an interesting observation about the white anemones Christina. I grew three colours last year and ‘The Bride’ was definitely the least sturdy. White flowers of other varieties are often less vigorous too. I’m envious of those broad bean seedlings. Must put some seeds in soon. Is your cold- frame pegged down anywhere in case of gusts of wind? I’ve had one or two challenging accidents in the past with similar cold frames 😦

    • I smiled when I read about the coldframe and no it’s not pegged down but seriously needs to be as it completely lifted and was blown over a 80 cm wall!!!!!!! No harm done amazingly. The white Anemones are very sturdy and the stems are strong but just so very short. Nice for the garden but not for picking.

  16. I really like your Euphorbia! I have a little bit in my garden, and I am waiting patiently for it to take hold and spread. It is wonderful to see signs of spring. I still have winter vegetables like collards and broccoli. I will be planting lettuce soon.

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