Well, we have finally had a few days that feel like ‘winter’. Long, cold nights followed by days either bright and sunny or (more frequently) drab and grey. Not a lot of activity in the garden, beyond ensuring that the bird feeders and water supply are kept topped-up. There’ve been more birds since it got colder, with blackcaps, redwings, jackdaws and carrion crows all cropping up in the garden.

I have had the greenhouse heater on solidly for the past nine days, and even that has not entirely prevented some very chilly nights. Nothing appears to have suffered terminal damage though. It is always interesting to observe outdoor plants in the frost, and to see how they go from seeming very bedraggled and limp in the early morning to looking fine again once they get a bit of warmth on their faces. 

More bulbs continue to poke their way up, even if they then regret it…

Offered to plant a large tree (a Malus) at DS’ school last week. The ground was not only very hard with the cold, but also impenetrable beyond about 4in of topsoil. I managed to get a hole dug with the mattock, and get the tree in – but it’s not had a very cosy start to life in its new home. I reckon that, as it is about 3m tall, it should be mature enough to cope:  and at least there’s been no wind. Last time I looked (Tuesday) it was still vertical.

All the March editions of gardening magazines have appeared, though I have scarcely had time to look at them properly.  It is a nuisance that they (a) all come at once, and (b) come so early – I don’t want to be reading tips about March jobs when it is early February (and feels like midwinter). I need to remember that light is as important as temperature in dictating when the seasons change, and even on the greyest of high pressure days there is still a lot more light now at both ends of the day. 

Forecast is for overnight snow…we’ll see. There was a fair dusting on last Saturday night, but it had all gone by morning. The opposite of the children’s story version: you go to bed with snow, and wake up to nothing, such a disappointment.

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