Sowing seeds, bonfires, spring tidying and a Hint of Spring

We've had a few dry days this last week, and a couple of them I was able to get out in the garden. Which was good as the next week is forecast to be mainly snow, sleet and cold temperatures. As well as some gardening I also had a trip to Northumberland with David, sho had some work to do around Kielder. A very nice day out visiting a derelict farm house, Kielder water, a visit to a bastle, lunch out and a walk with the dog. 

The buds of the Horse chestnut in the front garden
are beginning to swell and get sticky

I got the cutting back of the dead hedge finished, yeh!
No more boring dead hedge photos

While I was finishing the dead hedge, David and Ben
moved and painted the house sign at the drive
entrance and cleared the years of mud and leaves from
 the edge of the road

So that was one day, its so good to see something done, even small tidying jobs like those. Although we won't be here for ever, it makes it look nice as we come and go and gives a little back to the owners. They were kind enough to let us put up the greenhouses, sheds, bring all our animals and do what ever we wanted in the garden. A couple of days later we had the weather and time to get outside again.

The area in front of the sheds is really muddy so we cleared out the mud
and used some of the excess gravel from the drive. What a difference, it
looks good and is much cleaner for getting to the sheds and chickens and
it didn't cost anything to do.

While David was doing the gravel, I finished lifting the Cornus layers under
the neglected  main plant. In the end there were 21 new plants! I used
these to fill in spaces all the way up the east boundary. Another job that
was free but achieved a lot

Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Plena' in the garden moving

Galanthus nivalis has moved well, a nice healthy

We also used some of the excess drive gravel  to fill in
lots of odd muddy spots on the patio, such as here at
 the bottom of the steps to the back lawn

and here all the way along the back of the house

This is the next project in the front garden

Milly, having a daft turn int he morning, while waiting
 on Daniel's school bus

Chitting Daniel's potatoes

Saturday was cold but dry with blue skies and an occasional snow flurry, so wrapped up I got my car cleaned inside and out, long over due. Then I tidied and watered both greenhouses, potted up a house plant and various other jobs ...

Seeds to sow, a house plant to pot up, gathering the bits and pieces together

Staring the bonfire, because it was mainly dead wood,
 it burnt really well, you can't beat a good  bonfire

Burning the dead hedge trimmings and all the other sticks n stuff lying
about, Adam and Daniel were a great help (boys and bonfires, you
know how it is!) We also toasted some marshmallows.

Creative in the kitchen too, this is the Blood orange and Pomegranate cake,
before the pomegranate syrup topping

... and after, I have to say it was very nice

Sowing the first seeds of the year, some vegetables. Cabbage, broccoli and
kale for Dan's veg garden. Its great to be sowing seeds again

Making room for the trays in the greenhouse

So as you can see, a busy week in the Quirky bird garden, I'm writing this as the snow falls again. I don't think there will be much gardening done this week. What ever you get up to, have a good one.