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Real Spring?

Posted By: 23/02/2011 08:46:00

It may not seem like it but we are a few weeks away from the start of Spring.

Here in Dorset the Snowdrops have been going strong for a while now and when I walk the dog I can see under the hedgerows the start of new growth. Crocus are flowering and the Daffodils are about to open, and Primrose's are girding their loins ready to pop out and great us. This is the time of year where a gardener can easily get carried away and think of sowing too early. The temptation to sow is very strong and only the experience of many years of growing your own crops, and the mistakes made will teach you when is the right time. (When I get there i'll let you know). You only have to look at the weather today to see what I mean. For me at the moment the sun is out and there is a genuine warmth to it, but I know by lunchtime it will be pouring with rain. In Scotland at the moment it is snowing, again. Some places are expecting up to two feet of snow today and that's on top of a foot yesterday. So the end of Winter for some of us is further away that others.

With all the rain we've had in Dorset last week the Chickens are starting to look unhappy, clean but unhappy. So i've had to build some additional cover to allow them to shelter from the rain and do whatever chickens do. This involved building small shelters out of straw bales and covering them with corrugated plastic. It's not going to win any design awards for style but for a chicken it perfect. Not only does it keep them dry, they can also peck and scratch at the walls when they are bored. Not sure if chickens can get bored, I think they have goldfish syndrome, you know 'Once round the bowl' and all that. Anyway they seem happy and they are laying six to seven eggs a day so i'm happy too.

This week I'm planning some more 'Herb Walks' with our local Herbalist, Eleanor Gallia. Last year's walks where a great success and this year I would like to organize more of them to try and capture the different growing seasons. Eleanor's walks are very informative and provide a wonderful insight into the natural medicines all around us. When I get the dates arranged I will advertise them on the website and if you are interested and can make it down to darkest Dorset let me know.

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