Friday, 29 March 2013

March Gardening? You must be joking!

As far as the Life of a Lady Gardener in March is concerned, the whole thing was a snow-out.
This is the fruitcage-as-was. More like a double tent now. 
Two rows of summer and autumn fruiting raspberries grow under the protection of netting, to stop birds getting to them before we do.
Fat chance. We stupidly forgot to remove the netting across the uprights. Heavy snow collected on the top and the sheer weight of it bent the poles into V-shapes.
I am not pleased. Not at all.

And my home-made swing in the beech tree is pretty useless too.
As are the table and bench beyond. 

At last we are free to leave the house again.
My friend and neighbour, Frank, whose name should be
Sir Galahad, Knight in Shining Armour,
dragooned his Easter visitors to come and dig us out.

 Lucky visitors.
If they’d known in advance they might not have bothered to come.

I promise that the next picture will be the last snow picture of the current winter.

My friend Jay, who today very kindly took me shopping in her car for the second time,
took this picture on her phone as I pulled the groceries through the field
on my sledge, with snow shovel in the other hand.

Before dusk fell I took a look at the drive and the courtyard. The snow is definitely softening and large patches are already free. Finally.

March borrowed from April
three days and they were ill.
The first was snow and sleet
the next was cold and weet,
the third was sic a freeze
the birds’ nests stuck to trees.

Can April be any worse?
Three months to go before 'Open Gardens'
and so far I’ve not been able to tell what, if anything, has survived the winter.
There’s hard work ahead.


  1. That is a very natty blue hat worn by one of the 'volunteers'...

  2. You have had far more than your share of snow this season, haven't you? Notwithstanding the beautiful photographs in the last post, here's hoping this is the last of it!

  3. Yes, it looks like you are going to have to work very hard in your garden. So, take it easy now and enjoy the forced rest – if you can…

  4. I shake my head as I compare the scenes I see on my computer screen to the one outside my window. Both are extreme. I'll take my scene over yours, thank you. I sincerely hope this is the very last of the snow for this season for you. Don't fret over the work to be done. All will be well.

  5. You have company in many places across the pond. Snow piled high on the blooming daffodils in most places. I volunteer in another garden and have not had time to even touch mine!

  6. whew....we got snow last weekend...i gave had is to be bitter cold this weekend...but no snow so....we shall see.....

  7. You are fortunate to have good neighbors who will rescue you. It has been a very, very long winter for many of us. Hopefully, in a month, the snow, rain,and grey skies will just be a memory.

  8. Now that is a lot of work for taking home groceries!
    And way too much snow

  9. Goodness I understand the hardships this snow onslaught is dumping on you Friko - fancy having to sledge your food!
    But oh my the photos are gorgeous!

  10. We had some more snow yesterday, but most of it has melted. I was glad to see it go, although it did look pretty on the hedges and the trees. The hedges already have their first buds, by the way.

  11. You have good friends.. no doubt they do in in you also. I'm done with winter and hoping that it's also done with me.

  12. Brrr! Spring can't get here soon enough to suit us, can it?

  13. You have been hit hard! Those spring snows will only make everything more green, but for now, I am sure you have had enough of it all. I love the photo of your friend Jay with the groceries and the shovel. And, the poem is just perfect.

  14. Wow Friko, how amazing to see that you've still got so much snow around you. Bravo to your neighbors with shovels!

    I'm sure that your garden will revive itself and that your Open Day will be as successful as ever.

    Meanwhile, let me tell you that you've added lots of reality to my "country dreams" and that I still want to wish you and yours a very Happy Easter! xo

  15. Oh Friko. That is just so wrong. Sending hot chocolate and warm wooly (non-itchy) blankets.

  16. Oh my. Snow like that is incomprehensible to me. And here in Oz, I am weeding up a storm getting the ground ready to put in my kazillion (conservatively speaking) spring bulbs so that I can have a brave show in a few months.
    I hope you are able to get out into the garden soon, and that you have not lost too much to the grip of winter. On the other side of the world, we lost far too many things to a blazing hot summer. It made crispy critters out of a number of things including all of my hollyhocks, the fox-gloves and, I think, a number of liliums. An excuse to buy more.

  17. Blimey! :-) (Learned something new from you!) So much snow still!

    But look, how graceful this bench looks with the snow bringing out its contours!
    I looked up your Open Garden posts - yes, I can imagine how much work is waiting for you and Mister Gardener - but then there will be all this magic again - in summer - the roses, oh dear, your roses, that one especially, the almost black one, ups, I already forgot its name, but you know, the one which needs so much care and looks like a queen - and all the other wonders you have there in your garden paradise!
    Please dear Friko be healthy and strong, Gardener too, and plan on showing us a lot of photos in June! :-)
    For now Froheliche Ostern!

  18. How very, very kind of everyone - the snow-shovelling squad as well as the shopping help. Glad to report our roads are completely snow-free now, and we all hope it'll stay that way until December.

  19. Hi Friko - fabulous helpful neighbours .. what a struggle - then everyone is having a tough time - I so feel for the farmers ..

    Plants have that amazing ability to shine forth again ... and give us so much pleasure .. I look forward to your April gardening and see things appear again - glad to know the snow is getting softer ..

    Love the sled and shopping over the fields!

    Happy Easter and enjoy a good fire, good book, excellent music and perhaps a little chocolate ... cheers Hilary

  20. Thawing slowly here and things are emerging, slightly bruised and battered. Round about now I'd be thinking of planting but guess the ground is still going to be so cold. It'll come good in the end. Perhaps this late winter will have seen off some of the garden 'nasties'.

  21. The snow pictures are quite beautiful, especially the first two. And to have such good friends is a true gift. I love the picture of you and the shovel! :-)

  22. Oh, no! Not more snow. How disappointed you must be. March is on the way out the's hoping April will be more kind to you. What good friends to come and help out....Blessings for a Happy Easter....from Balisha

  23. Frico, today I've come back from my garden. It has been the same picture as yours: me with snow shovel and a bag in other hand!
    The winter does not want to go away!
    Happy Easter!

  24. no snow here which is why I put up with the blistering summers. but I think our cold weather may be past, finally.

  25. Can April be any worse? No. No, it cannot.

  26. The guys walking away from the camera shot looked very: Off to see The Wizard.

    The first picture is worth 1000 words. ~Mary

  27. Dear Friko, hard work indeed. I so enjoyed Mary's comment about the guys going off to see the wizard. Were you headed home with that sled and the groceries? And one last thing--whatever happens with your garden this year please know that just reading about it in 2011 and 2012 has inspired me to begin gardening again. Thank you! Peace.

  28. Oh, my heavens! You have really been pummeled! That photo of you hauling the sled with the shovel says it all. My dear, I'm sure it MUST be a wonderful spring for you, because you have indeed suffered with a wretched winter.

    Happy Easter. Maybe you'll see a bunny!

  29. Oh, my! Well, that photo of you with the sled and shovel says it all, doesn't it? I hope your snow is soon gone and that the spring that follows will be long and healing. May your gardening soon begin. You've just been pummeled with all the snow. Time for a break!

    Sending Happy Easter wishes.

  30. Honestly, I cannot even imagine. We spent the day at the beach yesterday, and it was even reasonably warm.

    One thing is true, though. Having a hard winter makes spring all the sweeter. Hope it comes to you soon...


  31. I can commiserate - I know I won't see bare ground until the end of May. More storms due next week!

  32. This is the very best time of the year, with all of the great days of spring and summer in front of us. Sometimes the anticipation is the most fun.

  33. Let us hope April doesn't live up to her cruelest month reputation!


  34. Lets hope we have seen the last of the snow until next winter! BUT it is nice how the harsh westher brings out the good in people, that we would otherwise not need to experience, so we get to appreciate our neighbours and even strangers too.
    yeah i know it still a plum duffer as far as the garden goes.

  35. You know what? I laughed at your promise "that the next picture will be the last snow picture of the current winter". If only current winter would promise the same! ))) My place doesn't look March ;andscape as well - tons of snow, the last portion was just yesterday!!! Happy Easter, anyway!

  36. Sympathies to all and everyone who is suffering through a lousy March. We should have aching backs from starting in on our gardening; instead, we have aching backs from still shoveling snow!

  37. Every, every year, I envy you your early English spring. This year you and I are in the same northeast US weather boat.
    Once it gets warm, everything will take off like houses afire.

  38. Every time I went out last week it snowed ... nothing much , just a tiny reminder that it could still smother us !
    But I know we'll win . It can't snow all year .... can it ?

  39. Goodness, you have had a rough time. The good news this week was that the rapid rise in the earth's temperature forecast a while back, has not been happening quite as fast as scientist predicted only a few years ago.

    Seems the earth has cooled not heated in the past 10 years or so. Nevertheless, we must continue the work begun to clean the air of pollutants and reductions in bad emissions must also continue. Even China seems poised to take on last.


  40. So glad to hear your snow is melting too. Our lane is still blocked by drifts, but at least the fields are finally showing some green. Bad luck about your fruit cage and I hope the damage isn't as severe as it seems. Here's to spring - eventually.....


  41. •*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•
    ::: (\_(\ ...*...*...*...*...*...*...*...*...::::::::::::::
    *: (=' :') :: Happy Easter! :::::::::::::::::::::
    •.. (,('')('')¤...*...*...*...*...*...*...*...*...:::::::::::

  42. It all looks so ghostly, that snow cover. Surely a big melt is very close now?

  43. Still snowy over here, too. We don't usually plant up here until mid-May. As a gardener I know you're not happy, but I think it looks lovely. (I do love the snow.) I hope you had a happy Easter...and that your snow melts quickly for your sake. ;)

  44. What a heavy snow in March! I’ve learned that severe cold returned to much of Europe. Shopping with sledge and shovel is one of the things I’ve never experienced. In my part of the world, spring is come much earlier this year. Wish you warmer days sooner.


  45. Hallo Friko,
    wünsche Dir und Deiner Familie ein frohes Osterfest. Nächste Woche habe ich Urlaub, so dass ich mich mit dem Kommentieren vorüber etwas rarer machen werde.

    Gruß Dieter

  46. Das ist ja noch schlimmer als bei uns ! The snow is gone but it's still very cold ! Only 4° during the day ! und jetzt sind wir schon im April ! Nichts Grünes weit und breit !

  47. I stopped by for garden inspiration, because I'm doing more and learning more and thought I might learn from you. I'll wait a little longer.


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