At the weekend we attached a row of eight bird boxes to a plank of wood and then screwed it to the wall in the lane. It’s in full view from the kitchen at the back of the house and the plan is that the emerging buds on the rambling rose and Clematis jackmanii will eventually help camouflage the boxes. Within hours a flock of great tits flew past and hovered for a while although they resisted going in. Looking in Birds Britannica (such an excellent and beautifully written book by Mark Cocker and Richard Mabey) it seems the tit family has a near-monopoly on the nest box habit. Pure chance but how sweet to think they might move in.
On a bit of a house building roll we popped up the greenhouse on the allotment. It was relatively straight forward with help from our son Joe. We boxed in the beds on either side with wooden boards whilst I cut a heavy black polythene sheet for a narrow path up the middle. There’s a huge quantity of wood chip available on site so we mulched the path with two barrow loads and it’s now ready for action. One of the three compost bins had sunk to half and was ready to be emptied over a bed that will take the Charlotte potatoes. It was a very cold and damp weekend so planting and sowing on the allotment is quite a few weeks off but several beds were cleared of weeds and the badly nibbled brassica bed was emptied.
I did however sow Musselburgh leek seeds at home to be brought on indoors in the warmth and light. They were sown in two deep plastic pots that had held the new raspberry canes and had a depth of 30 cm. This should ensure a good root run on the leeks and then hopefully they’ll be ready to plant out in May.
A friend brought me a gorgeous bunch of cream camellias from her garden…