Snowdrops are almost on their way out and they have been followed by crocus, daffodils and tulips. The tomato seeds have already germinated and leeks, melons, and cucumbers have been sown in our warm glass house. The potatoes are chitting, although not as fast as usual. Our onion sets were started early in the glass house and have been planted outside. The buds are showing on many of the woody plants, shrubs and trees and its the last chance to train the roses before they become too brittle. Its amazing how supple they are at the moment.
On the pond the ducks have mated and we're hoping to see a row of ducklings before too long. They will enjoy the grubs stirred up by the weeding in our borders. The flower borders are particularly neat at the moment, as all perennials have been cut back, and in the fruit borders we're looking for the first signs of rhubarb. We are now spreading out wood chip on the paths; it's good to get jobs like that done before the growth in the garden begins in earnest.
In the glasshouses we're having to keep a real eye on temperature: the sunny days can have the thermometer shooting up to the high twenties but the clear cold nights mean we can't turn the heater off completely. In same way, the heat of the day can mean we have to water more frequently but as the day cools it's not good for the seedling containers especially to be sitting in pools of water.
It seems strange to be already grass cutting but as soon as the grass is long enough a short trim helps keep the lawn looking healthy. Keeping the edges of the grass and borders looking neat is good this time of year, as the grass may not be long enough to cut all lover but it still may be looking shabby at the edges!
Luton Hoo Walled Garden, Head Gardener