I was talking to a leading landscaper yesterday and he says that, this season, our gardens are about six weeks behind last year – don't we know it! My February Gold daffs are at their peak right now and the tulips (normally in full bloom by now) are just a few inches high.
However, the weather is warming rapidly and they’re predicting some glorious temperatures for this weekend. So now's the time to really gardening. I got stuck in last weekend potting up my new dahlia tubers, some alstroemerias and the new patio form of apricot shades begonias.
Whilst re-potting some strawberry plants, I noticed some small creamy white vine weevil grubs nestling amongst the roots. Left there, they'd soon start eating the roots, killing the plants and then spreading to other containers so I checked all the potted strawberries and squashed all the grubs I could find.
I then topped up the bird feeders with my bird food. It’s more important than ever that we feed the garden birds as the latest figures just released from the RSPB bird watch show that there has been a sharp decrease in the number of many popular species of garden birds due to wet summer and harsh winter. In the last year alone, house sparrows declined by just over 17%, blue tits by 11% and greenfinches by a staggering 20%. According to the RSPB, ‘Prolonged hard winters affect smaller birds more, whereas wet summers can mean that breeding is not so good’. So it's important that gardeners do their bit to help by putting out bird food during the coming months.
I've one last job still to do. To dust down the barbecue and get it ready, just in case. With any luck, we'll be sizzling in more ways than one this weekend!