There is a saying around here that you can get four seasons in a day and it has certainly been true for some days in the past month. Wet snow, sleet, torrential rain, blazing sun and summer temperatures have all played a role in the very changeable weather of March.
We are planning an open day for Amnesty International on Saturday, the 15th of July. You can read more about it here. We decided to do this in part, because we really wish to do something to help with the global refugee crisis but also because we want to stay focused and motivated in our endeavours to create a nourishing space for us and others to enjoy. It can be a daunting task, starting out from scratch with an old, small building in need of repairs surrounded by a field of creeping buttercups. We have worked hard for a few years and are now starting to see, taste and enjoy the fruits of our labour. We think it is time to share our experiences with others now and hopefully inspire some people to create something uplifting, practical and joyful for themselves. If you live anywhere near the area we would love to see you on the day. If you come along you will not be in for a tidy and neat experience but rather a wild, bountiful and slightly chaotic celebration of nature.
Refracted sunlight shining from our water-filled prism.
The race against the clock is on because we wish our place to be as inspiring and beautiful as possible on the day and there is still a long way to go. We have been busy pulling up buttercups, nettles and couch grass from some of our beds, to make way for annual vegetables. It was time to plant some onion sets, carrots and ocas (oxalis tuberosa) last week and it feels lovely to think of the seeds germinating and the tubers and onions starting to swell in the moist soil. We have also been planting many things that have been kept in pots, and split some perennials and replanted them in new places.
Plants are putting on rapid growth around the main circle and you can see the change here from the middle to the end of the month.
Our magnolia has been especially beautiful this year as it is starting to bulk up and has more flowers than ever before.
Other jobs in March have included rendering up a tyre wall in our conservatory, putting down more flag stones to finish off the floor in there and tending to seedlings. Our tomatoes are growing well and this year we hope they will not succumb to blight as we will plant them inside the conservatory. Our stone and gravel succulent garden is looking very pretty at the moment with yellow flowers to brighten it up and many more plants budding.
All in all it has been a very enjoyable month and we have stopped by the ponds to admire our newts and the myriads of tadpoles around the edges. A frog got lost yesterday and was found in the conservatory seemingly on its way to take a look inside the house. We rescued him back to the damp comfort of the garden and watched as he sat for a moment in the sunshine before heading back to a crevice in the stone wall.We are looking forward to April now, with more blossoms, colour bursts and hopefully warm sunshine.