Monday, 30 March 2009

Spring, and changing the clocks

The clocks went forward yesterday, and, while I am a little hazy on these things, this ought surely to mean we are moving towards Summer. I am slightly spooked by the fact that not only my video recorder, but also my microwave, is apparently clever enought to be able to change it's clock by itself. I can understand the video knowing - it spends it's life watching telepvision after all, and I am sure they mention the clocks changing on the News. But the microwave is not (as far as I am aware) in touch with any outside source... I am haunted by the fear that my microwave may in fact be brighter (or at least better organised) than me.

So, with all these harbingers of summer, I was a little disappointed when I woke, what felt like an hour early, looked out of the window and saw a thick frost. I has been a while since I've had to scrape the windscreen in the morning, and it did not feel in the least but spring-like.

On the other hand, the drive to work really was rather beautiful - the sun was shining, but there were also some very threatening looking clouds - deep grey and purple, like a bruise on the sky. The trees skeletal silhouettes against the sky made it look like a backdrop to Macbeth, or something equally sinisiter.

Closer to hand spring flowers (albeit covered in frost) were busting out all over - as well as daffodils and primroses, there is a lot of jasmine out, and this morning for the first time I could see pusy willow buds, and some bright green new leaves in the hedges, which is possibly blackthorn. Several magnolias have quite advanced buds - I hope the flowers aren't killed by the frost, and the ornamental cherries are pinkly ubiquitous.

I am not fond of pink, as a general rule, but am prepared to make an exception for cherry blossom.

There is no sign, in my garden, of the white violets which I transplanted from my parent's lawn (where they grew, wild and randomly) before they moved, so I am afraid that they did not survie the winter, which is very sad. On the other hand, the strawberry plant appears to have put out enthusiaastic runners and colonised the planter where the courgettes died last year, so perhaps one day there will be strawberries, and in the mean time I have an excellent excuse not to empty the planter and trying to grow courgettes in it again.

Instead, I shall try to grow courgettes in something else, although unless the slugs have changed their taste I shall probably fail. What I really need is a hedgehog, to eat the slugs and snails which infest my garden to a degree which seems excessive. I wonder whether anyone makes a mail order hedgehog.....


Dragonsally said...

Get a duck! They eat snails and slugs -although I must say, if I could choose between a hedgehog and a duck, a hedgehog would be cool!

You have a seriously scary microwave. I'd be watching my back in the kitchen.

LyleD4D said...

I'm pretty sure that you can adopt a hedgehog from the local wildlife sanctuary-type place. I've seen reports on people doing such things, although we've never done it ourselves.

A longer-term option would also be to make the garden a bit more hog-friendly, including (possibly) looking at somewhere like Wiggly Wigglers and getting a proper hedgehog house.

We've got shedloads of frogs in our garden due to having about four ponds in the vicinity, so slugs aren't an issue at all. Last year we ended up getting somewhere around 100 courgettes from four plants...

Marjorie said...

I have a feeling that there is an archaic restrictive covenant which would forbid me to keep a duck - I think poultry is expressly forbidden (although I am not convinced that there is anything they could acually do about it if I broke it.)

I have lots of frogs but the slugs are bigger than they are. A toad would be good, but again other than making the garden toad friendly, which it is, as far as possible, there isn't much you can do to get them.

I'm not sure about adopting a hedghog - Suspect they might feel that my my garden is bit small to sustain a hog, really - and as the wall + fence is 6' high all the way round I think, despite their surprisingly good climbing ability they would struggle to get in (or out)

Copper tape, eggshells and gravel will be the fist, second and third lines of defence. I've heard chalk may also help, so will try that.

Given that I have still only managed to release about a 3rd of the garden from the gravel & paving imposed on it by the previous owners the biggest mystery is what the slugs and snails live off the rest of the time, between courgette seedlings.

Sal - you're right. If you never hear from me again, tell them it was the microwave wot dunnit!

spacedlaw said...

Your microwave is an alien...