Purple for a buzzing wildlife garden

I’ve just read that bees can see the colour purple more clearly than any other colour. This makes me happy because I’ve definitely noticed a theme in the garden borders lately…

allium purple sensation

french lavender

purple aquilegia

I’m happy to report that the garden has been buzzing with the sound of bumbles, honey bees and solitary bees this month. Long may it continue.

Bumble bee enjoying a geranium

Holding on for spring

Bunch of daffodils

Finally, there’s a warmth on the breeze. The world is waking earlier and earlier, and all over the garden the daffodils are singing, shoots are shooting, bulbs are popping their greeny growth above the soil and the forget me nots are sprouting up in every corner and crevice, ready to bloom.

And I’m not ready! E is now six and a half months old, and whilst we’re getting into a routine of sorts, I’m still finding it so hard to eke out a spare moment here and there. My seed packets were purchased in earnest in the darker months of winter, but there’s been no sowing, no planting, no potting on at all. My social media feeds are full of pictures of greenhouses bursting to the brim with seed module trays, sprouting onion sets and the lanky but lush growth of sweet peas.

But my garlic is still in packets, the potatoes are solemnly chitting on the windowsill and I have an abundance of spring flowers just waiting to be potted up to brighten the steps outside the kitchen door.

Hell, I even have trees and raspberry canes waiting to go in the ground. That is not good! Argh!

I really need to get a grip. Just an hour here and there should do it, but I’ve been so busy, and so full of cold. So I’m asking – as much as I want spring to arrive, could she please, please just hang on for a week or two whilst I (pardon my French) get my shit together.

I’ll do better, I promise…

Polyanthus, daffodils ready for potting on

In the meantime, look at these pretty little polyanthus primroses! These, along with the dwarf daffs and irises, will adorn the steps by kitchen door to create a little bit of spring cheer.

dwarf iris

I tend to opt for a more muted colour palette when it comes to polyanthus, steering away from the vivid purples, reds and bright yellows in favour of warm and soothing hues. And once the plants and bulbs have finished, I pop them out under the deciduous fruit trees, to help create a bigger and better spring display each year.

 

Dwarf daffodils in spring

Tete a tete daffodils emerging under the fruit trees each spring

The tete-a-tete daffodils now spring up in a carpet under the damson, followed by some later-flowering and paler-coloured varieties, as well as primroses, polyanthus, cowslips and oxlip. A couple of years ago I added some english bluebells, but have yet to see them flower. Here’s hoping.

Primroses and daffodils

Spring pots from previous seasons; warmer, serene colour schemes more in tune with nature

And here’s hoping to a spare hour and and there in the next fortnight.

Checking In

Autumn acer leaves

Six weeks have passed and I’ve thought so many times about digging out the laptop and tapping away on a blog post. But somehow I never quite find the time. Baby E is now 11 1/2 weeks old and although we’re getting more sleep time at night, she dominates the days. And so she should. She is just amazing.

But here I am. Tapping away whilst arms and legs flail in front of me. E is refusing to nap and instead is wiggling around on her tummy on my tummy, practising holding her little fluffy head up, cooing and laughing with twinkly blue eyes at something random on the wall behind me. I think she might be finding the light fitting funny. It’s usually a good 10 minutes’ worth of amusement each day, until she remembers she has hands and tries to stuff them into her mouth for the next half an hour.

Hogwarts shoes and Autumn leaves

Suffice to say, my good life-ing journey has been taking a little sabbatical whilst I navigate motherhood. There are days that are so busy, yet I lie in bed at night wondering what on earth I’ve actually done. To say that my Smallest Smallholding has been neglected is an understatement.

Veg and flower border

The borders are going over, looking a bit sad and neglected

But two days ago I had a mini victory when I managed to wheel E out in the garden in the pushchair, get her to settle and sleep whilst I raked barrow loads of autumnal leaves. I’ve got garlic and shallots waiting in the wings to be planted but that’s going to take some coordination, on a day when Rich isn’t working. Which is a rarity at the moment.

I’m doing small things in snatches and it’s helping me stay rooted and not get lost in nappies, muslins and milk. I’ve baked an apple tart and bought a small bag of compost to pot up the winter pansies and cyclamen for the back door.

Whether I get around to actually doing everything on my To Do List… well, that’s another story altogether.

Got to sign off, E is yelling and the leg action has kicked up a notch.