After a night of mixed weather (cold, hail, frost), the sun may be out but the wind is cold. Not a day to potter outside, so I’ll be getting on with my end-of-module writing and dipping in and out of other Sixes on Saturday for a bit of light relief.

I finally moved the pots of Pickwick crocus, anemone Blanda Bleu and muscari to a lighter and brighter area of the patio, and the extra light has already made a difference. After a week, the crocus are coming to an end, the anemones are flowering, and the muscari have emerged.

The first signs of new peony growth in the rear Shady Border.

The primulas seem happy to remain in the shade after I moved my daffodils and narcissi to protect them from the winds of a few weeks ago. One the bulb foliage has died back, I’ll empty the pot and split the primula and iris reticulata ‘Joyce’ into smaller clumps to grow on.

In some surprising news, I have sweetpeas growing in a pot outside! These were an ancient packet of seeds sown directly into a pot in late Spring 2020. The stems grew but no flowers appeared.

I left everything in the pot overwinter, and each time I looked out of the window, my immediate thought was that I’d clear it to make way for this year’s ‘Cupani’ sweetpeas, so imagine my surprise when I finally got around to this task to find NEW sweetpeas growing. A bonus without any effort on my part – though I will have to trim away the old stems.

I managed a couple of hours in the front garden last Saturday afternoon. I trimmed back what I could in the front border, then raked it over just enough to loosen the top ‘crust’. I can see that I need to remove more of the iris along the back as there are a couple that have formed a ‘doughnut’ which means no growth in the middle. I’m not sure how many of the fuchsia cutting have survived – I pruned them all anyway. If there is no sign of life in a month’s time, I’ll remove them.

And I’ve finally spoken to my neighbour about the wall. He has promised that this year he is going to take it down and rebuild it. I’m not holding my breath, but I will be moving everything out of this area and replanting it with mixed wildflowers as a temporary measure,

I sowed 10 greek basil seeds into a pot back in January – far too early – and kept it on my study windowsill. Two germinated, then a third – smaller and weaker, it died – now I have transplanted the remaining two into separate pots.

Tomorrow we are supposed to be planting 27 heritage fruit trees at the Community Garden – if they turn up, and if it doesn’t snow overnight so we can’t get out of the village. These have been provided by Orchard Wales and there will be an expert on site to show/tell us what to do.

We need to take a spade or shovel, and gloves, everything else – stakes etc – will be provided. I’m taking a watering can and a rake. I’ll also take some grass cuttings and moss scrapings (from my brother) to lay on top of 1/3 of my allotment bed where the potatoes will go when ready. By the time we get started on the trees, I can have it spread out and the membrane back on top.