Dandelions, dock leaves and stinging nettles

You may recall that in an earlier post I outlined my gardening plan for 2021. Ten days later, I’d made very little progress as I recorded here. This lack of progress continued over the Easter weekend. You may recall that just before Easter we had a couple of days of glorious sunshine so at least I was able to implement point 5 of my plan:

sit in the garden and enjoy it!

After March 29th, Covid precautions were lifted slightly and we were allowed to mix outdoors with one other household. So a very dear relative came for a couple of hours of sitting in our garden enjoying the sunshine together. As we hadn’t seen each other face to face since well before Christmas, the occasion was somewhat poignant. But we quickly put the kettle on and got over it and enjoyed the company. As none of us had had our second jab we exercised extreme caution but it was worth it. And the sun was so unusually hot that we were sunburned even though we kept swapping in and out of the shade.

Aforementioned dear relative came bearing gifts. Notably a re-chargeable hedge trimmer he no longer wanted which had hardly ever been used. More on this in a moment.

Unfortunately, over Easter the weather became seriously wintery culminating in an inch of snow on Easter Monday. With accompanying sub-zero temperatures all plans for socialising in the garden were quickly abandoned. And it’s only in the last few days that day-time temperatures have started to increase. Which means that I’ve made no progress at all with another aspect of my five point gardening plan for 2021.

Plant out packets of seeds acquired last year.

There’s been early morning frost for much of the week although it’s gone by about 9.30am. But I haven’t risked my packets of seeds left over from last year or my newly acquired bee bombs. But fingers crossed, next week should be warmer and they can go into the soil. Along with the box of summer bulbs I ordered last week.

I’ve never planted summer bulbs and they weren’t on the plan for this year. But browsing through a catalogue, they caught my eye and I succumbed to temptation and ordered a box of four different varieties. They’re supposedly bees and insects friendly and a cheerful display is anticipated. Planting needs to be in the next couple of weeks apparently for summer colour in late July and August.

I’ve had more success with my plan to

keep the grass neat and tidy.

The new lawn mower was really good on the second cut of the year and the metal blade produces a much better finish than the plastic blades. Big improvement there. But, now I really have a dilemma. Shall I mow in May or not? I think #NoMowMay is a good idea but as most of the remainder of our garden is wild, will it make that much difference to our winged friends? And there’s such a lot of moss in the “lawn” that I was hoping to lose by raking it up and offering it to the birds for nest liner. To mow, or not to mow? That is the question! Well, still a couple of weeks to decide.

I’ve had plenty of time to

observe what’s growing,

another point in the plan for 2021.

And the main development in the garden is an extensive collection of dandelions. I love this plant with its vibrant yellow petals and exuberant take-over of any available space. But you can have too much of a good thing so I’ve taken the opportunity to

remove anything I don’t like the look of

and dug out some of the dandelions.

I’ve also removed several clumps of nettles and they were on fire. But fortunately a couple of large dock leaves alleviated the sting. I’ve left the dock leave clumps for now. They’re not very attractive but they’re certainly useful.

The hedge trimmer donated by our visiting relative made short work of the honeysuckle colonising our back fence from the neighbour’s garden. Usually I leave it and towards the end of the summer have a massive task to cut it back before it completely takes over. It becomes a dense web of tangled leaves and flowers which plays host to countless bees and wasps. And can’t therefore be pruned throughout the summer on pain of serious injury. So, this year I’m in front and intend to use the trimmer to manage the honeysuckle hedge and keep it under some degree of control.

Hopefully by the next time I write my gardening blog the temperature will have increased and my seeds will be scattered and summer bulbs will be in the ground.

Thanks for reading my blog today. Hope your day is going well. If you’re stocking up your Kindle for the holiday season visit our website for details of some books you might have missed.

Image credit: Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay