So many people feel the January blues but not here,not this year. The weather has been kind with bright skies and warm temperatures not to mention calm seas. Right now January is just great!
The daffodils are marching ahead so fast you can almost see them growing in front of you, and it won’t be too long before the first blooms emerge, the Camellias are also just about to bloom and I think for the very first time the Bear’s Breeches are going to flower, they were grown from tiny seed a few years ago, and never flowered but this might just be their year.
I think maybe the best thing about January is the fact that the year hasn’t really settled, and we are still getting used to typing 2017 in our notes so all kinds of positive possibilities await! The summer flower seeds must be ordered and planted in the tunnel. I usually plant Sweet Pea in first week of January in defiance of the usually bad weather and with the hope that the blooms will be first out in May. This year they will be planted in last week of January and perhaps they will still be in bloom in early May!
One of the great things about the polytunnel is that there is always some kind of happy surprise in there things are going well at present, the green manure crop is growing great and there is a tasty crop of winter lettuce from ‘Brown Envelope Seeds’ doing very well, their peppery flavour is a welcome addition to the dinner table, and some thyme that was planted is making slow and steady progress. The nicest treasure I found was some Aquilegia, that was planted in a container about a year ago and to be honest I had given up on it but it is doing great and turning into a lovely plant, the flower it will produce will be a lovely surprise because it might be the black and white Guinness one or the blue Japanese one either way it will be welcome!
This year for the first time, I have eggs incubating, and if all goes well the purebred Double Laced Golden Barnvelder Chicks will emerge. It is a totally new experiment for us, the idea of pretty golden chicks is very appealing, I also added some eggs from our existing flock to the mix and again it will be fascinating to see what emerges (we shall see what Napoleon has been up too or not!) The new chicks will invigorate the flock and in time they will produce the lovely brown eggs for which Barnvelders are famous.
Finally, a word in praise of dogs, we have our beloved Max for many years now, he is calm and gentle and has studied us endlessly so he always knows who to cosy up to for treats ect. He is a loyal and friendly dog with a great heart and serves as a very effective doorbell/burglar alarm too. Bonnie our new dog, a little Poochon has been with us since October and she is a feisty, fluffy ball of energy who has been going through the usual bad teething stage where everything and everyone is fair game. Max has endured hours of her attacks with great forbearance and it constantly amazes me how he tolerates her mad puppy behaviours when with one snap of his powerful jaws he could kill her. Instead he just plays endlessly with her and is training her up to be a good dog like himself. Her arrival has livened up our house and Max is like a new dog, gone are the hours and hours of lounging on the couch, now he has new purpose, schooling our little Bonnie and he has lost weight and gained vitality, so who knows what else might become part of the menagerie between now and 2018 but I for one am looking forward to it!
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