The garden is starting to power away, buds are swelling, & the early Spring flowers are in full flush. In the orchard, the Almonds are the first to flower, followed by the plums & Peaches. I’m hoping that our Walnut will be later flowering this year, maybe the heavy frosts we’ve had will put it off?

In the vege garden we are eating leeks, florence fennel, beetroot & carrots, mesclun & silverbeet. The brassicas which got eaten by rabbits & replaced are starting to come away, & the garlic we put in a few weeks ago has all sprouted.  We’ve picked the first few chicons, & they’ve been  surprisingly easy to grow, esp. using the old bee boxes. As soon as we noticed the soil being disturbed we covered the tops, to keep the sprouts blanched. We didn’t dig the roots up in the Autumn as the books suggest, but left them where they were, the roots looked huge. Chicons are a real treat, being expensive to buy, they are mild tasting & crunchy.

We’ve bought some punnets of onion seedlings & have planted about half so far.  The artichokes & rhubarb we dug up & transplanted is all looking good, so are the strawbs we’ve moved.  We still have spuds, pumpkins & garlic in our store, plus tomatoes & summer fruits in the freezer, along with sausages & some lamb portions.

Talking of lambs, just when we thought we’d only get 2 this year, 3 have arrived in the last 24 hours. Old Blackie, who usually lambs in private was having a hard time yesterday, being very restless & wandering round with a small foot protruding . I’d hoped to get some photos for the blog of her lambing, but we ended up helping her out. She had a huge lamb, in breech position, & I think she was very relieved to have some help. As soon as the lamb was born, she set to to clean it up, & was not at all disconcerted to have us there, we were very impressed with her maternal dedication. This morning one of the other ewes had produced twins, so now we have 5 lambs. I don’t think there’ll be any Suffolk lambs unless they’re very late ones, we’ll have to wait & see.

We’ve got a few trays of cuttings on the go, this is the best time of year to propagate plants like French Tarragon & Bergamots, using the sturdy young shoots, with a bit of root growth attached. Also a few of the seeds I sowed in the Autumn are starting to come up, including some apple seedlings of the old cooker that grows on the other side of the creek. I think it may be a Bramley, have taken cuttings too so I can see what works the best. have also sown some large golden plum seeds, which I see are just starting to germinate, I love the waythe tree seedlings are so sturdy, I’ve included a phot of a type of Horse Chestnut, which has smooth leaves. Geoff picked up a couple of seeds in the Autumn.