It feels like it has been a very long winter; not especially cold, but dank, grey and windy. As such, getting the time to do some of the winter gardening jobs has been quite tricky and so we have been trying to squeeze as much into the last few weeks as possible!

The laid hedges need a little bit of attention with the sides trimmed back to encourage new growth upwards rather than outwards and that growth from last year woven or tied back into the lattice of stems to promote yet more upwards stems and thicken the hedge further.

It is not a case of making it look tidy (although it does) but encourages the trees to create an even thicker, technically stock proof fence that becomes particularly attractive to nesting birds and as an escape from predators – just watch our House Sparrow!

Dunnock this morning in the above hedge - Nick Lay

New volunteer Pat working on the main car park hedge

The beds out the front of the centre have also been spruced up with last seasons dead heads removed from the Sedums and Lavender and the spiky Rosa rugosa trimmed back to about 18 inches to promote lots of fresh shoots now that the winter hips are all gone and allowing the tiny little Daffodils to poke their nodding heads through.

Pete clearing the crescent bed so that we can replant later in the spring

The Rosemary has been flowering for a couple of weeks now and the small number of Bumblebees already on the wing have been seeking sustenance there.

Rosemary

The raised beds in the Wildlife Garden have all been weeded and trimmed and the Osier Willow along the fence has had its annual haircut with up to 3m of last years growth removed. It will all be back before too long!

The old pond has also had a bit of as face lift and Bertha, Pat and I spent most of Thursday in the still boggy pit!  I still have hopes of returning it to its former glory in some shape or form.

The grey of early morning has quite literally been blown away by the startings of another westerly gale and it will not be too long before the first summer migrants appear on our wonderful reserve.

Roll on proper spring…

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