Today winter returned once more. Temperatures went below zero again, but this time the cold was accompanied by snowfall, covering the garden in white. A field fare (Turdus pilaris) – first time for me to see this bird – spends the late winter here, thriving on rose hips and left over fruits. Snowdrops are living up to their name and a spiderweb sways in the wind, portentously catching snowflakes… the time for winter’s magic isn’t over just yet.
After several weeks of drought and freezing cold, low “Wiebke” first brought rain and then snow, which lasted for a day and brought much needed precipitation. Within a few hours the white blanket was gone again and spring took over the next day. Winter slumber is definitely over! Alas, most early flowering plants had already blossomed at the end of an unusually warm January, and where then surprised by the Siberian cold that lasted throughout the month of February. In the end I ran around the garden with a watering can, carrying and pouring gallons of water from the rain barrel in our basement. Meanwhile we missed to empty the second rain barrel left outdoors and of course it burst when the water in it froze completely. To do: buy new rain barrel!
Now, there is still a bit of work to do with preparing the garden. And god, I am going to miss this view…
Meanwhile, I have been dedicating time almost every day to processing last year’s herb harvest, sorting seeds and also began filling the next seed boxes! As of yet, I am done with about 1/3 of the contents. This year I am not doing it all at once, but little by little, working on the boxes parallel with other creations.
I plan to finish processing and packing up all the remaining herbs, seeds and wood until the end of the month. Hence my quietude here. I will be back with news and updates later in April. So long, I am already wishing you a blessed spring equinox and much joy with your own gardening endeavors!
Below some pics from my winter:
And the first flowers:
two new site sections
Documenting the garden all year round, the new garden diary. Photos, experiences and observations pertaining to the garden as an ecosystem throughout the seasons, the influence of weather, soil, sun, interactions of pollinators, birds and other animals, the work that needs to be done and whatever does not fit into the other categories. I hope to complete a full year circle with this diary, starting now, during the winter rest…
January 24, 2016: half of yesterday’s snow is already gone. Temps rose from -8 °C to + 8 °C over the weekend. The birds took advantage, searching for worms in the moist grass. According to my father, even bumblebees could be seen flying around.
Upon request, providing now photos and documentation of seedlings and young plants, as an aid for recognizing and distinguishing self-sown plants from other plants and weeds. Along with this, I also provide information and experiences pertaining to the germination of seeds and seed dormancy. Making the start are young rue plants, sown in 2015 and a mandrake germling, which popped today:
These rue plants were sown in 2015 and hardly developed in my unheated greenhouse. I took them indoors before the frost, first having them by the window in the basement and now on the window bench in my room. At last they are growing. Warmth and enough sun light are the essential thing with rue plants.
Living proof: sometimes seeds need to fall dry before they will germinate. I had not watered this tray for a while and let it nearly dry out. Then started watering again. That’s apparently what was required to break the slumber (dormancy) of this little Mandragora officinarum seed, which germinated yesterday. It was sown in the summer of 2015 and spent several months in the soil, where exposed to warmth and cold.
Steady-paced I walk up the hill. The air is pleasantly cold. It clears the mind and disperses my headache. I am not freezing. The road I’m walking up is called Am Kirschberg, literally meaning “by the cherry mountain”. The field to the left is covered with a thin layer of snow. The dark frozen soil is sticking out of the white. Ploughing traces create zen like, eye-dazzling patterns. At the end of the long stretched field the view is clearing up towards town. Over the horizon line a narrow golden band illuminates the sky. Above me are grey clouds. I am planning on a short walk, but my legs carry me in a different direction…
Atop a stone wall by the castle, I find the wormwood has not entirely fallen victim to the frost. Next to fading foliage, fresh silvery green leaves are sprouting forth. I gather a few of them, enough for a small winter herb bundle…
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