It’s truly magical now with the whole garden covered with a deep carpet of snow, an important input as it melts helping drive the equally magical annual explosion of growth in The Edible Garden which starts, amazingly, in only a few weeks – a truly magical transition.
Various Allium species are the hardiest of edible plants either staying green all winter (e.g., Allium cernuum and Allium carinatum) or sprouting very early and able to withstand some frost. With a minimum forecast of -6C tomorrow after a very mild March, it will be interesting to see whether any of these early shooters are damaged. Here are a selection of pictures of Alliums and other early spring shoots in this weeks snow.
I was in the garden this morning and heard the contact call of the (European) redwing (rødvingetrost), described as a thin, drawn and sharp “sreee”. It’s always a joy to hear the first one each spring. 10th April is the average arrival time here, so this is right on schedule. A little later I heard a snatch of song too. With snow on the ground this morning redwings that had arrived before northerly winds set in were forced down to near the fjord where there’s less snow. I made a little video of one bird close to the house before the flock (6 birds) flew off.
It’s that time of year that Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde) goes all floppy and needs help to go upwards rather than sideways! The floppiness you see here has nothing to do with the weather which habby loves although it’s never expereienced being snowed on for 5 days in a row in the middle of May in its short 18 year lifetime!
3 mornings in a row new snow has greeted me, but it mostly melts again during the day. I’m feeling for people in the north where the arctic city of Tromsø still has over 1m depth of snow and in the hills around here where the snow is accumulating. On the plus side I can still harvest for dinner in the afternoon and there’s entertainment with the abnormal numbers of birds in the garden foraging as open patches start appearing every morning. There are still several meadow pipits (heipiplerke) and many fieldfares (gråtrost) some coming right up to the house. This morning bramblings (bjørkefink) also made an appearance.
I didn’t expect to find a bumble bee feeding first thing this morning but I found this Bombus hypnorum (tree bumblebee/trehumle) busy visiting flowers of Ribes divaricatum and its selection Worcesterberry. The air temperature was about freezing…