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Kathryn's Garden Musings - Summer!

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British Summer Time Arrives In Church Minshull!

You could be forgiven for not quite clocking that the Spring equinox has happened already. We are officially in British Summer time, although I think someone has forgotten to tell Summer all about it. Never mind. Now, right now, is the moment to start to sow your seeds. Gather your packets, fill your trays with the best potting compost you can lay your hands on and go for it. There is enough light and given some warmth, everything will start its energetic growth in no time.

The biggest issue with seeds is damping off, as many people make the mistake of over watering. To avoid this, sow your seeds, sprinkle with vermiculite and place in a tray of water to allow the soil to pull up the water, then take it out and refrain from watering again until the first seeds emerge.

Living as we do in our lovely semi rural village, it does mean semi rural creatures wander around our gardens. So if you're germinating sweet peas, remember to soak them overnight and germinate them well away from the marauding wood mice who frankly adore them. While it's been heroically cold, it doesn't seem to have got rid of my slugs who love nothing better than to feast on the fresh green growth of newly emerging shoots. Keep an eye out for these creatures of the night.

I always like to give myself a seed growing challenge and this year it's no exception. Currently residing in the fridge are delphiniums. The seed requires a chill but I am hoping it will work. You'll know if it has worked about July time when their stately spires will be growing under the Summer sky. Then there is Tweedia which is being cosseted in the propagator. She's very temperamental but so worth it for her beautiful delicate blue flowers that are the very essence of pale and interesting.

There is panic and delight here at the moment. Panic as there is so much to do in the garden that I hardly know where to start. Delight as I can finally cut a bouquet's worth of flowers from our garden.

Finally, have you planned your trip to Whitegate? The annual Daffodil Walk is on from Wednesday 28th March to Sunday 8th April. Every year we visit and not just because it is raising money for MacMillan, a very worthy cause, or because you can pop into the Plough Inn, a rather splendid lunch. Both those reasons and more. Put quite simply, it is absolutely magical and a very special place in springtime. Drifts of scented yellow blooms can be seen across fields and in hidden valleys. Their old commercial growing fields contain heritage varieties that somehow have dropped off the list for us to buy and grow today but whose make top may hold secrets for new medicines. Do let me know if you spy the Daffodil fairy on your visit.