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This weekend saw a slight increase in temperature and on Saturday the sun was shining.  There was still a nip in the air so I decided that if I was going to spend some time out side I would need to do a strenuous job to keep myself warm.

As I have intimated before since the New Year I have a whole host of projects set up for the house and garden this year.  This is part of what has been christened ‘Operation Sort it Out’ (you have to say this in an East London accent like Terry from Minder if you know who I mean).  I have said before that the last three and half years I have been in a sort of fog and functioning just enough to get through work etc.  Now that I am learning to accept the loss of my sister better its as though my eyes have been opened and I have new energy to get on top of the garden and house. – there is 3 years of neglect to deal with.  Both the bathroom and dining room have been redecorated, cupboards and a bookcase sorted and clutter removed.  With the weather warming up I can now move my energies to the garden.  First up is sorting out the patio.  Our patio is quite narrow and has my small greenhouse off it.  There have also been two tall cold frames and these have made the patio feel more like a corridor with no real space to sit and enjoy the patio (as you can see below which was taken last September).

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I also wanted to get to grips with composting instead of continuing in my usual chaotic manner.  A third wooden bin has been ordered and yesterday I made myself empty out the plastic compost bin by the garage.  This is generally used for kitchen waste with the odd bit of garden rubbish.  I was pleased to discover that over two-thirds of the contents had decomposed into good compost albeit with lots of egg shells in it.  This has been wheel barrowed onto the front garden to improve the soil by the birch.  The old bin has been cleaned and is going to the my Mum’s allotment site so someone else can use it.  Hopefully in a couple of weeks time my eldest will have time to help me level the ground by the two wooden bins and put in the new bin.  I will then have a bank of three bins so no excuses for not doing it properly.

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With the plastic bin gome it meant that we could  re-jig the space by the back of the garage and move the two cold frames here.  It is quite compact but I think it will work well and the patio without the frames looks vast and quite bare.

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Today, feeling a little weary of all the work yesterday afternoon and recovering from an excessive dinner the night before due to my eldest taking me out for my birthday, I decided that something more gentle was in order.  I potted up all my dahlia tubers.  I have invested in six tubers from Sarah Raven.  This is a bit of a leap of faith for me as my dahlias were rubbish last year due to slug, rain and cold.  However not one to be detered, as part of the changes to the back garden, I am putting in a new border with the intention of using it for dahlias and other late summer plants.  I have chosen the following dahlias which I hope will provide  lots of sumptuous colour: Juliet, Bishop of Auckland, Classic Rosamunda, Sam Hopkins, Jowey  Mirella and Con Amore.  I also have some Castor Oil seedlings coming on in the greenhouse which should add to the effect – I hope.  Some Hymenocallis festalis  were also potted up which I am hoping will add a glorious scent to th greenhouse.

Finally, I started tidying the borders.  I  have been waiting what seems like ages to get into the garden and the list of jobs I want to do has grown and grown to the point where I just didn’t know where to start.  So I started at the top of the steps from the patio, weeding and tidying.  I had already pruned the roses during the week and also dug up the three cornus from the front garden so all in all good progress has been made with the projects – oh and the front grass got its first cut of the year.

While I pottered in the garden I discovered hyacinth beginning to form buds and daffodils flushed with yellow which I think will be in flower within the week.  Spring is definitely creeping up on us.