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  • Writer's pictureSofias Country Gardens

Spring projects

And suddenly it is here. Spring! The weather turned warm and dry, and finally the ground has thawed and become soft and workable again. Two weeks ago it was impossible to shove a spade down into the soil as a crust of ground frost held it firmly in its grip, and then suddenly - almost miraculously - it gave up the ghost and warmth has taken over. In early morning it really felt as if the ghosts were moving, or fairies dancing, as the temperature differences between the cold ground and the warm air caused a lingering fog.

Last autumn I added the composted organic cow manure from Bovik farm to the vegetable beds, and now I have been spreading it out and raking it in. Although it has composted for three years already, cow manure mixed with straw has a tendency to form such dense clumps that takes forever to compost in the middle. By breaking it up and spreading it out, it gets enough oxygen to continue the composting process now in spring. Soon the worms and little microorganisms will have worked their magic and turned it into the most wonderful hummus rich soil.

Back home at Humlegård I am starting new projects, including a rose arbour by the water. I removed the turf in the middle of it to sow purple tansy (Phacelia tanacetifolia) and then dug holes in the ground for the roses to climb up along the arbour. I usually make new borders like this, just clearing the earth and filling up the space with purple tansy, as their roots will gently break up the ground and in the autumn I can continue building the soil upwards in the border with lasagne layers of the old growth mixed with leaves and grass cuttings. Come next spring, it is ready to plant with perennials.

By the pergola garden next to the sauna I have also been clearing ground in preparation for a more organised border by the old bath tub. It is a bit tricky as the ground is invaded by couch grass, so each spring the roots are a nightmare to dig out. Here I shall have more purple tansy, and then perhaps in autumn cover with a thicker lasagne layer to try to get rid of the couch grass. Or then I just continue with the struggle, and re-sow it with tansy each year until some day eventually it will be easier to manage. Hope is the last thing that leaves, they say...

The crocuses came out en masse, but brief is their time in the garden. As a child I felt time was all together different, slow and meandering, and not in a crazy gallop as right now. Perhaps it is just the combination of having so much to do and age that changes the perspective? I wake up early, and think I have all the time in the world to get my projects done. But no, before I even blink it is evening again. Still, I enjoy the moment immensely, and really rejoice in having so much of the gardening season ahead of me!

Wishing you all a wonderful gardening season this year!

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