I think I got away with it ...
Monday, 14 Mar 11 Partly Sunny 7°C / 45°F
…but I nearly got caught out by a frost last night just after I’d moved my Jalapeno chilli seedlings down to the big greenhouse. Hubby told me there was frost on the grass when he made tea at 7.30am this morning so I feared the worst :-(
When I checked at 9am, both greenhouse max-min thermometers showed they’d dropped to a whisker below freezing ( 0 degrees C / 32 degrees F) and I anxiously examined the chilli seedlings. The leaves seemed a little limp but I was relieved, once the sun started to warm the greenhouse, that they recovered well and looked reasonably perky by late afternoon when I closed up again.
So I’m hoping I did get away with it.
My ‘Charlotte’ potatoes have only been in the ground a few days so no tender potato leaves and shoots for the frost to blacken. But I gather islanders were out yesterday earthing up their mounded potatoes as far as they dare to protect them against the frost last night.
We had frost in October last year and now frost mid March this year – this is pretty unusual for the islands and makes me rather wary of trusting to the reputed mildness of our climate too much. …
Photo 1 – the view from our house. This is actually the view from our kitchen and Gallery windows and overlooks the beach with the island of Samson across the shallow sandy lagoon in the centre of the islands. You can see how much seaweed has been driven up through the entrance to the slipway by the recent rough seas and high tides. I’m hoping that either Steve will repair our old wheelbarrow or we can get a new one, because seaweed is a great organic soil conditioner.
Photo 2 – yellow forsythia against a lovely blue spring sky. A guest gave me a rooted cutting of forsythia about ten years ago and it has grown into a big bush, albeit struggling against the encroaching thuggish Viburnum tinus alongside (yes, he gave me that too). He was an old and experienced gardener from Kent and I loved to talk horticulture with him.
Photo 3 – the newly painted Sea King, resplendent in her scarlet finery, waiting on her trolley for high tide yesterday afternoon. Her owner, Frazer, floated her off and fired up her Lister diesel engine, so she was back on her mooring just after high tide at 10.30pm last night and will undergo an official inspection before Frazer is granted a license to operate her this summer. Just as flowers and bees herald the spring, so do boats on Scilly, as the inter island launches like Sea King are painted, maintained and returned to the water ready for the coming season. They are like buses and run the inter-island services, taking holidaymakers from St. Marys to the off islands (Tresco, Bryher, St. Agnes and St. Martins), and also the Round Trips to see seals on the Eastern Isles, seabirds on the Western Rocks and even out to the famous Bishop Rock Lighthouse (only a trip for calm weather – seven miles out into the Atlantic the swell can be quite considerable!).
I was amazed when hubby told me he’d spotted a butterfly when out painting yesterday morning! He said it was a peacock but that’s very early. I’ve met lots of bees on the wing already this month, even one or two last month, because there are lots of flowers blooming now and providing early nectar.
This evening, when I went out to fetch in the laundry from the garden line, I could hear at least four song thrushes competing with each other within a couple of hundred yards radius, singing their hearts out with intricate and joyful melodies. The daytime wrens have stopped singing and the starlings have all flown in a cloud from suppertime on the beach, where they catch sandhoppers and other beach bugs, up to our roof which has at least three large starling colonies. That’s us – Starling Towers!