Fragrant Flowers & Teenage Chickens

Whilst this time of year may be bitterly cold and not at all tempting for gardeners to put a foot out into their garden it is a vital time of year. The last pruning and cutting back should be done before warmer weather initiates growth. Hens will still need mucking out, and the daily trips to smash the ice on their water rewards in a happy chortle of hens eagerly anticpating my arrival and the latest bounty of food. And even now, when temperatures barely rise above two or three degrees, there is life stirring in the undegrowth if you look carefully enough.

This week I can happily boast my first daffodil flower. I ordered a collection of beautiful Narcissus Paperwhite from before Christmas, placed them in a pot of grit and forced them on. They’ve grown extremely well and along with the first buds that are starting to open, a beautiful scent is filling the house. Meanwhile, with some white hyacinths also being forced, I should have several weeks of continuous and fragrant flowers in the month leading up the first true explosion of outdoor spring bulb colour.

Beautiful and Fragrant Narcissus Paperwhite

Little Red is not so little anymore. A teenage hen is much like teenagers of other species, she’s stroppy, feisty, and doesn’t know when no means no. Whilst the rest of the flock are happy to wait whilst I turf out their latest offering, she flies straight at me like some prehistoric creatures catching dinner. She’s mad over spaghetti and porridge, and whilst I can tell that she’s going to be a beautiful hen she’s really going through a gangly, unruly, and dishevelled stage. I let the gang out for a an hour or so the other day, and whilst the Silkies and Buff Nankins made straight off for their dust bathing spot, Little Red was busied by throwing herself around like a tornado leaving devastation wherever she scrambled. Currently only Gabby is laying so I’m only receiving one small egg a day, but it still makes for a tasty treat in the middle of winter.

Little Red Offering Her Best Velociraptor Impression

Meanwhile, I’ve been absolutely hooked on Carol Klein’s Cottage Garden series. Whilst it’s not tip heavy, it does the perfect job of inspiring me to get out into the garden, to put pen to paper and plan, and to start preparing for the bounty of new seeds I’m going to try this year. Foxtail Lilies, Rudbekia, and Cosmos are all on the list and I’m sure, upon opening any seed catalogue, I’ll come away with a lot more. I only meant to buy one bag of paperwhites before Christmas, yet ended up ordering a collection of beautiful new bearded iris as well.

A Forced Hyacinth Will Provide Plenty of Aroma

With an hour this weekend dedicated to the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch, I’ll be able to enjoy emerging nature even more. And though the temperatures may be dropping in the evening, any the sun doesn’t always find time to grace the sky, spring is coming and my inspiration is flowing.

5 Responses to Fragrant Flowers & Teenage Chickens

  • Adrian Thomas says:

    Talking of sweet smells, do you know what I get from your blog, Geoff? The sweet smells of enthusiasm and joy! I put that down to in part you and in part the magic of gardening 🙂

    • Lol, thanks Adrian! I am rather enthusiastic about it, I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t be!!

      Do you know, my BGBW was a complete disaster. Not one bird! I could hear a few in neighbouring gardens, but I don’t think a single feathered friend came into my garden the entire day! 🙁

  • I grow cosmos every year (either just a mix or seashell mix, which have interesting petals) as the bees and butterflies adore them, and if the frosts are kept at bay, can keep going well into November. Really worthwhile growing as the flowers are not only pretty, but the foliage is lovely too.

  • P. says:

    We are very happy to see that you are satisfied with our bulbs. We hope to see you again in our shop!


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I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.