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Happy Spring Equinox

Today is the official start of spring. The day when day and night lengths are equal and from now until the summer solstice the days will get longer.

The sun will shine strongly from now on and we’ll watch the white clouds scurrying high in the hazy blue sky. OK – back to reality. I’m not sure of the rest of the country but here in North Wales we’re looking forward to yet more rain blowing across except high on the hills where it may well snow.

At least it’s not as disastrous a start to the year as last year with its snow making spring more like mid-winter and the storms that howled in from the Atlantic.

The Equinox is supposed to be the true start of the year and it actually used to be the legal start with The Feast of the Annunciation, 25th March. Then they moved on to the new-fangled Gregorian calendar in 1752 (except for the village of Cwm Gwaun in Pembrokeshire that decided not to play) And don’t start me on decimal coins. Bring back the Groat!

Cure worse than disease!

The last week I’ve not been very well. It started months ago with some sort of insect bite on my shin, nothing much, just an itchy spot that went a bit red. Tried a few different creams, but it grew and started to look pretty angry. So off to bother the doctor who prescribed antibiotics.

After a week there was no change so a different antibiotic and a cream, which didn’t work either. Then a two week course of two different pills three times a day. The infection has been knocked back, although it’s not gone by any means. But towards the end of the course the pills have had their payment. My stomach feels as if it has  been punched and just the thought of food was enough to send me to the bathroom. Not fun!

Whilst I’ve been feeling sorry for myself, things carry on. My daughter has re-started her poultry keeping blog on the poultry pages. As you may know she moved nearby towards the end of last year and we’re working together on a number of projects. They’ve just acquired a couple of cute bantams which my grandson finds more fascinating than all the toys in the box put together.

Gwynedd Forest!

Meanwhile, our neighbours are looking to re-forest Gwynedd single handed. In the past there were a lot more trees in Snowdonia than there are now. I’m told a lot of the Welsh place names give this away, translating as Oak Wood and Ash Grove.

Because delivery to their house, which is up a mile of track with four gates is difficult, they have things dropped here and pick them up. It seems every other day we have another 50 oak saplings or hazel trees appear at the door. I think they’ve planted about 300 so far this year.

With a bit of luck I’ll live long enough to see them reach the tree equivalent of being teenagers. As for maturity, not a chance I’ll be around. Gardening is most often a long term thing. We plant up a shrubbery with a view to what it will be like in 3 or 5 years not what it will look like the next week. But thinking 50 or 100 years ahead is really long term.

Finally on the subject of long term and aging, what to do with your allotment when getting older reduces your energy levels. My 76 year old pal Dick Handscombe has written an article on that, proposing some ideas. It’s online now: Allotment Growing as You Get Older

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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