• Emma Bennett

Rushing into Spring

Only seemed like yesterday that we were in January and the weather seemed ok. We had come through a warmish winter where sitting on the deck of the greenhouse in only a coat and light hat was perfectly acceptable as the sun went down. I almost fooled myself into thinking that spring was merely weeks away and we would slide from one season into the next with some ease.



Well, I was wrong. February brought storm after storm. A consequence from having a warm winter I suspect. I stressed out about the poly tunnel and the greenhouse, both facing their first winter and first storms. I barely slept, our bedroom being just below the slates, and I don't sleep well with wind howling outside.


We stepped into March, again I was hoping spring was here soon. We commented about how the 9th March two years ago was positively burgeoning with green grass. Clearly from the photos we ogled over it was in rapid growth. In 2020 however we sloshed about in mud, the endless storms and rain drenching ground that was already beyond wet and well beyond what it could cope with.


Here we are on the 18th. Its been raining again today, the weather promises (if you believe the apps on our phones) to be the last rain we see for well over a week! We will see.


I have sploshed about in mud again today, yet I'm potting up seedlings like a crazed woman. I feel like I'm behind already. I've run out of seed trays which is saying something. As soon as those seeds pop up I'm chucking them out and re-using the tray.



This year promises to be very veggie. The vegetable garden is hugely behind in the mulching, the weather and sourcing the well rotted poop has been my two biggest issues. And before you ask why I've not got it here already I've not been that organised to collect it all from our own horses and place it into one area yet and leave it for the years needed to become black gold.



Not one blade of grass has grown yet, I've got trashed fields and I'm desperate to re-seed but its still too cool for all that. Spring is still a small way off, and yet the front garden, whilst in need of a good weeding is flowering beautifully. Primroses, Hellebores and daffodils dot the garden. I can wander through this space and see the beauty in spring, if not elsewhere on the smallholding just yet. So it appears this year its mostly me rushing about, spring is somewhat dragging its heals.


I've made plans, mostly to combat the mud for next year, I'm utterly confident I can limit the damage we have done to the ground this year for next winter. Although they say North Wales had 3x the normal amount of rain it normally does. I'm not sure if anything I do can save us from damage in those circumstances. Mostly we need more grass varieties and better rotation for the livestock, however still being in the process of clearing weeds and restoring drainage I have to accept there is only so much I can achieve.


So whilst spring hangs off for a bit, I'm desperately trying to arrange to get slate to our little lane and then on to our track so that the re-surfacing work can be done, some of which has already happened. I desperately want to have tons delivered to us to do the driveway and have enough hardcore to provide a surface for inside the horses houses and their yards. I can then replace their rubber mats onto a nice level and mud free surface. You see we have a new horse coming to live with us on the 8th April. A date that is rapidly approaching. I will have people bringing her to us who have never been here before, and yet again I was hoping that even at this time of year we could at least show our best face. If spring doesn't arrive I'll be a very unhappy smallholder welcoming a new horse to our home with mud lapping at her knees, and let me tell you she's a very posh big horse.




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