For whatever reason: winter seems to drag on for too long this year. The calendar tells me otherwise, but my inner clock is ready for spring NOW.
The weather isn’t, unfortunately. But my mind keeps turning back to garden work. And shouldn’t I start with something, anything, out there?
But no: prune the roses only when the forsythia blooms, not earlier. Well, my specimen does show some bud activity but is far from blooming. So no pruning of roses, yet. Maybe the snowdrops are showing. So I go out to check. Nothing. Should I then take away some of the frost protection on newly planted shrubbery, surely this could be a start. Ahh, better to leave it for now, who knows, there still could be cold snaps and some frost in store.
As I paced up and down in front of my terrace window overlooking my small garden patch, I got resolved: this Sunday I have to do something related to the garden. I have already geared myself up during last week. I wanted to prepare some compost for a little indoor nursery. Despite my sweetheart’s complaint about my setting up big trays with seeds every spring in our living room, I can never resist. For this, I need good soil.
One of my two compost piles might just be ready to be overturned and sieved through. As I don’t have any equipment to do this, I have been thinking ahead. In our restaurant kitchen at work, they have many big plastic delivery boxes, some with a meshed bottom (for salads and the like), some with a solid bottom. I thought, I would use one of each, stacked atop each other, to just shovel the compost through. So I borrowed two boxes and brought them home on Saturday. No surprise, I got all itchy to start on Sunday morning.
It was so exciting to go to the cellar and dig out my gardening gear again: I took the spade and a rake upstairs, along with my seeding containers (well, just one for a start, so as not to cause too much complaint in one go, maybe he won’t even notice).
Then I got going, despite the cold and the rain. I tried to remove the casing of my compost, but it wouldn’t come off. Never mind, I’d just shovel the stuff out from the top. So I started out. The first layer came off easily and my sifting device seemed to work well. But then I hit solid ground all of a sudden. I was surprised at being stopped in my efforts and tried to hack into the pile with my spade. Maybe a bigger chunk of something hindered me. But no, I had to realize that the compost was frozen solid, one big block of ice. With only the top layer of five centimeters thawed off during the last three days of milder temperatures. This also explained the casing not coming off – it was frozen into the two neighbouring piles I have created.
So much for spring. I was so disappointed that I had to pack it in. Luckily, there was enough compost from the top layer to fill my one seeding tray with enough soil to get going, so it wasn’t a complete failure.