Pat's Plot - My First Signs of Frogspawn

03 March 2009 | Posted in Gardening by The Marshalls Family

Saturday 14 March

I was looking out of the window this morning when I saw something odd in the shallow, ‘beach’ end of the pond. On further investigation I found a big blob of frogspawn! There were no signs of any frog activity last weekend when I had yet another go at clearing the blanket weed. The pond has been in for two years now and we had a lot of frogspawn in April last year, although I didn’t see many tadpoles. I think the blackbirds had quite a few as they love to bathe in the shallow part of the pond, but there were plenty of little frogs in the grassy area around the veg plot during the summer so they obviously didn’t get them all!

The focus this weekend was to finish tidying the borders, I got hubby to dig up a couple of shrubs that had got rather large and outstayed their welcome, to open up some space for planting some new perennials. I use the term ‘new’ loosely as I promptly started to fill the space with beautiful Ligularia Britt Marie Crawford which I had dug up from a clump that had got rather large in another border. This variety has lovely large round leaves which are deepest purple when young turning greenish purple with purple underside as they mature. It retains more purple in semi-shade and forms a big round clump of foliage, it also has tall stems of yellow daisy-like flowers in summer. The flowers are nice but I grow it primarily for the gorgeous leaves, I have a real soft spot for deep purple foliage. This plant is normally happiest in moist soil but for the last five years has been grown in a fairly dry bed in full sun and during hot dry spells the leaves droop alarmingly, but it soon perks up as it turns cooler in the evening or if it is given a little drink. I also dug up and transplanted some Crocosmia Lucifer, the tall stems have bright scarlet flowers and are stunning during July and August.

We dug up the old strawberries (well I supervised and Hubby did the digging!). So that’s two out of the four beds nice and clean and ready for action. Next I need to hoe round the Spring Brassicas as the weeds seem to be growing fast under the mesh cover. I have numerous pots and containers stored in the greenhouse at the moment waiting to be planted up for summer, so I thought I would use one or two for sowing some early, quick growing salad crops. I sowed some tomato seeds in individual pots and some mixed salad leaves in a terracotta bowl, put them alongside the peas and covered them with all with fleece. I’m hoping it will stay warm this week then I will make the first sowing of carrots and salad leaves outside under the cloche next weekend.

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