Looking forward to warmer days but not the hard work of Spring? What are you planning to plant this year? My answer is:
AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.
Here's why: The game plan over the past two years, was to cover as much of my plot as possible with PERENNIAL PLANTINGS. These don't need a lot of tending and I don't need to re-sow them each season.
They're surrounded by a MULCH which cuts down on watering and weeding. I use cocoa shells for the more unusual fruit and veg, and plain old newspapers and wood chip on top for the rest.
Two years ago an ASPARAGUS BED and a PEACH TREE (Avalon Pride) went in. The Asparagus is doing really well - not convinced about the Peach Tree (this is a long story - I'll tell you why I think it is high maintenance in another post).
TWO COMFREY BEDS were established on the edges of the plot. (In case you didn't know organic gardeners use these for fertilising and to speed up the composting process).
BLACKBERRIES, RASPBERRIES, 1 REDCURRANT AND 3 BLACKCURRANTS took up residence in 2007. Followed by A PEAR TREE (Bon Cretien - 2007), ten CHERRY PLUM BUSHES (these provide a windbreak as well as fruit) and RHUBARB (Victoria) in 2008.
In between these plants and near the paths I've made room for some flowers. Last year I allowed my POACHED EGG PLANTS to self-seed, and they're still going strong despite the frost. (see the picture at the top of the page). As well being pretty ground cover these plants encourage hoverfly which prey on aphids and other 'nasties'. I let a few NASTURTIUMS self-seed too, and then there's a couple of lavender and sage plants which will hold up well for at least another season. There's also a little bit of CHAMOMILE which the bees love.
Since the two forty year old apple trees I inherited from a previous owner are still fruiting well, that leaves me with around TWELVE largish raised beds I need to fill each season. Three of these are now home to AUTUMN SOWN ONIONS and GARLIC so that's NINE raised veg beds left I have to plan and play with...
I've got my RAISING-PLUG-PLANTS-IN-SUCCESSION-IN-MINI-GREENHOUSES-SYSTEM set up: (look back at my November post: Developing a Growing System that works for you) - just need to order some seeds now and when that weather turns I'll hit the ground running...