Rita's Ramblings

Inside this issue:

the winter months there are one or two minor jobs that still need doing. Unfortunately, before I can start those I have to dig up some turf and cut down a small tree! Maybe we will get some nice weather over Easter and I will be able to make a start. Once that work is complete I can plant out a number of the cuttings that I took during the autumn; they have been sitting in the cold frame all winter and are just starting into growth. Looking out of the window I see that it has now stopped raining; that means I had better get out to my greenhouse and shed and make some sort of progress towards these plans.
Until next month, cheerio and take care.

Rita Nickles

Hello again. How are you all keeping? I hope that the recent high winds did not cause any significant damage. There are a lot of trees that have been uprooted and are now lying at odd angles with their upper branches caught up against a neighbouring tree. Natures pruning methods seem to be rather haphazard with not a lot of skill involved! The garden is a completely different matter. All the books give detailed information on which branches to cut away, how much we should shorten the various stems and flowering shoots - and they also detail the potential disaster that is likely to happen if we get it wrong. I must confess that I do try and prune everything "properly" but unless I take the book with me (and risk getting it dirty) I feel that I frequently fall a long way short of perfection! The birds and insects don't seem to mind too much and, as we have large numbers of both, I think I must be getting by OK. Talking of the birds, our feeders are in constant use now. There is a lot

more squabbling between them now as they obviously try and define their personal territory. One year I think I will try and keep a record of which birds we see - a siskin visited our seed container a couple of weeks ago and I have also seen a wren several times at the bottom of the garden. A frequent visitor is a dunnock who seems to have become rather too tame for his/her own good. Our feeders are quite close to the back door and this particular bird will carry on feeding as we go in and out. It doesn't seem unduly concerned about our dog either. I only hope that it can recognise the difference between a dog and a cat!
Like many of you I am busy in the garden again. There is the digging to finish off and then there are the seeds to sow. I watch gardening programmes on the television and always start out with wonderful ideas but lack of time or poor weather conditions frequently take their toll. Although I decided not to make any major changes in the garden during