Thursday, 3 March 2011

Spring Days Out

I'm looking forward to some great spring days out at RHS Harlow Carr, I must remember to mark them in my diary so that I don't miss them. As a RHS member I'm entitled to free admission, as is one other family member, which makes it a cheap day out. On 26th and 27th March there is a Grow Your Own Weekend, 9th to 21st April is Eco Warriors - Half term family fun, which I thought my daughter might like as there are scavenger hunts, bush craft and the chance to learn survival skills. From 29th April to 2nd May is Harlow Carr Craft Exhibition, I might go on 1st May as there is also a Spring Plant Fair on then. If you're not a RHS member there is a FREE Open Day tomorrow, 4th March, where admission is free to everyone, the gardens are definitely worth seeing.

There's no sign of life in my peppers which I sowed eleven days ago. There's time yet, though I've usually had them germinating quicker than this on previous occasions. Perhaps I'll sow some more if they're not showing by the weekend.

We saw a kestrel in next door's garden earlier today. It was sat on their lawn as bold as brass eating whatever prey it had managed to kill. After it had left, there was a mass of feathers left behind, which indicates the prey was a bird of some kind. The circle of life can be very cruel sometimes.


  1. Have never been to Harlow Carr - sounds interesting.
    Am hopefully off the Chelsea Flower show though this year in May!
    Fingers crossed for your pepper seeds - reminds me that I must get on and sow some. I have never grown peppers before, but now I have a greenhouse I shall be trying them.
    Have been having unexpected success, despite all the snow this winter, with lettuces in my greenhouse over winter - am just about to bring a large pot of a winter cut and come again variety indoors so we can eat the leaves!Also have some in the ground in the greenhouse also hearting up nicely.

  2. Hope that you have some great days out at Harlow Carr. We had a most enjoybale day out there a few years ago. Still early days for your peppers Jo - perhaps they will pop up if you do not peep for a day or two :)

  3. Dear Jo, I hope you post about your visit to Harlow Carr. It sounds very interesting and just up my street. Hope your peppers make a showing soon. P x

  4. Sounds like some nice days out you have planned...I'm never that organised..we tend to get up and think...'oh let's go out today!'....

    I know what you mean about the circle of life...but at the end of the day we are meat eaters too...the only difference is that all the animals the wild creatures catch have always lived to the best of their lives and not in cages and pens....Sometimes I think the wild ways are the kindest...there is less trauma that way and nothing is ever wasted...only when hungry is stuff killed...i often wonder how much of what is slaughtered in the name of humanity just goes to waste...god I think I'm getting morbid so I'll stop now...

  5. WE're thinking og going to the Spring Flower Show in April.

    Kestrels are sometimes quite brazen - we woke up one morning (some time ago now) and pulled back the bedroom curtains to see one sitting on our bird bath. We do often get a sparrowhawk though.

  6. Looks like you've plenty to look forward too!
    Kestrels are wonderful birds but as a friend of mine says...I do so wish they were vegetarian! Flighty xx

  7. We've never been to Harlow Carr...but I see they have a Betty's! Yum!
    Hope you enjoy your days out.
    Birds of Prey are ratbags aren't they? But so beautiful too.

  8. I love Harlow Carr, definitely worth the two hour drive from here.

    Do you have your peppers in a heated propogator? I seem to remember they like bottom heat, especially this early in the season.

  9. My peppers usually take a good couple of weeks in a poly bag on the windowsill. Don't give up hope yet.
    You could learn bush craft in my garden at the moment. Raining again this morning - one day it will be dry enough to tackle head-on!

  10. Fingers crossed for your seeds!
    Reading about the kestrel, my chooks run for cover everytime a shadow crosses the lawn anxiously looking up at the sky. It's in their blood to be wary of birds of prey I think.

  11. I would love to go to the Chelsea Flower Show, Gill. I always watch it on TV but I bet the show gardens are spectacular when you actually see them. Your greenhouse will open up lots of new things to you. Mine is only 6X4 but it enables me to grow things which would otherwise be hard to grow.

    The days out sound good, Anna, I just hope we manage to make the most of them. I am rather impatient when it comes to waiting for seeds to germinate, I'm always excited waiting for signs of growth.

    I'm sure you would love Harlow Carr, Pam. I will make sure I post about my visits.

    I make lots of plans for days out but then something crops up and we end up not going, Tanya. I do hope we manage to make the most of these events though. I think you've got a great way of looking at the circle of life. I'll try to remember this when I'm next watching a wildlife programme and have to turn it over as something is being killed.

    I've never been to the Spring Flower Show, Sue, only the autumn one. Hubby's uncle often sees a sparrowhawk in his garden.

    I have the same wish as your friend, Flighty, though I do love birds of prey, they're such beautiful birds.

    They are wonderful birds, Mo, but I just wish they'd leave the other birds alone. Harlow Carr is worth a trip just for Betty's alone.

    There's so many different areas in Harlow Carr, so much to see, Bilbo. Yes, the peppers are in a heated propagator and have started popping through this weekend. I'm just so impatient.

    It's been dry here all week, Kath, then it gets to the weekend and pours down, typical.

    It's funny how animals have an inbuilt survival instinct, Mrs Bok. We let our rabbits have a run around on the grass but we always watch them as you just never know.

  12. Your Harlow Carr plans sound great - I'd love to go to the "grow your own" weekend. We do have a plot hatched to visit the Malvern Spring Show this year, which I am very excited about. Look forward to your posts.

  13. Just had a catch-up with some recent posts Jo. I'm so looking forward to spring days out too. Harlow Carr sounds great.

    The sun is shining here today and its quite warm in the sun. Must get sowing pretty soon.


  14. The grow your own weekend sounds good, Janet. It's the one which I really want to get to if I can. I'd love to go to the Malvern Spring Show, it looks really good from what I've seen on TV.

    It's sunny here today too, Jeanne. It makes all the difference to my mood which I see a bit of sunshine.

  15. Jo, Thanks so much for your link re: the oak leaves - thats good news if they do rot down quickly as I've got loads of 'em!!!

  16. You're welcome, Gill. You'll be pleased you've saved all those leaves, leaf mould is wonderful stuff.


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