Rubbish tip secrets (and the first signs of spring)

When I woke up early in the morning today and walked through the garden to the chicken coop, with the sound of gravel under my rubber boots and the song of the birds in my ears, it felt like spring. We have still a few weeks to go and it wouldn’t surprise me if would get a cold snap or two but the warmer season isn’t far, and with it comes a lot of promises. A new garden season, new chances…First_Signs_of_Spring_Bottles 1

We did a lot of garden work today (mostly picking up a lot of stuff that had been lying around all winter) and even sat in the warm sun behind the house, with coffee cups, a sketchbook and measuring tape to discuss the new layout for the garden.

In April, we are going to start with a major makeover to make the kitchen garden suit to our needs and to have more space for the vegetables (and flowers) we want to grow. After we moved here last year in Spring, I planted all my perennials in what I call the ’emergency border’ where they are waiting to be digged up to then be moved to the new flower beds. With these changes in mind, I didn’t plant many flower bulbs last autumn because the garden will look like a battlefield for quite some time, I guess. It would just have been a waste of time and money to plant tulips and daffodils when we have to dig them up anyway.First_Signs_of_Spring_Bottles 6First_Signs_of_Spring_Bottles

But no spring without spring flowers! Behind our garden, in a small woodland, lots of squills, crocuses and snowdrops are curiously looking out from under brown foliage. Today I decided that it was time to gently move them from their favourite spot to a cosy corner in our garden. Until now, they have been thriving behind a mossy dry stone wall, the least pretty area of our property.

When we bought Björkåsa, we also took over the möghög, a relict of bygone times, covered under a thin layer of soil. To tell from the weathered labels on bottles, tins and packages, someone must have used that spot next to our property as a private rubbish tip in the 1960ies. It isn’t huge, but big enough that we didn’t have the time to tackle it. In a few weeks, the first violets will grow there, followed by nettles until ashweed will cast a veil of repression over it. Out of sight, out of mind, that was what I was thinking last year in May when we were stumbling over cardboard boxes, sleep deprived and exhausted from moving houses. And in June, the möghög was no longer to be seen, thanks to the weeds…First_Signs_of_Spring_Bottles 4First_Signs_of_Spring_Bottles 5

But this year, between snowmelt and the upcoming solo performance of the violets, it was time to roll up my sleeves and to start digging, not only to move snowdrops, squills and crocuses. Finally, I also made a start on the rubbish pit. Metal here, plastic there, shards in this bucket, batteries in that bucket…

My conception of what is compostable clearly differs greatly from what was custom in the 1960’ies. Also, how many jars of Hällers’ Crayfish and how many tins of sardines can one person empty in a lifetime? It seems to me like a rather one-sided diet but then again I have only scratched the surface of the heap a little and more surprises cannot be ruled out, I guess. What I found though (to my great joy), was a vast amount of glass bottles in various sizes, most of them still intact. They came along just at the right moment – for a kitchen garden project that I have had on my to-do list for quite some time now…

Meanwhile, most of the snowdrops have found a new home under the apple tree. I keep my fingers crossed for more bottles and less batteries, for some old porcelain plates and glass marbles. The treasure hunt has to wait for a couple of days though – tomorrow starts a new week with a lot on my to-do list. We’ll see what the möghög has in petto for us – and this summer, we will enjoy the garden even more…

I hope your sunday was a sunny one and that you too found the first harbingers of spring in your neck of the woods…



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  1. Thank you for sharing some of your spring cleanup. I hope there are more treasures in store for you~

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