A blustery week for the garden

It has been a long week of weather; it has been windy and rainy.  Here in the mild middle we have thankfully missed the most extreme of the weather but even so, I am relieved that the forecast for next week looks more calm.
The weather might have been blowy but it has not been that cold, so the garden has continued to move on into springtime.  This willow its reaching it's peak fluffiness.  It is fairly ordinary most of the year, but at this moment it is perfection.
Over in the vegetable garden, the garlic I planted the other week is already sprouting.  The soil is currently sodden from yesterday's rain but it usually rebalances fairly quickly in this part of the garden.
In the greenhouse the kale is germinating.  Everytime I mention I am growing kale I get warned about pigeons.  Allegedly pigeons can tell from a distance what type of brassica you are growing and will head for the variety they like best first.  I am seriously considering growing sprouts as a distraction crop for them; I cannot bear the things so the pigeons would be welcome to them.
I took delivery of these Cabbage 'Duncan' plugs which I bought a few weeks ago from Marshalls.  I often buy plug plants as there can be some good discounted deals as the season progresses.  I know that it is easy to grow brassicas from seed (see kale above) but some I always buy as plugs as it suits me.  I do not have to worry about getting them through the early stages and I end up with as many as I want to grow.
I potted the plugs on to let them fill out a little more before putting them into the veg beds.
Also arrived this week was my dahlia order from Sarah Raven:  three x Waltzing Mathilda (my favourite favourite dahlia) and three x dark butterfly.  The more eagle-eyed of you will count seven pots, one has the tubers that have fallen off in it.  A few little ones often detach in transit and I do not like to throw them away.  I always try this to see if anything will grow and it never works, yet this does not stop me.
I also potted up these dahlias I have been sent by the National Dahlia Collection, I did not pay for these but I am under no obligation to say anything that is not my own opinion.  I did not choose what they sent to me, but it felt like they had chosen them in mind when I opened the box....
....how could I not want to grow a dahlia called Star Wars or the Wizard of Oz?  Also in the box was: Varma Ying Yang, Playa Blanca and Golden Wonder.
I might have liked that they were wrapped in brown paper more than I can tell you.  Opening brown paper parcels is so much more exciting than opening a plastic bag.  It is also more environmentally friendly but I confess the excitement element was my first thought.  I will let you know how they develop.
As I worked in the greenhouse I had company from Esme, who decided to demonstrate the 'paw of doom'.  For a small cat she has very heavy paws, I lifted her off the plant and explained to her again the rules of the greenhouse.  She looked at me like she did not understand a word I said.
Back in the garden after this week of much rain the pond is almost full; it is not quite completely full but it is getting close.  I still worry that if we have a long dry spell we have not recovered from last year's drought yet.  Another year of drought would be starting from a lower water level point and so could be more serious.
Best of all it is a joy to see the blue sky at the end of this weather-filled week.  Esme took her favourite look-out point on top of the Whitby Arch and a day of catching up with the weeding beckons.