Two weeks on and spring has kicked in. Here's an picture update comparing the situation to a fortnight ago.
Things are (finally) starting to blossom and my hard grafting over the last couple of weeks feels rewarding every time I look outside the window. It is showing some colour now, the viola are doing their very best and I managed to get rid of all the weeds by the old fashioned way. Getting down on the knees and pulling everything out by hand!
I transplanted some Sedum telephium I salvaged from the 'old' garden before the diggers tore the place apart. They survived the winter (they don't really need much of anything be it soil or water) and I planted them in the front garden. Bees and butterflies absolutely adore the big, attractive flowers (and so do I).
The pionies are doing well, I was afraid all the digging had damaged the roots, but they seem to be fine.
They are instant added greenery to the still brownish, bald looking garden.
Spring is two to three weeks late, but some things are really going well. The bee hotels are nearly full this time of year. The first few rays of sun induced the pollinators to come out and fill up several bamboo-straws in the hotel.
Dr Livingstone moved one of the hotels next to a sitting area, I think it was hanging too much in a drafty section near the stables.
Also some of the things I've sown such as the dill, cress and basilicum are growing steadily in the conservatory. I'm not transferring them to the outside just yet, we still had a spot of frost last week and the nights are still chilly, around 3ºC at night.
Because of the good results I've had I've bought some more seeds and have now started growing sunflowers (a low kind which only grow up to 50cms) and Tagetes patul to plant next to the strawberry plants which went in a while ago.
I hope they can go in within a week or three!