I didn’t mean to!

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I don’t know how it happened, it certainly wasn’t my intention. I didn’t even put my coat on, it was a matter of  “I’ll just have a quick look”. Some horrible laurel leaves were strewn around from next door’s pruning so I suppose that is where it started. Next thing I know, the gloves are on and general picking up and tidying taking place. Before long, out come dad’s trusty secateurs and trimming is happening. So there I am pruning and weeding on this beautiful January day when I should be ironing and cleaning. Well, what would you rather do?

My post-Christmas spirits were well and truly lifted when I spotted at least 3 flower buds on a camellia I bought about 5 years ago that has never flowered. This was its last chance. It has been positioned all around the garden over the years as I was convinced that this was the problem. I noticed another tiny specimen (free with something or other) was thriving near the patio, so this is where my mature and pampered plant has spent the last 6 months or so. Let’s hope the frost doesn’t get it before they open.

It’s amazing to see how many signs of new growth are apparent. Daffs, alliums and sedum all making an appearance. I am fairly certain that the primula in the front rockery haven’t stopped flowering all year. So pleased to see that my lovely Angelica has decided to spend another year with me. All the foliage has been cleared from the helibores to reveal plump flower buds threatening to burst open at any moment.

Maybe I’ll just nip out and have another look!

January Blues

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Well, it’s the end of January and most days have been torrential rain and even hail. Some days though, like today, have been tantalisingly sunny if a little chilly. And so I was lured outside to plant the two cornus shrubs purchased a few weeks back, ‘Alba Sibirica’ and ‘Flaviramea’. They look so lovely in the winter sunshine with their bright red and lime green stems.

There are now lots of snowdrops scattered about the place and I spotted a tiny iris in flower beneath the hibiscus. Signs of daffodils, tulips, sedum and aliums emerging. The new growth at the base of the verbena bonariensis indicates that it is now time to cut away last year’s remaining stems. Leaves have been cleared away along with fallen branches in preparation for a flying start once the weather improves. The Miscanthus Sinensis has been cut down to reveal new green shoots.

I am looking forward to planting the first seeds of the year next month.

Out of Control

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Such glorious weather and two bank holidays has meant lots of time to spend in the garden. Everything is growing at an incredible rate and I feel I am losing control – if I ever had any!

A trip to Gordon Rigg in Todmorden with Jean saw the purchase of a lovely new potting tray with a handy shelf. Now I can keep the tables relatively clean.

Banking the potatoes up seems to have given them licence to grow.

One of the raspberry tubs is looking rather sickly so I have moved it out from beneath the damson tree.

On Jean’s advice, I dug up all the tulip bulbs and put them in big pots to die back. It has given me more room for planting and I don’t have to look at the boring foliage. I am wondering whether I should have done the same with the daffodils but they are still in place.

The clematis at the back of the front rockery is looking particularly splendid at the moment with beautiful lilac flowers as big as saucers.

 
 I couldn’t resist these pretty little aquilegia even though I know I could regret it later. Their names were irrestistible too – Winky Rose and Winky Double White.The veg bed is looking very healthy at the moment. The cabbages are doing well and the peas will soon need supporting. I just need to find out what a ‘pea stick’ is! The beetroot have been thinned out and the celery has been pricked out into individual modules. The salad leaves have germinated in a matter of days.  

March 2011

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Still cool with sporadic frosty nights. Some sunny days and plenty of wet ones.

5th March:
Daffs on the verge of bursting open.

Planted peas and 6 more cabbages (no sign of previous ones germinating yet). Trying successional growing so that everything doesn’t grow at the same time, have a feeling they will all grow at the same time anyway.

Potted up dahlias and put them in the grow house. Might be too early but they had little thready roots.

Planted paeonies in pots – Shirley Temple, Sarah Bernhardt and Karl Rosenfield.

9th March:
Snowdrops arrived and planted.

Ordered Redlove apple tree.

2 tiny cabbage shoots have appeared.

12th March:
Can see signs of blossom on apple tree.

 

Daffodils and hellebore in full glory although some daffs have still to flower.

Blueberries are springing into life

Not sure if the standard fuschia will come back

I love this corkscrew grass in the Chelsea border

This tiny eryngium is braving an appearance

Giant alium leaves making good progress

Kestrel potatoes still chitting in conservatory

Hollyhocks making an appearance

Onions under cover

Raspberries have proper leaves on now

This rhododendron has been in the garden since we moved in 20 years ago

Planted 2 rows of Boltardy Beetroot.

Now have 3 cabbage seedlings

Emptied potato sacks at tip ready for washing out and replanting at end of month.

Rearranged and fed red climbing rose. Cut down phormium, don’t know if they will come back.

13th March:
Raewyn gave me some iris bulbs which have been planted.

4 cabbage seedlings.

February 2011

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Much warmer, some days in to double figures!

8th February:
More signs of life every day, daffs seem to have grown overnight. Giant aliums pushing through and tiny specks of green on raspberry canes.

Put second and larger of the covers on raised bed. This went on much easier than the smaller one.

Planted box hedge around patio, could have done with a few more plants though.

 13th February:
Tulips have appeared and daffs continue to grow. Little green shoots are sprouting from the onions.

Ordered 6 more box to complete hedge. Bought 375 litres of compost for £9 – bargain!

Threw all cuttings away except for a few. I suspect they had too traumatic a time! When I re-potted after the wind they had developed a good root system but I think the frost was just too severe. Maybe I should have brought them indoors.

14th February:
New box plants delivered and planted immediately. Ground very wet and sloppy though, not sure they are going to like it.

17th February:
Planted dwarf lavendar. Filled up carrot bag and planted 6 cabbages in modules and placed under the cover of raised bed.

24th February:
What a magical time in the garden. Every day brings a new revelation. One sunny day makes all the difference. Daffs and tulips continue to grow. Hellebore is bursting into flower, the first ones in the garden. Fresh green leaves of aconitum and geranium emerging as well as phlox and aquilegia. Buds appearing on apple tree, sambucus and camellia.

Planted leeks and 4 tomato seeds under cover.

Ordered some snowdrops “in the green”.

28th February:
Ordered Pyloria and free Paeonies.

April 2010

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April saw the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, the Icelandic volcano. Air travel was severely disrupted as the ash was blowing across the UK in the upper atmosphere.

Daffodils and flowering quince were in full glory.

Planted:

  • 3 strawberry plants (Elsanta) in a hanging basket.
  • Onions in veg bag
  • 9 carrot seeds and 6 beetroots

Ok, so I didn’t understand the business of sowing and thinning seeds. I did sow more when I realised!

Planted Hellebore and Camellia and put Phlox and Lillies in pots until I decided where to put them.

The patio received its annual jet-wash and was sealed to protect against further staining from algae – we’ll see.