After a few weeks away from these posts and the garden there is much to be done. No time for looking back on past successes and inevitably remembering all that didn’t get done. Here’s what is happening in my garden now.
The first buds on the Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii have appeared. I planted four as 9cm pots in Autumn 2016 and so this is the first flowering year. Although one of the four is still suffering from an unknown malaise, possibly too wet a position, the other three are romping away and giving me the beginning of a structure to the new border.
This is Hellebore Happy Day. I bought this from a market stall, seduced by the discounted price. On doing some research I discovered that it is a Hellebore Niger which has been specially developed for early flowering, mainly from October to December. I can confirm that it was early to flower and I am interested to see how long it keeps going. It is providing a good splash of brightness in the winter gloom.
Not yet in flower are these snowdrops. These are also part of the new garden planting. This time last year I dug out a good sized rectangle of grass around the fruit trees and on a cold and sleety day I planted about 100 snowdrops in the green along one edge of each of them. In retrospect I should have planted greater numbers to create a bigger impact. I will review them when they flower this year – one for a future six.
Getting to know a new garden is a long term process. Understanding which parts dry out soonest, which stay wet and soggy and which are the sunny corners takes several years. This osteospermum is a division of an existing plant that I moved in the summer. It was probably the wrong time to move it, but the parent plant was very leggy and I was trying to weed around it. Parts of the plant broke off as I tried to disentangle it. With a gardener’s optimism I dug a hole in a sunny corner and planted the divisions. I now know that the sunny corner is also very sheltered as the osteospermum has continued to flower through the winter. Now I need to see what else will enjoy that spot.
Here’s a view of one corner of the veg patch. The last of the parsnips have been pulled and eaten. I grew Tender and True from seed planted in late April. The other beds were for Carrots Nantes 2, Cucumber, Onions and Shallots. The cardboarded raised bed was for courgettes and sweet peas. The far bed was the cut flower patch, which will host potatoes this year. I’m a semi planner. I won’t be doing multi coloured charts but I will rotate crops and I will be planting more varieties this year. There may be a pencil plan in a notebook but I think that will be it! I will share the progress here.
Saving the best for last, this morning I collected my new Niwaki herbaceous sickle from the post office. I can’t wait to use it. The borders are in need of a tidy but this morning we had the first frost for many weeks and I shouldn’t be walking on the frosted grass. I can do along the paths and maybe there will be time when the frost has melted. I came across this tool in Thomas Stone’s blog Christmas gift ideas for the gardener in your life. I am sure I am going to be tempted by more of Thomas’ suggestions. Christmas may be over but the gardening carries on!
I hope you have some time to enjoy your garden or allotment this weekend. Thanks to The Propagator for hosting the wonderful Six on Saturday. Read his blog posts and all the other Six on Saturday posts from around the world at The Propagator my plant obsession