Six On Saturday: Cold April slows my progress

I’m not quite sure how but the garden seems to have been unscathed by the overnight minus temperatures of this week. The magnolia looks fine, the plum blossom seems intact and newly emerging perennials are undaunted. Another cold night is forecast for Sunday but then it looks like positive numbers for the rest of the week. I am still holding back on the seed sowing, but of course there is always an exception. I sowed a tray of nicotiana ‘Whisper’ yesterday. I think these are the smallest seeds I have ever sown, no wonder the guidance is not to cover them with any soil. Here’s six other things that feature in the garden this week

One

The tulips are appearing. I think these are ‘Negrita’. They are part of a mixed planting of ‘Ronaldo’ and ‘Spring Green’ which should be through in the next week.

Two

Forget-me-nots and tulips always seem to work well. I do let them self seed where they like but then I follow behind extricating them from the places that I don’t want them to inhabit.

Three

I think the removal of the willow tree from next door is going to give me some light on the corner of this bed so there will be some re-jigging this weekend to make room for a lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Alba’. The geranium will be thinned out again – Wargrave Pink I think, it spreads very easily.

Four

I have some grown from seed thalictrum delavayi still being nurtured in the greenhouse. Next week they will start spending the days outside in preparation for planting out.

Five

Already living outside and should have been planted out by now, but you know how it is…. are these seedlings of the perennial digitalis lutea. For some time now I have eyeing these suspiciously, wondering if I had been carefully growing weeds. But they have put on a spurt in the last week and I am convinced they are luteas. Don’t hesitate to correct me if you think otherwise! (They are definitely not helleborus niger – just recycling!).

Six

My plan to plant out the last of the potatoes has been thwarted. Whilst digging the second trench I came across some rubble. Unfortunately that was only a herald of things to come. The next discovery was a much more resistant obstacle. The muscle men were called in and after further excavation they decreed that mechanical equipment would be required to break up what looks like the very solid foundations of an Anderson shelter. Live with it or lose it? I am waiting for a quote. The top of the foundation is about a foot deep so I could section the corner off and live with it. We shall see,

Oh for some kinder weather so that I can confidently commit to the garden rather than tiptoeing around the edges worrying about frosts or freezing winds. I ventured out one day last week to tie in the summer fruiting raspberries but was soon back in the warm. The calendula seedlings are reappearing so, despite my hesitation, the ground must be warming up. Time to man up and get out there! I’m sure The Prop will be inspiring me, as will the other gardeners that take part in Six On Saturday.

21 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Cold April slows my progress

    • I feel I’m over sensitive this year as so much suffered in the February frosts, but I am still getting zero or minus temperatures overnight several nights a week and the winds are cold so I am going slow!

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  1. I too have a mass of concrete just under the soil half way up the garden. I assume it’s the remains of an air raid shelter. I have tried smashing it up with a sledgehammer, but I think I’d break before it would – tough stuff!

    Nice little thalictrum plants, they’ll look great when they’re all in flower.

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    • It is so solid, if its too expensive to have it broken up I will just have to work round it. I am so protective of the thalictrums at the moment – I may never plant them outside! Maybe next week I can do some hardening off.

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  2. Amazing discovery that this shelter in your garden! My house is set up on land where there was a factory for manufacturing… nails! So every time I dig I find lots of nails of all sizes. Your discovery is much more exciting! …😂

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  3. Your thalictrum plants look healthy, I am experimenting with seeds again this year after disastrous results in my first year here when everything either damped off, or when put outside, was eaten. Some have germinated so we shall see what happens. The Anderson shelter find is a bit of a blow, is it just that bit or does it cover a fair section of your garden? You could create quite a deep raised bed there?

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    • It seems to be only one corner – but I guess there is another edge somewhere else that I’ve just not found yet! I was thinking about sectioning it off as a herb corner??? Still thinking on that one. Seed sowing has its ups and downs doesn’t it. At the moment I can’t bear to plant anything out – too cold and they look just perfect for the slug banquets!

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    • It is still cold here overnight and I am very nervous after having had so many things spoilt by a February frost. I still have plants that I would have planted out by now but I am holding back. I will have turned them into softies!

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  4. In a way it’s amazing that you unearthed a bit of history just because you wanted to plant potatoes – well maybe you can join Fred and Piglet and I who are all growing potatoes in bins and bags this year. I love the colour of Negrita, would you describe it as Magenta? Does it come back every year? I hope the weather improves, I’m also itching to get stuck in.

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