It would be very easy to take a despondent tone at this time of year. Cold, drab days and a certain browness to the garden can cause the gardening sap to sink. The garden has other ideas though and regardless of the gardener the plants just get on with it. This week’s six shows signs of progress as well as the need for some jobs to be started.
First, one of my occasional moans about the local wildlife. It’s usually the fox but it could be the fat Persian cat that wobbles through every now and then, either way something has taken a branch out of the beautifully rounded daphne, leaving me with a hole in the middle.
Then a job to be done. I got ahead with the pruning of the grape vine because the pergola is becoming unsteady and the plan was to deal with it over winter. Oh how time flies! This week I noticed that one leg of the pergola has collapsed down a few inches. This is a ‘must do soon’ job. But I shall need to find someone to install a new pergola. No doubt there will be a sucking in of the breath as I am told about the long waiting list I will have to join.
But this is a positive post and it is most definitely cheering to see signs of new growth. The bergenia is in bud.
I hope I am not alone in having one, possibly two, plants that generally get mistreated, left to their own devices, ignored. This is a very old cordyline. Left in a pot for well over twenty years. Poor thing. It doesn’t get protected overwinter, as you can see by the brown leaf ends, and occasionally it leaves a sign to say ‘Don’t forget me’. This year a leader has died away but two new shoots are coming through. Tough love seems to be working.
More signs of growth and a call to action. The new growth on the phlox has started. This is always my cue to deal with the remaining browness of the garden. The temperatures seem to be slowly on the rise which is another encouragement.
Snowdrops and hellebores continue to fill out. I spotted some leaves from the tête-à-tête daffodils and the odd tulip leaf is making an appearance. The primroses bear the promise of spring beautifully: cheerfulness abounds.
Don’t forget to take a peak at all the other SOS gardens. The Propagator holds the keys to the garden gates. All welcome!
Around time of year I’m usually on my way to Suffolk with a stop off at the Beth Chatto gardens. The gardens are open now but the trip to Suffolk is off. Which is a shame because a week on the Suffolk coast next week might be a blessed relief. Temperatures here are forecast to make 30 degrees. At least the garden has had a very good soak and the water butts are almost replenished. Here’s this week’s six.
I’m opening with this is mallow, or malva moschata. I didn’t realise just how pretty it was until I took the close up. Beautiful and it is a regular self seeder that fills a corner of the garden quite happily doing its thing with very little attention.
The hydrangeas which were gasping for a drop of the good stuff are very happy now. This one is hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blushing Bride’. Being one of the Endless Summer ranges apparently it can flower on new and old wood. Something I did not know before today.
The lilies that are in a pot by one of the pergola legs opened up last weekend. Just in time to provide some scented evening distractions.
From Cornwall to France the Yuccas have been flowering and here I offer a flowering cordyline. Which by coincidence came all the way from Cornwall some twenty years ago. It has lived in a pot for all those years, with a belated move to a larger pot about three years ago. It has never flowered before and I don’t know if it will again but here it is for now.
This clear white geranium is sanguineum ‘Album’ used in the northern corner of the garden and is finally in flower.
And just around the corner is this inherited geranium. White with beautiful pink veining. It was quite a large clump so I divided it up and dotted it around the garden on the shadier side and it has done well in all locations. I wonder if it could be ‘Kashmiri White’.
I’m going to be making the most of this cool weekend to get some gardening jobs done. The last stragglers of the annuals to be planted out. There are tomatoes to be looked over – those side shoots are sprouting fast and the second sowing of french beans to be put in the ground. Enjoy your gardening jobs and look in at The Prop’s Place for his six (I have fallen for sidalcea ‘Rosaly’) and all the links to other good gardening blogs.
There was talk last week about growing plants in pots. Was it really growing them or was it keeping them in a pot until the right spot was found. I have had many a plant in a pot that has died through benign neglect while waiting for that perfect place in the border. On moving house I decreed ‘no more plants in pots’. My agapanthus and lavenders were planted out and their roots now have the freedom to roam. I neglected the rosemary cuttings and they duly died. Some plants have stayed in their pots and make an important structural impact and some need to be moved on or given up. Here’s my six:
This phormium and its dragon pot have been together for 20 years. There is no chance of me releasing it from the pot so there it will stay. Every now and then it flowers but they are not significant. It is the focal point of the leaves that is important.
This cordyline had been in its pot for about 15 years. It has recently been repotted and not a day too soon. I use it to balance out the phormium on the other side. Being smaller it needs help.
So I pair it with this yucca. It came out of the old garden and into a pot. The yucca rarely flowered in the garden and was getting congested. I dug it up with the intention of throwing it out but decided to keep a few divisions in a pot to see if I could create another focal point. The divisions took and they are beginning to establish themselves. Paired with the cordyline they help counterbalance the phormium.
Herbs are often kept in pots by the back door to be on hand when needed. This thyme is in a sunny spot and has survived many periods of neglect. There is a sunny spot in the border against a south facing wall now vacant after I managed to kill a well established rosemary. My murderous gardening activities usually involve lack of water. It might be safer to keep the thyme in the pot and in sight.
I’m a little nervous about this one – I’m sure it won’t survive. It was given to me as a present for the new garden. It’s a dwarf azalea with a pink flower and until I see the colour I’m not sure where to put it. For this year it is staying in the pot and if it is very dwarf it might stay in the pot for a few years. This is how it starts…
Saving the worst till last. This box has been in the pot for about five years. It was bought unshaped and my plan was to cut it into shape over the years. I was not successful, the pot has cracked and neglect is setting in. It has been demoted to that special corner of the garden where the broken pots are kept and the tumbleweed blows through. Time for it to go … or shall I give it a new pot, some water and one more year?
That’s my pot expose (add accent please). 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