That heading sounds a bit technical but rest assured I am not dipping into mechanics or perhaps I am. The mechanics of growing things. The first of March was eagerly greeted by me as Spring arriving, Winter restlessness and impatience was about to be set free. The weather had other ideas and what a week this one was here. Cold winds, overnight snow, sleety showers and down to minus in the greenhouse again. I chided myself for being so eager and resolved to take 21 March as the Spring starting point. This week new plants arrived for the garden so at least I have something to share. I walked the garden this morning and although there wasn’t much else to feature I could see that nature is really pushing on bringing out new buds on so many of the shrubs and more and more perennials are breaking through the winter mulch. That made me re-think and appreciate that dates are only a guideline and one should always be guided by what’s happening in the garden. Here’s my six for the week.
The first of the new plants. Helleborus argutifolius, or the Corsican hellebore. I saw these last week in a courtyard garden combined with euphorbia. The hellebores were so striking with their serrated edge leaves and pale green flowers, they proved irresistible and I jumped in and ordered three. They are evergreen perennials and grow to a good size so I am hoping they will give some structure to a rather featureless part of the garden.
Having taking the plunge to order plants, gulping a little at the expense, I forged on and ordered three phlomis russeliana . These have been on my wish list for ever. I love their winter look but have always been deterred by the pale yellow flowers in summer. What would I combine them with? I’ve decided that they can have a stretch of the thin border to themselves. The verbena bonariensis self seeds in this area and I think they will work well together.
The tête-à-tête daffodils are a good indicator of how the garden works here. Over on the South facing border, against the wall, they have been open for a couple of weeks. On the opposite, in a slightly West facing border they seem to be on hold. Just waiting for a few more degrees of warmth to make its way to their space.
The euphorbia wulfenii, the last of four that I planted in the garden about five years ago, is looking splendid. The garden was clear about not wanting to accommodate the other three. I lost and replanted them from self seedlings several times over the last three years. Each time they died off. Perhaps the sole survivor is in an area of better drainage. I am quietly trying again with a self-seeder that made itself at home further up the border. It’s sunnier at the end it has chosen and perhaps less susceptible to holding the winter rain.
Chilli seeds have germinated. They broke through about a week ago. They are on a windowsill above a radiator and will stay there for some time to come. I’m not planning to sow anything more for a few weeks.
Finally, here’s a question for you. The Non Gardener has been muttering that the terrace looks like an industrial wasteland. Moss and weeds are flourishing he says. Weeds, I say. No, that’s my self seeded Mexican daisy, with one or two weeds sneaking in. I am offering a half way house and suggesting that the daisy is banished from the central areas and restricted to the corners and edges. Moss, I say, gives a sense of age to what is some kind of concrete imitation of flagstones and it too should stay. Any thoughts?
The SOS gardeners congregate weekly at Jim’s place for chat. Don’t hesitate to join in, it’s a friendly bunch of folk ready to offer advice and share struggles. Happy gardening.