What an absolute treat the weather has been this week! I hate to resort to weather-chat as it is what it is but, after a long and wet winter the sunshine is so very welcome. Mind you, as I type away in my sunny back garden, the news of a change in the weather is nibbling in the back of my mind. We shall have to see…
I can say though, that the decent weather has not been wasted in the slightest, although any thoughts of a standard week, whatever one of those looks like, had already changed by Monday with the continued potting up of dahlias that arrived late the week before. In addition to this, a rather large box arrived on Thursday with a ‘LIVE PLANTS!’ sticker on each side, although more of this in a moment.
Skipping back to last weekend for a moment, I did manage to squeeze in a good few hours gardening at home, trying to sort pots and move them to positions where the light suited them better. It is never an entirely successful activity in my garden, as apparently, I have too many pots, (reputedly) so it’s a bit like musical chairs.
A positive outcome was release of some shade loving plants from pots into a newly dug over border. It is a little out of the way, beside a wall, but the plants should be much happier there as opposed to sitting for another season in pots. There’s little point in showing a photo, as the plants are quite small and spread thinly, but Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’, some white comfrey (Symphytum orientale), a few spare hostas and a single shuttlecock fern (Matteucia struthiopteris), should all knit together in time, to make this otherwise unloved area a space worth noticing – if the garden wheelie bin doesn’t detract too much!
In terms of my working week, it started as mentioned with a final go at potting up the dahlias. These were all completed on Monday, which free’d up the week to move onto the core seasonal task that is mowing, and my – isn’t the grass starting to move!
As a change to the norm though, it was also a treat to get into the developing kitchen garden. It has a long way to go yet before it could classed as finished, and for many reasons it’s being kept under wraps, but take it from me, it’s going to be one stunning garden space when all is done.
By the end of play Friday we had eight raised beds prepared, which means constructed, filled with a sieved soil mix, and raked out to a level that would possibly turn Zen gardeners green with envy. Some planting has also begun, and after a few weeks of chitting, I was really happy, if a little apprehensive, to get some 1st & 2nd early, & main crop potatoes into the ground.
Now, back to the big box with ‘Live Plants’ on it. It turned out to be a box of treats, in the form of Auriculas in almost every form I could imagine. Put it this way, in Willy Wonka sweet terms, this would most definitely have been a box of Whipple-Scrumptious-Fudgemallow-Delights!
My straightforward task was to simply, if delicately, unravel them from their expert packaging – not easy with gloves on I have to say, and to pot them up into a yummy range of hand made old clay pots. It was then a real pleasure to transfer to a very fine Auricula theatre, and I’m looking forward to getting to know the plants better in the days to come. Does gardening get better than this?
In summary, and aside from watering, my horticultural hit list for Broadwell and home this week has been: Sunday – Planting a shady border with home-grown plants. Monday – Dahlia potting. Mowing. Tuesday – Weeding through tulip border. Mowing. Wednesday – (Earth Day!) Sieved lots of earth for raised beds. Mowing. Planting potatoes. Thursday – Planting potatoes. Sieving. Dahlia unpacking. Friday – Potting Auriculas. Mowing.
Flower wise, the lilac flower buds opened this week, along with the main Wisteria, and apples are flowering too. Many daffodils are now spent, with just a few clumps still performing and the tulips – just Wow! Shady areas are peppered with Germander speedwell, violets, celandine, dandelion and wild garlic flowers. Ivy-leaved toadflax, also known as Kenilworth Ivy I now discover, and the brightest of yellow wall flowers ooze from the stone walls, and most trees except the beeches are showing off their new soft fresh foliage. There are many more, but I’d be typing all day to list them all!
For now, I shall have to leave my journal there for this week… I hope you’re enjoying my words and pictures, and your gardens… Regards, Gary