Six On Saturday: Last of the winter jobs, moving into spring

A cold week with several foggy mornings ended with some welcome warmth.  The sunshine lifts the human spirit and that of the plants.  The last of the winter cut back needs to be done, excepting the penstemons which I will leave until April.  I did cut the grapevine back last week, just in time.  The tomato seeds did not get sown.  This first sowing is destined for the greenhouse and I must get them done this weekend.  Sowing for plants to be grown outside can be left for a little longer.  While reading the comments on Jim Steven’s SOS for last week I came across his link to a blog by The Laid Back Gardener and found my way to  Goldilocks and the three seedlings which is a great story about sowing tomato seeds.  I recommend it and hope that this year I’ve got my sowing just right.

Here’s my six for the week:

One

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The first sowing of sweet peas have germinated.  ‘Midnight Blue’ with a 56% success rate and ‘April in Paris’ achieving 94%.  There may be a few laggards to come through for ‘Midnight Blue’ but they’ll have to get a move on as this weekend they will go out into the cooler potting shed.

Two

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Mr P who hosts this blog, and does us all a wonderful service, is a great grower of plants from seeds.  His latest success is lupins and I am much put to shame by his efforts.  By coincidence this week I received three small pots of lupins for planting out.  This is my first foray into lupins, previously not one of my favourites but  I was tempted by a twitter post of ‘The Pages’ and decided to order a few.  The colour is carmine red – let’s see what they look like in a few months time.  Of course, they will have to survive slug attacks first.

Three

IMG_3304Speaking of twitter, I have already shared my labours of last weekend there but I am happy to share the success with you all here.  The compost bins were finally built.  The bins are a slot-in build and took hardly anytime at all.  I will have to tidy up the front surface which will require nice words to delightful builder again!  In the meantime I have some compost heap turning to do.

Four

IMG_3325The deciduous shrubs are beginning to leaf up.  I love the fresh green colours.  This is my mystery shrub in the front garden.  It has black berries over the winter but unfortunately I can’t remember the flower type.  I’ll watch it carefully this year and see if I can identify it.

Five

img_3323.jpgThese hyacinths were going to be my forced hyacinths for Christmas but when they were brought into the warm they came with a plague of flies and were banished to the garden.  It’s good to see them in flower now.

 

Six

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This is my long border.  The plants left standing over winter for their seed heads will be cut down now.  I’m going to post a photo each month taken from the same spot to record the wonderful transformation that takes place over the summer months.  It’s all very gloomy today as this was another foggy morning but there is much potential!

If you’d like to join the SOS band of gardeners that go immediately to the participant guide on Mr P’s site.  SOS is a mix of the pottering gardener like myself, the adventurous like Mr Propagator and many more lovely people all willing to share their experience and knowledge.  Take the plunge!

 

 

 

 

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28 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Last of the winter jobs, moving into spring

  1. Good luck with the lupins. Mine are having to fend for themselves now after two years of pampering from seed and not a single flower. Lovely hyacinths. The new compost bins look very impressive.

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  2. I love your new compost bins. I got addicted to hot composting over Winter, inspired by Prop, but you need a lot of stuff to start with and the ability to turn it every three days or so. Hard work. Thanks for the book, I have started it and am enjoying it.

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    • I am a slow composter. I probably turn the heap three or four times a year! I had to move the compost out of the old collapsing bins into builders bags while the job was being done so they got an extra turn. Now I need to turn it back into the bins which I shall do over many days!!

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  3. Beautiful compost containers! I would say I am jealous but since I am the proud owner of one of Mr Propagator’s originals, I am myself the envy of many other gardeners. I don’t think I have featured that container for a couple of weeks!
    What a good idea to take a monthly photo. Looking forward to the next one already!

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    • I didn’t have a choice as the hard surface was already there. I think preference is to have it on soft surface to get interaction with soil. But it’s also recommended to have the posts on a hard surface to slow down rotting. I always put in a layer of rotted down compost full of worms before I start a new heap to give me all the soil enzymes. I also put extra tiles under the post feet. I started the sweet peas off in the house, hope yours go well.

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  4. Good idea for the monthly photo, this border was chosen for a good reason. I can’t wait to see the evolution.
    Gorgeous hyacinths and “April in Paris” is the best because it’s a good month to visit .. Paris … Joke aside, your sweet peas look good and I’m waiting for mine.

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  5. Wow look at those compost bins! Beautiful and functional. Mine are distinctly functional. Look forward to seeing your border develop. I like the path down the middle, I am always struggling for somewhere to put my feet when working in my wider borders.

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  6. I am a fan of monthly photos of the garden – I did this a couple of years ago in mine to record the changes, useful to look at to see the gaps in different seasons and also to compare with in different years. Not always the most attractive photos though! I am intrigued to see how your long border progresses through the year.

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