Six On Saturday: How does your asparagus grow?

It has been a very cold week here with heavy frosts and snow on Thursday evening. February has arrived and plans for the year to come are gathering pace.  Seeds have been delivered and also, unexpectedly, asparagus crowns.

One

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I ordered them on the understanding that despatch would be in February for planting out in March.  They arrived a few days ago during the coldest spell of the winter.  Much as I prefer to stay in the warm at these times I did plant out 125 snowdrops on a very sleety day in February a few years ago, I have form for gardening in the winter.  This time I feel misled.  I registered my concerns with the supplier who assures me that the majority of UK asparagus can now be planted any time over winter when the ground is not frozen.  But my ground is frozen.  I am therefore advised to store them temporarily with a covering of dry sand or compost which stops them drying out completely.  This I have done.  I now have my fingers very much crossed.  Wish me luck.  The supplier will be updating their website and I could be digging trenches this weekend.

 

Two

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As February has arrived I feel it is time to show a snow drop or two.  As mentioned, I did have fun planting these!  I planted them at the base of the fruit trees in the garden.  One hundred and twenty five snowdrops do not go very far but they do take a long time to plant.  I was hoping they would naturalise and spread themselves out into the empty spaces, but it looks as though that is going to take some time and I am sure that if I count them up I would be noting some as AWOL. Having said that they do look good in the snow.

Three

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A view of one section of the soft fruit beds in the snow and more evidence of winter gardening madness.  Last weekend I decided it was time to cut back the autumn fruiting raspberries.  It was a sunny morning and I was lured outside.  I failed to factor in the wind chill – it was freezing but I pushed on.  Once the secateurs were in action it was hard not to stop and the gooseberries also got some attention.  They succumbed to a sawfly attack last year so I focused on opening up the middle of each bush.   I still have the blackcurrants to do, they are budding up already.

Four

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Whilst stowing the asparagus crowns in the greenhouse I checked in on the overwintering pelagoniums.  They seem to be looking okay.  This is the first time I’ve tried overwintering and the gardening fingers are crossed for them too.

Five

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The delightful builder was very industrious when he visited recently and used up the wood left over from facing the breeze block walls of a raised bed to spruce up the large water storage tank.  I’d always thought it was an ugly thing but it was functional.  However I had coffee with my neighbour recently and realised she had a perfect sight line from her window direct to the water tank.  It was not a pretty sight.   I am pleased the left over wood got used up and perhaps the Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ that is hiding under the snow will be more inclined to creep up the sides now.

Six

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Lastly some variegated box capped with snow.  Plain and simple.  It forms one end of a hedge line separating the garden from the veg plot.

Interesting times these, for the SOS crowd.  What is going on in their gardens or in their gardening minds?  Mr P’s site will have all the answers.  It may be February but there will be much to discover.  Share your experiences too – here’s a participant guide.

 

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Six on Saturday

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:

One

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.

Two

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.

Three 

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.

Four

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.

Five

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…

Six

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