There is so much gloom around at the moment, I need the garden to pick me up. It is trying very hard, many things are on the edge of flowering, the perennials are forcing their way up through the mulch and the birds are singing. I have much to do so the mojo just has to get going. This was how I started out yesterday but an energising night out in Shoreditch – yes I know, too old for all that really! – has got me going again. The potatoes are chitted and ready to go. This is the number one job for the weekend. If I do nothing else, this will be done! Here’s what is happening in the garden without my help.
The Thalia are just opening out on the south side. Those in the north facing border are about a week behind.
The fritillaries have joined the throng. I did mean to plant more of these but I had such fun trying to squeeze in extra tulips that I just didn’t get round to it. On to the list that goes.
My primrose border is filling out very nicely and I planted some anemone blanda ‘white splendour’ in amongst them. Just at the bottom right are the shoots of some white phlox warming up for later in the year.
The onions started off in modules are going in the ground this weekend. The red ones have been slower to get going. Not sure why! They have been coming in and out of the greenhouse all week so should be well acclimatised. There are a few self sown cornflowers making themselves at home in the space allocated for onions. It seems a shame to move them on. Maybe they can grow companionably side by side?
Pulmonaria ‘Sissinghurst White’. I have nurtured this plant for three years. It wasn’t doing very well in the first planting spot and so last year I moved it to a slightly shadier space. It is still very small but I think I have to give more time in it’s new home before I uproot it again.
The north border of the garden is the focus of attention this year. There are two choisyas there which I have left alone until now, but the time for action has arrived. One of them is poorly. One side is yellowing whilst the other looks green and glossy. The plant has been hacked about in the past, with evidence of limbs having been cut off. As there is a very happy choisya not too far away I am not too sorry to say that this one is getting it’s marching orders. I could just cut off the yellow side and see what happens but no, decision made. Out with the old and in with something new.
I’ve also managed to throw out the new block editor and go back to the old classic editor. Yipee! More reasons to be cheerful. I hope you are feeling cheerful in your garden this weekend. Don’t forget to see what fellow sixers are up to, go to The Propagator for all the links.
Life became busy last week and the balance tipped away from things gardening focused. These times come along and all will pass – soon I hope! It was good to feel the warmth of the sun again but the sunny days were followed by cold nights and the greenhouse temperatures were down to -1. The garden is straining at the leash, the March surge is coming and I still have winter jobs to do.
The grapevine over the pergola must be pruned this weekend. It’s a job I normally do in November. What was I doing then? Or in December or January?
The tulips and bluebells are coming through well. I spotted this bulb strangely lying on the surface. I bent to pick it up, cursing squirrels, but no. It was well rooted into the ground. I don’t have an explanation. Could it be an allium bulb that didn’t get planted deeply enough and has wriggled its way upwards? I decided to bury it rather than dig it up and plant it deeper as I didn’t have the time to sort it out. Maybe a job for the weekend.
The onion sets are in their modules in the greenhouse. I am hoping to have the time to plant the shallots out this weekend. That ‘to do’ list is getting longer.
The garden doesn’t have a single crocus or iris reticulata in it, something to be rectified in the next bulb buying session but the primroses look cheerful enough for now.
And the first flowers of pulmonaria officinalis planted in a north facing border are coming out. It’s also good to see their spotted leaves. The common pulmonaria doesn’t seem to fall prey to attack by slugs.
The lovely leaves of aquilegia are unfurling.
I have some final preparation of a bed on the north facing border to finish off ready for the March plant out. Plants have to be ordered and I know I will be tempted to add in a few extras for elsewhere in the garden. I’m getting ready but need to be steady for a while longer before it’s all go in March.
I hope your garden preparations are going well. Mr P is, as usual, hosting this group and all the links to gardens around the world can be found on his site.
The season is clearly changing but the garden seems to be in a state of confusion. Here are six things from my garden this week.
Natasha Richardson rose, one of the English roses that just keep on flowering. Lovely pink flowers and new buds still appearing. It could be summer!
Penstemon ‘Plum Jerkum’. This suffered in the scorching sun of summer but it is happily putting out new flowers now. It was a great companion to the Tithonia, which truly does know summer is over and is slowly curling up at the edges.
There are one or two last flowers on the rudbeckia but most have gone to seed. I will leave them standing through the winter to give some shape to the border.
The agastache ‘Black Adder’ is also in its winter clothing. This was an absolute winner this year. Great colour and always thrumming with the sound of bees.
Elsewhere in the garden there are signs of Spring. The primroses are out and offering a reminder that the slugs and snails are still active.
At the very back of the garden in a shady sheltered corner the hellebores are putting out new flowers. I am sure these didn’t appear last year until January. This one is Pretty Ellen.
I’ve got bulb planting to do this weekend. The start I made last weekend resulted in only 18 bulbs being planted. As usual I was distracted. The dahlias needed cutting back, zinnias were pulled up and some of the foxglove seedlings were planted out. This weekend I will be trying to put a few tulips in the border without crashing in on those that are already there. Could be interesting. Wishing you all well with your gardening pleasures. If you want to see what everyone else is up to visit The Propagator for all the latest links to other Six On Saturday posts.