Springing back to the Garden

I have been doing a lot of work in the garden to get it ready for the Spring and Summer.

I spring cleaned the greenhouse – the little toad I saw in the autumn in there was still alive and kicking! I shall let him eat any slugs that dare to go in there! 

I bought all the dahlias out of hibernation and planted them all in pots and watered them and put them in my cold frame until the frosts have finished. 

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I bought the agapanthus out of the garage where they had been sleeping over winter and  watered them. The white ones have started sprouting new leaves already. One of the blue ones bust out of its pot so, as I hadn’t got a large enough pot to re pot it I decided to split it in 2. Not as easy as it sounds. I was laughing to myself as I got the saw to it, I must have looked fairly comical. It nearly beat me but I finally managed to cut it into 2 and pot up into 2 pots. I am going to give one to lovely sister Angie for her new garden. 

The compost that had been keeping the dahlias snug I spread over the garden as a mulch,

I showed some vegetable seeds  – they are getting started in the office over the radiator and then I will transfer to the greenhouse. 

  • Chillis
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce 
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Coriander

 

3C17945E-894E-48B1-BB39-14DE1390460AI pulled out loads of oxygenator plants from the pond. I have the balance right now and the water is clear but I there is just too much in there. I left the excess on the side of the pond overnight to let any wildlife return to the water, before putting the rest on the compost.D5E867DB-8374-4F56-90CC-F9909B02FA33

I sowed some flower seeds too:

They should all be ok in the cold greenhouse, I think!

  • Love in a mist
  • Rudbeckia
  • Zinnia
  • Cosmos

The vegetable plot is looking a bit sad. The only thing in there is some garlic.

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We have started to chit the potatoes and will be planting them in sacks as we did last year, very successfully.

I have ordered some aubergine and sweet pepper plants as I haven’t been very successful growing them from seed.

The woodland garden has come to life but I need to do some tidying. We have the path and fences and new compost heaps to do.

At this time of the year it’s all go!

Growing Paperwhite Narcissus in water

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At this time of year, there are not many flowers left in the garden to bring in the house,  so I like to plant these bulbs to provide us with some floral scent and cheerfulness during the dark and damp days. 

You need to make sure you buy the narcissus bulbs for in the house – the packaging will tell you this. I bought 12 bulbs for  £8 

Find a nice glass bowl  – I got mine from Home Sense a few years ago. I use it for displaying christmassy things like citrus fruits, snow scenes etc

Fill the bottom of the bowl – about half full – with clean gravel or pebbles, large or small

Lay the bulbs on the top in a circular pattern with the pointed part facing upwards.

Add enough water so that the bottom of the bulb is just above the water.The roots will draw the water up they need. 

Put the bowl it into a cool room. Add water when the levels go down 

Stand back and admire your work and wait for a gorgeous fragrant display – it will take about 4-6 weeks for the flowers to open, depending on the warmth and light of the room. 

Planting Spring Bulbs

F8A0D3E0-8A9C-4B9E-82FA-637DFFDB520AI like to plant spring bulbs every autumn, some in the garden and some in pots. Once planted they provide me with a start of a vision for  the next gardening year. I visualise them sprouting up and making me happy when they bloom. 

This year I am planting a white one called Tulip Francoise in pots for the court yard garden outside our office and Tulip National Velvet, a glossy red one, for outside the lounge french doors.

I will also be planting bluebells, snow drops, yellow winter aconites and yellow tulip sylvestris  in our new woodland garden. Although I have bought  a couple of hundred bluebells and snowdrops, it won’t nearly be enough.  I plan to buy extra in the Spring ‘in the green’ and so quicken the naturalising effect. I know it will take several years before my vision of the woodland garden comes true, but it excites me thinking about how it will look in the future.

The Woodland Garden

In front of our streeet of houses is a piece of land which is referred to as ‘The Spinney” . It is mostly trees hence the name.  Unfortunately it also had loads of ivy, masses of brambles, a very tall dead tree living there plus at least 10 old christmas tree stumps, We dumped them in there because they were too large to fit in the car and take to the recycling centre. Just lazy!

Since we moved here in 2005 the land has mostly been used as a dumping ground for said xmas trees, hedge trimmings, logs, bags of leaves, a compost heap and other garden rubbish. Also, as we have now found out, every type of plastic sweet wrapper and soft drinks bottles you can imagine which have been chucked out of the cars passing by the road. To be honest it was in a sad state. Then, inspired by what one of the neighbours had done and loads of pictures on Pinterest, I came up with the bright idea of clearing it and making into a beautiful woodland garden. I sowed the seed with Mark some time ago to which he gave me the look! The ‘look’ means – ‘oh no not another of your big ideas which means work for me’ Yes!

Well I finally persuaded him it was a good idea so we set to work clearing the area of the debris and those damn xmas trees. Three skips,  a hired digger, a chain saw near miss and lots of sweating and swearing, we have now cleared it and levelled it and its almost ready to start making the path and planting the bluebells and snowdrops. Phase 2 starts next week.

 

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