Six on Saturday

Despite the showery weather, the temperatures are encouraging the garden to get up and go. Everywhere I look, things are gathering pace and I need to keep up! As usual, the weeds are growing even faster than the cultivated plants so that is my main priority at the moment. However, it’s nice look at pretty things too, like this Chionodoxa luciliae ‘Pink Giant’ even though the bittercress in the background annoys me!

I am never quite sure whether this is a pink Primrose, Primula or Polyanthus. It comes back every year and is spreading to different parts of the garden, presumably by seed, but I am happy to let it be. It is a cheerful little thing.

Millium effusum ‘Aureum’ or Bowles’s Golden Grass is something I spotted in a large manor house garden a few years ago and bought a small pot for £2. It was said to brighten up dark corners and is an unfussy plant which “gently spreads about”. In fact, it grows anywhere, spreads like mad and is becoming a nuisance! In late summer the waving seed heads are very attractive above the golden leaves but don’t be fooled, it is just looking for its next target. Every bed and border now has its own clump which will soon become a forest so be warned!

The Delphiniums are relishing the damp conditions and the 3″ of mulch I packed round them a few weeks ago. I got on top of the slugs and snails by applying ferric phosphate on Valentine’s Day (so romantic!) and they are untouched. Time to get the supports in place!

I think I might have overdone the Cosmos! Friends and neighbours will take a few but that still leaves far too many. However, the leftover mixed dahlia seeds are doing well and are ready to be pricked out today. I love a nice surprise!

The Sweet Peas will also get planted out today, but in the garden. I follow the old mantra of ‘sow when the clocks go back, plant out when the clocks go forward’, so today is the day! By sowing in October, pinching them out in January and overwintering them in a cold greenhouse, I get stocky plants with at least two side shoots and a healthy root system to give them a good start. They go into heavily composted soil with some chicken pellets and bone meal which I find produces good results.

That’s it for my Six. Have a great weekend


7 thoughts on “Six on Saturday

  1. I gave up on delphiniums because of the slugs, so it would be interesting to know if the ferric phosphate continues to act as a control over the season please.

    • Hi Ian. I can assure you that once the Delphs get going, slugs and snails are no longer a problem. It is when the new shoots are emerging that they get munched which is why you have to get the ferric phosphate pellets down early, ideally on 14th Feb, an easy date to remember! This attracts and kills the overwintering slugs which in turn drastically reduces the first batch of new slug eggs which slows down the rate of reproduction. I use Growing Success ferric phosphate which are termed ‘organic’ and doesn’t seem to have any effect on my blackbird population!

  2. I always think of primroses as the yellow flowers and the coloured ones as primulas, while the large garish blowsy ones from the garden centre are polyanthus – but there is no science behind it.
    How lovely to see chionodoxa in flower. I bought some purple ones and put the bulbs in a pot with narcissi, iris reticulata, mixed crocus, and a couple of cyclamen, but there is no sign of them yet.

  3. Pricking out seedlings require quiet and calm and a steady hand, and to think they will grow into large plants in a matter of a couple of months or so: magic.

  4. What a lovely selection of plants. You have lucky neighbors to benefit from your over planting! I hadn’t realized that slugs like delphiniums as they start to grow. I haven’t seen any damage on mine (first year not in pots), but I must double check on them!

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