Six on Saturday

Finally, some good weather! It may only be a brief respite and I am not counting any chickens, but I had a really productive few days in the garden this week. It was positively warm in the sunshine and no wind chill to spoil things, so I started clearing, weeding, cutting back, propping up and making plans. Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ as reliable as ever and multiplying well in the leafy border under the Silver Birches.

February is my ‘weed, feed, mulch’ month and I took delivery of 1500 litres of composted fine bark/mushroom compost from my local nursery. That should keep me busy for a few days!

Although I compost as much as I can, I never produce enough of my own mulch to do the whole garden which is why I always have to buy some in. However, the good stuff I make is going on the roses this weekend after a dressing of Toprose.

Talking of roses, only a few short weeks after pruning, new buds are shooting away promising a wonderful display in June.

The Hemerocallis cultivars are totally unfazed by cold, wind and rain; in fact they seem to revel in all weather conditions. They are one of the most bombproof plants in any garden, almost thriving on neglect. Just a handful of granular fertiliser about now, a good mulch with compost and that’s it for the year.

It looks like I am going to lose the top growth on my dark leaved Pittosporum tenuifolium after it was hit by the severe December snow and bitterly cold temperatures. It is a coastal plant in its native New Zealand and is slightly tender in the UK. However, I will cut it back and I am confident it will regrow from the lower branches.

Had to finish with a double flowered snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’ which I have popping up all over the garden. Always brings a smile to my face and cheers me up!

Have a great weekend


Six on Saturday

Rain at last! After several unexpected dry weeks since mid December, we finally got some much needed rain yesterday. Neighbours had been cutting their grass, I had been watering my pots and birds were relying on my bird bath for water. Strange times! Mind you, Iris ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ loved it and has put on a great display which will be brief but much admired.

The Snowdrops I split and replanted last year under the Himalayan Birches have finally appeared, but look a bit lost at the moment. It will be a few years before they colonise the whole area, but one thing us gardeners have in spades is patience!

Cyclamen coum fighting it’s way up through 6″ of bark mulch! The Anemone blanda will be next followed by the narcissus. A gardening ‘guru’ friend told me last week that if I dig around in the bark mulch I will find threads of mycorrhizal fungi which everything else relies on. Not sure if I want to disturb things at the moment but it would be interesting to see. Maybe just a sneaky peek!

My winter pots are finally beginning to show some colour instead of a palette of green. The bulbs are coming up through the pansies and polyanthus so it should be a good show in a few weeks time.

Snowdrops are tough customers. This is my neighbour’s drive which was resurfaced last year. A bit of tarmac won’t stop them!

Sweet Peas pinched out and waiting for warmer weather and longer days. Not all for me though! I now find myself growing them for friends and family. “Well, you’ve got a greenhouse” they say!

I have spent a happy 20 minutes watching Robins and Blue Tits gathering nesting material and going back and forth to my boxes. Far to early for my liking! Seems like everything is a month early this year.

Have a great weekend