End of Month View – January 2017


A grey old day for January’s EoMV, which is a shame, as Saturday was beautiful – but then I was far too busy digging to take photos!

Over the last two weekends I’ve finally got out in the garden after an absence of at least a month.  However, in many ways, the work has seen me going backwards to go forwards.  The final bulbs, Allium sphaerocephalon were bought for the two Lavender Beds, but as both were full of Convolvulus, Couch Grass and generally past-their-best plants, a big dig was called for before I could plant them.  Happily the digging was dug and, although you can’t see them, the bulbs are in.img_2042


The good news is that there are now large new areas of bed to ‘play’ in, but that requires thought and planning, both of which take time, so no firm plans as yet.

One thing I have mentioned before is the desire to move the Acacia baileyana purpurea from the Mid Century bed and I’d like its new location to be in the left hand Lavender Bed, in the centre of this photo (in front of the Choisya, which I think I’ll remove).


The problem is, when to do the deed?  Now would seem a sensible time to move many plants, but the Acacia is on the cusp of bursting into bloom for the first time, so now doesn’t seem exactly conducive.  Thoughts?img_2052

Further round the garden, more bare earth tells of more activity – I finally pulled the old, very leggy Matthiola incana (Stocks) out of the troughs and replaced them with these cuttings taken from the ‘mother’.  These have been in pots for a while, so I’m not sure how long they’ll take to find their feet.  They look pretty pathetic at the moment!img_2045

The two Swing Beds are still quite green but everything needs a good cut back and tidy up. I’ve read it’s better to wait to do this until the temperature picks up as the old growth protects the newer shoots, particularly on tender plants such as Salvias and Penstemons.  Well, that’s my excuse.img_2048


In the Grass Bed, more bare earth after a big clear out last year.  This is a bit of a shame as I’ve previously had masses of Forget me knots here and I’ll miss them.  img_2050

I’m trying to move various clumps in from other areas where they’re not wanted, but I still don’t think I’ll achieve the lovely froth of last year:IMG_0293

I had a tidy up of the Herb Bed yesterday and whilst most are looking understandably tired, the Sorrel is looking fresher and more productive than ever.  Any recipe suggestions?img_2054

The Shady Bed is exhibiting a good showing of glossy foliage.  I’ve never noticed before how the Fatsia japonica leaves echo the Hellebores.  To the left of the Hellebores the Sarcococca is flowering, picking up the white of the Hellebore to the right.  Shame the fern in the middle is so chewed!img_2058

At the Western end of the garden, in the shady Oak Bed there is the merest hint of bloom in the Witch Hazel (Hamamelis ‘Arnold’s Promise’), and some more Hellebores,img_2062


whereas at the end of the Bronze Bed a far more exotic scene of flowering Aeoniums in front of luxuriant Melianthus major foliage.


Meanwhile in the greenhouse, plenty of bulbs in pots to look forward toimg_2055

and this.  Finally, an empty bulb box!img_2056

And to finish, my Rosemarinus prostratus.  I mentioned in GBBD how it wasn’t very ‘prostratus’, time to eat my words!img_2067

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts EoMV.

11 thoughts on “End of Month View – January 2017

  1. Steve

    Nice trip around your garden. I am very envious of your greenhouse. Despite having a quite large garden I only have a small greenhouse and even that is not ideally placed. Currently full of ostospernum cuttings and about fifty pots with dahlia tubers in compost which will start shooting soon. There will be no floor space when this year’s seeds need potting on!

    1. Cathy

      Oh that empty box is a real joy to see – it always feels such an achievement, doesn’t it? 🙂 It has been interesting to read about your thought processes in this post and of course it is a good time to take stock – it is hard to believe that in a couple of months there will be greenery and blooms all around, isn’t it?

    2. Cathy

      Have you kept your tubers in pots of compost all winter, Steve? I very nearly did that myself but decided not to in the end – do tell me more about your method. please…

      1. Steve

        Lift the tubers at the first frost, then leave them in the garage upside down to drain out any liquid. Then around December January I put them in plant pots with potting compost. Then towards the end of February I start to water them. Normally nearly all will start growing again and be ready to plant out after the frosts finish. Hope that helps

      2. Cathy

        Thanks Steve – that’s really useful and has given me the confidence to pot them up much earlier. Hopefully they will then flower earlier than they did last year. Just need to sort out where to put them in the greenhouse, although presumably they don’t necessarily need any light until you begin watering them? Thanks again

  2. Sam

    I’d wait until Oct to move the acacia (when the soil is still warm). If you move it now it might not thrive, but I guess the best time is when you have time to do it! Your garden is looking much more ‘together’ than mine (which has a definite air of neglect at the moment). Thanks for the reminder about alliums – I have a bag of bulbs hanging in the shed that I didn’t get round to planting last year. Hopefully they’ll have escaped the mice…

  3. Helen Johnstone

    I’m a bit more gung-ho than Sam. I would move the Acacia now even in bud. I moved my witch hazel in bud in November and it is flowering fine. It’s best to move it either in spring or autumn so it benefits from cooler weather and rain. As long as you feed and water it all should be well but that’s just my view

  4. Jim Stephens

    I think that if you are going to successfully move the acacia you will need to keep a reasonable sized rootball intact around its roots, which wont be easy because I don’t think they produce a very fibrous root system. It won’t much matter when you do it, I’d favour March or thereabouts.

  5. Christina

    Your Melianthus is looking in a much better state than mine! I grew mine from seed last year so they were quite small and didn’t enjoy the icy winds. Always nice to have a patch of bare soil to play with.


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