Monthly Archives: February 2017

End of Month View – February 2017

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The Shady Bed is looking good despite the gloom.  Here is probably the largest clump of Hellebores and they’re joined by the sweetly scented Sarcococca and the constant Fatsia japonica.

Elsewhere, the main view is very gloomy (not helped by timing my photos an hour before some watery sunshine emerged).img_2116

In the troughs there are plenty of shoots, but as yet no colour.  Did I mention that I’d replaced the old Stocks at the back with new cuttings?  And whilst they don’t seem to be making much progress, the self seeded Cerinthe in the path in front is romping away…img_2120

The Swing Beds are still looking quite full but hardly flowery.  Many herbaceous plants still need a cut back, as do the roses, which are looking extremely wild and woolly.img_2121

The two Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ are still blooming well on the pergola, but definitely rather tatty on close inspection.  And I fear pruning the Rosa St Swithun growing amongst them is going to be a little challenging!

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More bulbous shoots in the Grass Bed, but as yet no blooms here either.img_2124

I’ve pruned all the roses in the Mid Century bed, but still haven’t attacked the Salvias.  In the foreground you can see some overwintered Antirrhinum which look closer to flowering than some of the bulbs!

The soil level has fallen in this bed again this year

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so lucky I’m prepared!

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On the other side of the garden in the Oak Bed the Hamamelis (H. Arnold’s Promise) is glowing against the wall.  It probably deserves rescuing from all that dead foliage!img_2133

In the Bronze Bed the Narcissi ‘Cragford’ are the furthest advanced of all my daffodils and will soon be ready to ‘pop’.

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Also ready to pop any minute, my other Hamamelis, H. Aphrobite.  Just a couple of blooms so far, but much promise and such a lovely colour.img_2135

In the greenhouse, the Winter Sunshine Sweet Peas have now been planted out,img_2128

there are seeds stirring in the damp darkness (I hope)img_2129

and on the windowsill a few perky Muscari latifolium, returned again from the Wedding Flowers of two years ago.  Step niece Hannah (whose wedding it was) is now proud mum to Hamish so, looking at the colour, I should probably have sent them over!)img_2126

And to finish, you can’t beat a jolly pot of ‘Tete a Tete’.img_2137

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting everyone’s EoMV.

Seedy spreadsheets!

Today marked the beginning of seed sowing for 2017 with nine varieties sown.

Despite being more restrained with my purchases this year, leftovers from last season mean there are still over 80 seed packets vying for my attention and consequently a spreadsheet is called for.   And, as I already spend plenty of time working with spreadsheets, it has taken a week or two to knuckle down to preparing it, but now it’s done and I’m off!img_1553

There are old favourites like Cosmos ‘Psyche White’ above, Malope trifida ‘Vulcan’IMG_8530

and Molucella laevis,

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but I’m also trying again with one I’ve always struggled with – Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’ (why can I grow all sorts of other Nicotiana but not this one?)

In addition there are some new varieties including Nasturtium ‘Jewel Cherry Rose’ which I saw growing at Sarah Raven’s when I went to her ‘Feast’ in 2014 and a new Helianthus on me, H. ‘Double Dandy’, described as ‘soft brown and crimson’.  We’ll see!

On the veg front, again some stalwarts such as Courgette ‘Romanesco’ and mini Cucumber ‘La Diva’

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but also new varieties Courgette ‘Blanca di Trieste’ and Cucumber ‘Crystal Lemon’ as well as Sweet Pepper ‘Alma Paprika’.

However, I’ve realised today that I haven’t bought any new tomato seeds and, although I have some left from last year, I think further purchases are called for.  There really is no hope!

What are you growing from seed this year?  And what wouldn’t you be without?

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – February 2017

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One solitary Tete a tete Narcissus to herald this February’s GBBD!

With the photos taken in Sunday’s gloom, it was a joy to find more yellow elsewhere from Cornus mas,img_2076

rather tatty looking Erysimum ‘Ivory Giant’img_2088

Hamamelis ‘Arnold’s Promise’img_2085

and the rather acid yellow of an Aeonium flower head.  (This latter one in the greenhouse!)

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Less yellow and more green, the emerging flower spikes of Euphorbia characias Wulfenii. The joke is that this burgeoning clump is self seeded, whereas the plant I bought and positioned carefully closer to the swing, is a complete wimp in comparison.img_2096

The following pair were featured ages ago in a Wordless Wednesday called ‘Blues Brothers’ – they are both members of the family Lamiaceae, and both flowering now Rosmarinus prostratus and Teucrium fruticans,

The pergola is still smothered in Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ but I have to admit that the recent wind and cold has made the majority of them look rather chewed.  I had to work hard to find this one!img_2098

I don’t have much white in the garden as I find it hard to mix successfully with other colours, but at this time of year there are a few exceptions – beautifully scented Sarcococca confusa,img_2093

Viburnum tinusimg_2082

and this pot of Crocus – Crocus chrysanthus Miss Vain.  These have been growing in the greenhouse so now they’re out in the open I hope they don’t get eaten.  Wouldn’t be the first time.  Grrr.img_2100

And to finish, a lovely clutch of Hellebores.

With thanks to Carol at May Dream Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBDs.  Why don’t you pop over and see what others have blooming now?

In a vase on Monday -fishing for compliments!

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Last Wednesday I received an email from Erin at Floret flowers about her imminent book launch.

And, whilst I know it will never happen, I do still hanker after a new life as an incredibly successful Flower Farmer (you know, the sort who wafts through fields of blooms on sunny days – apparently like Erin – not the sort who regularly gets up before dawn and has permanently grubby nails, I have those already).  So, I went onto a well known site I really should embargo and pre-ordered said book. Whilst there, I found myself clicking on all sorts of related tomes and another one fell into my digital basket, “The Flower Workshop” by Ariella Chezar.

It arrived on Saturday and absolutely made my morning.  After a chilly, blustery dog walk, I snuggled down with coffee and book and was in flowery heaven until the OH returned from golf and the usual chaos ensued.

Consequently I’ve been inspired to return to IaVoM, despite a paucity of blooms to pick from (and certainly not the peachiest, gorgeousist blooms my new friend Ariella had to play with).

So here it it is, a play on green and white, with a sacrifice of a few Hellebore blooms which weren’t getting their due attention in the garden.  The Hellebores are supported by new Cerinthe major purpurescens growth, similar hued Euphorbia myrsinites and then bulked out with Viburnum tinus.img_2108

I was trying to do one of those ‘sweeps’ from high right to low left, but not sure I exactly achieved that.

Ariella is a big fan of the ‘compote’ – what she calls a footed wide vase.  I do have one of those but was lacking either chicken wire or a ‘frog’ and floral putty, so I made do with my lovely sister-bought Orla Keily vase, but I think it made ‘sweeping’ a little trickier.

And why the title?  Well, look what also got placed in the hall this week:img_2111

With thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who hosts this lovely meme.