Monthly Archives: March 2018

End of month view – March 2018

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What a grey day for the end of March!

There were the odd glimmers of sunshine earlier, but sadly I didn’t manage to take my photos then, and by the time I got round to taking these, the light was very flat.

The photo above shows the Drive Bed which has a mix of inherited multi headed Narcissi (which are so top heavy they tend to collapse), seed grown Erysimum ‘Ivory Giant’ and newly planted ‘Thalia’.

Below, the Swing Bed has been cut back and nearly all of the roses pruned.  As previously, I’m concerned I’ve cut back the ramblers (outside posts, Rosa ‘Wedding Day’ on the left and ‘Snow Goose’ on the right) too hard, too late, but they’ve always bounced back, so fingers crossed!

This photo makes me think I really should add some sort of shrubby planting in these beds to keep some structure over winter, but what?IMG_3980 - Copy

There’s are a patches of  ‘Jenny’ Narcissi here, IMG_3981 - Copy

with tulips to follow.IMG_3983 - Copy

The ‘Minnow’ Narcissi are just starting to flower in the troughs and the Stocks (Matthiola Incana, at the back) are looking much more established having been transplanted as diminutive cuttings last year.IMG_3979 - Copy

In the Veg Patch I persuaded the son to do a bit of weeding and plant out the broad bean ‘Stereo’ seedlings.  I also asked him to take some photos and this is what he came up with:IMG_3969 (2) - Copy

And proof to family members who find it hard to believe he really was helping:IMG_3977 - Copy

Whilst in the Grass Bed the ‘Peeping Jenny’ Narcissi are perkily peeping at the Duver, I’m rather concerned that many of the grasses (Stipa tenuissima) are less than perky, indeed I think a number have been lost over the winter.  I’ll wait and see over the next few weeks but will then need to either replant or think again.IMG_3982 - Copy

The Mid Century Bed has been rather taken over by self seeded Euphorbia.  I think these will have to come out, but at this time of year there isn’t much else going on, so I’m leaving them for the minute.IMG_3986 - Copy

You may have noticed in the background a tree in front of the greenhouse.  This greeted me when I returned from London on Thursday.  The OH had bought it during the week from ‘some guy with a van load of plants’.  It’s an olive tree, and whilst a very handsome specimen, I have no idea where on earth it’s going to go.   Hmmm.

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Round the corner, the tin bath has taken a nasty knock from the recent weather and as well as losing the Chocolate Cosmos, and some of the Pelargoniums, I think I may have lost all the Osteospermums and Gazanias.IMG_3995 - Copy

See much happier picture from January below:IMG_3859

The eagle eyed will spot a significant absence from the picture below.  The Melianthus Major, which normally forms the backdrop for the Bronze Bed photo, has been cut right back.  The Narcissi ‘Cragford’ are as floriferous as ever, but no sign of the ‘Yazz’ which follow, and were already flowering this time last year.

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In the Oak Bed plenty of Hellebores are still flowering stronglyIMG_3998 - CopyIMG_3997 - Copy

In the greenhouse everything is almost exactly as it was a month ago.IMG_3988 - Copy

The Winter Sunshine Sweet Peas still haven’t been planted outIMG_3990 - Copy

and pretty much the only other seeds planted to date have been the ‘outside’ sweet peas. IMG_3991 - Copy

I don’t know what I’ve been up to, but I clearly haven’t been gardening.  Looking at last year’s March post makes me realise just how behind everything is.  Partly that’s the weather, but it’s also the lack of time I’ve spent out there.  And that’s not going to be helped by being away for the next three weekends.

Perhaps three weekend’s gardening can be squeezed into Easter Monday?

Wishing you all a wonderful Easter, with as much, or as little gardening as you like! IMG_3992 - Copy

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

In a vase on Monday – Spring!

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As mentioned in yesterday’s brief post, I finally got out into the garden on Sunday for an extended session.  However, my enthusiastic chopping back resulted in a few casualties so I put them on one side to add to a vase.

The first two blooms were Cerinthe, and then some rather leggy Erysimum ‘Red Jep’.  IMG_3964

Consequently, I thought initially I might make a rather strong ‘jewel’coloured vase, but I was so excited to see all the daffodils blooming that I changed tack completely and went for a much more vanilla look, with the Erysimum in particular largely lost in the mix.

To various white Hellebores I added some of my favourite ‘Jenny’ Narcissi.IMG_3960

I have no idea where the yellow pot came from, but I like the way it picks up on Jenny’s trumpets.  It could have done with some chicken wire inside to help keep things in place, but it’s all holding steady so far.

Hoping you all have a wonderful ‘springy’ week, whatever the weatherman says!IMG_3967

With thanks to Cathy who hosts all our Monday vases.

Catching up!

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It hasn’t been my best gardening/blogging year so far, not least as I failed to blog last weekend at all, and hence missed posting these unusually snowy scenes whilst still germane.

I’ve definitely struggled with the weather this year, and whilst I know the Isle of Wight has suffered less than many places, I’ve been spoilt since we moved here, and have struggled to rise to the numerous meteorological challenges posed!

Today, however, was finally different.  Not only am I exceedingly overexcited by an extra hour’s daylight (I am SO useless at getting going in the morning) but I finally got out in the garden for hours rather than minutes.  And, having worried that my gardening mojo had gone the way of spring (ie lost!) everything came together in a fabulous few hours of cathartic chopping back and rose pruning.

I found myself, more than once, doing something I used to tease my mother for – randomly smiling at garden ‘things.’  It was so lovely to be outside ‘doing’ rather inside attempting to plan, but somehow failing to do even that.

I’m terribly behind but, with a long weekend coming up, I hope all can start to be licked into shape quite quickly.

And of course, if there’s one thing I saw today, it’s that the garden is waking up perfectly well without my help.IMG_3953

In a vase on Monday – let’s hear it for the girls!

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Not a particularly girlie arrangement, but the combination of International Women’s Day last Thursday and Mothering Sunday yesterday suggested a dedication was in order!

I’m afraid they’re pretty rubbish photos as they were taken on Sunday when the light was definitely fading, but you get the idea.

The various Hellebores have really bulked up over the last couple of years to the extent that I can definitely spare some for the house, and they’re also pretty tall, so I’ve plumped for quite a large arrangement.

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Added to these are stems from a very leggy Hebe (which should really come out), and some zingy Euphorbia. 

If you look carefully you’ll see the water is very milky.  This is because I didn’t sear the Euphorbia stems, which you really should.  Nor did I sear the Hellebores (which I’ve also heard you should) but the single bloom I cut for a previous IaVoM lasted absolutely ages without searing, so let’s see how they get on.

I’m actually in London five days this week, so I won’t actually see this arrangement again until late on Saturday night.  By then I fully expect both of us to be looking exhausted!

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With thanks to Cathy for hosting all our Monday vases.

End of Month View – February 2018, and news!

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Oh dear, very late with EoMV this month and, bearing in mind these photos were all taken before the snow, it feels like such a long time ago!

I love these pots of Elka Narcissi , some of which I think are still left over from the Wedding Flowers (although I did plant more).  I love them in pots as a change from the rather ubiquitous Tete a Tete, and was interested to see them featured in an article on pots in this month’s Garden’s Illustrated – but theirs were in a very handsome lead trough rather than rather grubby terracotta!

Some rather leggy Erysimum in the drive bed, but no sign of the Narcissi here yet.

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Although this photo was taken before the snow, you can see the Osteospermums were already looking rather tatty.  So far they seem to have survived the recent chill, but are definitely now looking even more chewed around the edges.  I’m still hoping to take some cuttings so hope they can survive until I do.IMG_3908

The Hellebores are fine with the chill.

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Thankfully we moved nearly all the pots (many of which had been left outside but under the glass canopy) into the greenhouse and, even though the greenhouse isn’t heated, they seem to be ok.

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Whilst I have finally managed to clean the majority of the greenhouse glass IMG_3917

there’s been little progress with the mulching.IMG_3911

Out and about, not much to see except numerous self seeded Euphorbia characias ‘Wulfenii’ – the bulbs, not surprisingly, seem behind where they were this time last year.IMG_3923

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I finally took the chicken wire off the Grass Bed and it seems to have had the desired effect of protected the bulbs from nibbling creatures.IMG_3922

The Bronze Bed is full of ‘bulbous’ potential but the Melianthus major behind has now been clobbered by the cold and is looking very sad.  I had resolved to cut it back in the spring anyway, so no excuses now!
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And bulbs aren’t only coming up in beds – there are plenty of pots to look forward to.IMG_3913

And lastly, news.  So, what’s remarkable about this garden?HF304_170626S_IMG_09

Well, as of last Thursday, it’s ours!  After nearly ten years of me staying in other people’s houses when staying in London during the week, we’ve finally decided to buy a tiny house back in Richmond, where we moved from in 2009.  No plans to sell the house (more importantly the garden) on the Isle of Wight, but the Richmond house will provide a base for the ‘kids’ when they graduate, and for me in the week.  More importantly for the blog, however, it also provides a very blank canvas.  Wish me luck!

With thanks to Helen who hosts our EoMVs.