This morning it was sunny and warm (well, warm in the sunshine, at least!) and I didn’t have any other plans, so I decided to spend a couple of hours doing the things I’ve been trying to find time for since last month. Mainly starting the annual assault on the sycamore seedlings, along with deadheading daffodils and generally seeing where we are and what we need to do this year.
The good news is that lots of things are emerging, putting on new growth, flowering and so on. We have lots of tulips in pots, and even a few in the ground (mostly at the front), and the spiraea, dicentra and hellebores are continuing to look lovely. We have some gaps, especially in the back garden – as ever, under the lime tree at the bottom of the garden continues to be a problem, and we also have a big gap in the bed next to the greenhouse. At the front, by contrast, things have almost done too well and we are thinking about some serious hacking back. The photinias are both huge and the rhododendron is out of control again, and needs attention. We are also (I may have mentioned this before) going to get rid of the ceanothus. It was tiny when we put it in and now it dominates the garden. While the flowers are pretty and beautifully scented, they are only there for a few weeks each year and the rest of the time it’s almost as much of a black hole as the monkey puzzle tree that preceded it.
Lots of tulips:
So a big change for the front garden. At the back we are planning some “stepping stones” and possibly an extension of gravel path through the bed by the greenhouse. The dry shade under the lime tree requires a bit more thought. It’s where the lavatera was, but that succumbed in the autumn. I’m not sure I want another lavatera, but I’m also not sure what I do want. On the plus side we have lots of self-seeded foxgloves in that bed now, though.
Yesterday I took Mum to a local nursery – Cramden, they specialise in geraniums and pelargoniums and also have a lot of heuchera and penstemons – and we each bought a few plants. I bought two heuchera and two geraniums; the heuchera will go in pots with rat burials while the geraniums will (I hope) start to fill some of our gaps. I also bought four pelargonium plug plants to go in the troughs at the front once they’ve grown on a bit. This year I’ve gone for a red flower with variegated leaves, which I hope will look good with the cineraria, and the artemisia “Oriental Limelight”.
And I haven’t even thought about starting veg and potatoes yet. Oh well – onwards and upwards!