Supermarket sweep

Another good day today, despite several sharp showers while we were working. We stocked up on yet more plants, courtesy of the supermarket in town where I do the weekly shop. They have a “garden centre” under the store canopy from around March/April until well into the autumn, and the other day I happened to glance at some of the plants on my way past and thought what good value they were. So this morning we went down there to have a closer look, and came away with: two Lithodora “Heavenly Blue”; one hebe “Heartbreaker (a new variety, apparently); a raspberry and two gooseberries, one of which is red; two hollyhocks; one cistus; two cornus (one with red stems, one with yellow); one lavatera; one lavender; one centaurea montana; and an ox-eyed daisy. For the grand total of £37. We also went to the DIY megaglobalsuperstore and bought some more gravel for the path.

So on our return, and after a cup of coffee and a discussion of the plan of action, J set about getting gravel down and generally tidying up, while I went to the front garden to remove cat poo (sigh) and start getting plants in the ground. The grasses which were in a pot and getting a bit unhappy have now gone in the ground, and I also put both Lithodora and a hollyhock at the front. So the front garden today is like this:



The tulips are mostly still good but one or two are beginning to go over. Meanwhile the teeny tiny dwarf tulips in the troughs are starting to open:



The troughs now have a few geraniums in them as well so the tulips won’t be quite so lonely.

The Lithodora “Heavenly Blue” is well named:



It’s one of my favourite plants and I always try to have some somewhere.

In the back garden, I planted the new lavender, the centaurea, the ox-eyed daisy and the second hollyhock in the bed in front of the greenhouse. Everything else has gone in the new bed at the end of the lawn. The two teeny cornus look a bit sad just now, but the plan is that I will get a few more every time I’m at the supermarket and we can have a whole row of them in front of the monkey puzzle stumps. After all, they are only £2 each.

The geraniums we bought last week have now mostly gone into troughs and pots and are standing on the flower bed by the greenhouse. I kept six back and just potted them on into plastic pots as they will go in the hanging baskets, once I get the trailing sweet peas from Mum next weekend. The trays they came in will be very handy when I need to move on the Lychnis seedlings, which are doing very well. Almost all my sweet peas have also germinated, and the lupins are just beginning to come through – I have a total of three now, so either the seeds were dodgy or they are slower to get going. I have some more left, so may start them in a week or two.

J has tidied the sheds and emptied all the rubbish out of the space between the two. Some of it is useful timber and will no doubt come in handy. He has also moved the tool chest to the bottom of the garden and gravelled almost all the way down. Last week he found some concrete slabs between the sheds, which we think was the old path in front of the greenhouse and sheds. So he has broken it up and used it as a surface in front of the compost bin.

So this is the back garden this afternoon:



A couple of shots of the bed by the greenhouse:





And the bed at the end of the lawn:



The next couple of days we are meant to have good weather, but we have other commitments and won’t be enjoying the garden. This week, though, we have been able to sit outside with our cups of tea when we get in from work, and admire how far we have come. There’s still a lot to do, and we won’t do it all this year by any means, but we’re getting there.



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