It’s all starting to feel like a proper garden. Things are growing, things are flowering – sometimes even the same things! Admittedly some of the things that are growing are weeds, but that will be a war of attrition, and I may have to accept that all I can do is keep them under control.
Anyway, it may be the good weather or it may just be that I’m slightly delusional, but it seems to me that there is a special intensity of colour to everything this year. Gardener’s World on Friday night was talking about rhododendrons and how intense their colours become in very acidic soils, so maybe we have something of that sort going on here. Certainly it’s the first time we’ve gardened on acid soil.
So what have we done since I last spoke to you? Well, last weekend we didn’t do a lot, but today we have made up for it. I had a few plants to go in the ground – some hellebore and pulmonaria from our friend H, and some alchemilla from my Mum, plus I thought it was time the plug plants I bought went in. I have held some of them back, plus some of the alchemilla, partly because we reached a point where we just had to stop.
The big thing I did this morning was to start getting the grass up out of the bed by the fence. The impetus for this was my phacelia seedlings. The seeds were a freebie as part of the Keep Britain Buzzing campaign, and they were meant to be sown straight into the ground but I didn’t have anywhere to put them where I could be sure they wouldn’t be mistaken for weeds as they came up. So I sowed them into trays and put them in the greenhouse, then as they germinated I moved them outside onto the rough bench on the patio where I’ve been putting things to harden off. This morning, one of the trays had been tipped off the bench and the contents spilt, whether by cats or birds I wouldn’t like to guess. So I decided to get all the phacelia in the ground, and the best way to do that was to bring the side bed into play.
As well as the phacelia, I planted a few other bits and bobs that I think will do better in the ground than in pots, including some lithrum seedlings which had self-sown in the pot with the patio rose. A couple of the alchemilla went in there too, after I had to shoo away Mrs Blackbird – she had already pulled them out of their pot. A few other things have stayed in their pots for now, but will go in the ground in the next week or so. Then we decided that as we had lots of timber stain, we would paint the fence – even though it’ll be replaced at some point soon! Still, it looks a lot better now, as you can see.
A few of the alchemilla went into the front garden, along with a couple of geum, some coreopsis and some digitalis. The front is looking colourful, with the rhododendron, the potentilla and the peony now all flowering away like mad, plus the hardy wallflower, lithodora and heuchara joining in.
Considering how much bindweed keeps appearing and trying to strangle everything, it’s all doing pretty well.
A few close-ups:
At the back, a few things such as geum, coreopsis and digitalis went in the ground, along with yet another hosta which suddenly appeared in a pot which we’d thought just contained spent compost. Over all, the back garden now looks like this:
The tomatoes are starting to set, the herbs are all doing well and I have been eating home-grown lollo rosso in my lunches for the last week. The strawberry is covered in flowers and if we’re quick we might get to eat some of the fruit this year.
Hope you are enjoying good weather!