Sunday, 10 July 2011

Planting weekend

Despite daily weather forecasts that we are about to get heavy rain, it hasn't materialised in this part of West Cumbria. My Grand Plan to wait until the soil had received a good soaking before I do any more planting is not going anywhere so I might as well just get on with it. There was a thought to write "A List" before I started on Saturday but the potential number of entries on it was quite depressing, instead I went outside and decided just to bimble around and see how much I had achieved by Sunday night.

8 Portuguese laurel added to the evergreen hedge at the back and looking well settled in their new homes. Yes, it will take a couple of years for them to thicken up and fill the gap but at least we've got the makings of privacy finally in the ground. Have four left over and they are now in larger tubs until ground is ready for them.

Found a couple more 'saved' yew in the nursery, dug up two from the shrubbery, plus the one I bought in Keswick and now the yew hedge between the driveway and the Potager might be finished (bar about ten years growth ...)

Common sense says you can't grow tomatoes outside in Cumbria - too cold, too wet, too windy. But I have some plants left over which will not fit in the greenhouse so what's to lose? Three Imur Prior Beta are tucked up in the plastic greenhouse in the nursery, and two Pop In and three Carlton now have what will, hopefully, be a successful and sheltered home for the summer. With the greenhouse temperature hitting nearly 100 degrees most days (despite shading and damping down the stones inside) if we get a half decent summer then the outdoor plants might actually be just as happy as those under glass. Certainly the Imur Prior Beta in the nursery look like they might be happier than those in the greenhouse.

All the raspberry canes settled into the two raised beds nearest the hedge, four 'Autumn Bliss' and four 'Octavia. If raspberries can grow in a north-facing bed then hopefully they will be happy enough here. Earlier in the year they were badly pruned in the nursery and the Octavia canes are not a good shape but as everything will be cut back to 6" before growth starts next Spring I'm not going to worry about it. Need to sort out a cage to keep out the feathered thieves but there is no hurry for that.

It's definitely "hedge weekend". Hot, sunny, not the ideal time to be planting but thankfully, due to the addition of much cow manure the soil in the front bed is still nice and moist. Perhaps the windbreak netting has been giving more protection from the sun than I realised?

A long and energy sapping day putting in 48 hawthorn whips. There were meant to be 50 (five bundles of ten) but obviously someone couldn't count properly. I ran out before I got to the end but will be able to fill this section later with others. Want to mulch them all with the remains of the cow-poo stack and then the difficult bit - must cut off at least half of the top growth.

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