Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Steady on, this looks dangerously like REAL gardening

The amazing weather continues:  wall-to-wall sunshine, unseasonably warm and an extra hour in the evening now the clocks have changed.  It's amazing but it won't last and not surprisingly, I am very tired but the forecast next week is for cloud and drizzle so I can have a rest then!

The Potager was pretty much abandoned last year and needs a major clear up.  Overwintered strawberry plants have been dug up from one bed - nearly 40 so far and I haven't started on the runners in one of the main beds.  Who needs so many strawberries?  We certainly don't but I have A Plan for all the extras . . .  Another pair of saw-horses and an unusually shaped pallet has made a brilliant outdoor potting bench which is lovely to work at.  Good job it's nice being there because I had forgotten how long it takes to pot up new plants.

Another Potager bed has been 'temporary' home for a couple of hawthorns and a hazel for far too long.  So long that they are now firmly rooted in and I can't get them out by myself.  So long that one of them appears to have set seed and we had a bed full of ....    That's the trouble, we don't know what we had a bed full of.  The emerging leaves are not hawthorn, and last autumn the leaves didn't look much like those on the hazel either.  Whatever they turn out to be I'm sure we will find a use for them but normally when I grow plants I know what they are!

Nearly 30 plants have been potted up and will live in the nursery until we've worked out what the heck I've got.  Another one of those moments when I forgot how long it takes to pot up things. The nursery benches are full and I'm trying not to think about just how much work it is going to be to plant all of this properly, especially remembering that there are hundreds of snowdrops in pots in the potager waiting their turn as well.

It's not all work and no play at Bag End.  Popped down to Bennetts to look for heather which we want to front the hornbeam hedge on the drive.  They won't have what I want until next week but I couldn't leave behind some gorgeous Dicentra spectabilis together with lovely native Cowslips, Primula veris.  Botanists have now decided the Dicentra is Lamprocapnos spectabilis; I'm sure to most people it will always be Dutchman's Breeches or Bleeding Heart.

Much clearing up of the area next to the log store which had become a dumping ground for odd bits of wood.  It took flippin' ages to cut it all into wood-burner sized bits but it's done now and looking much tidier.  It constantly surprises me how long things take in this garden.  It constantly surprises Management that I underestimate just how big this place is :}  Even so, I wish we had another half acre ....

There was a reason for wanting to get this area clear (apart from horticultural OCD).  I want the contents of the big compost bin that's behind the log store and it is a pain-in-the-thingies to get the wheelbarrow around to it.  As our long-term plan is to move all the bins to more convenient locations, why not start with this one.  I think a rather staid and boring neighbour was a bit taken aback to see me cutting into the back of this bin on Tuesday afternoon with a chainsaw.  Hell, how else was I supposed to do it?

The contents of the bin, whilst not 100% rotted, are wonderful.  What was not wonderful was deciding to move some of it to the Coppice when I was tired and should have stopped.  As soon as I had filled Miss Daisy with petrol I knew I'd picked up the wrong can.  An irriating hour later I had drained out all the fuel with oil additive (prepared for the chainsaw), flushed her out twice and started again.  As I didn't start the engine with the wrong fuel in the tank no damage has been done and Miss Daisy didn't even blow oily smoke all over the place when we did begin work.  Stupid Hobbit won't be doing THAT again in a hurry :{  


  1. Beautiful cowslips, a little too dry for them here. Hope Miss Daisy has forgiven you for feeding her the wrong fuel. Bet you can't wait to get on with all that planting, I've just put in a Euonymous Alatus Compactus (birthday present), a few new ferns and a Carex Testacea ,,, still getting excited by gorgeous grasses. Getting very dry here, especially after the week we've had. Your compost looked nice and moist. Your garden will be fabulous with all the goodness you are heaping on it. Everything struggles a bit here despite my best effort!

  2. Hi Jill, Miss Daisy is fine, but thanks you for your concern! Looking forward to a huge planting session which will start as soon as I have 'planted' half a ton of stones around the edge of the top pond :}

  3. We have cowslips too which I hope will cross pollinate with the primroses. So now I don't have dicentra which was easy to pronounce but Lamprocapnos which isn't!

    1. Sue, did you watch GW on Friday, there was something about cowslip/primrose crosses.

    2. Yes I did - we had a TV in the cottage! I never knew the bit about thrum eyed and pin eyed flowers! Monty Don had some cross bred plants in his garden didn't he? I'm not sure ours will flower together though as the primroses seem to come before the cowslips!

    3. I didn't know about thrum eye and pin eye either, I shall have to go and have a close look at the ones in the nursery :}


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