Thursday, 19 March 2015

To Do List

LP is back, thankfully, and on ‘light duties’ although what passes for ‘light’ with him would knock me out for a week, but he is (allegedly) an adult and capable of knowing how much he should be doing.  So, forbidden by me to shift soil, he was meant to be spending yesterday and today engaged mainly in carpentry tasks.

Finish edging on front of willow bed: ✔︎

Cut some extra re-bar for raised bed hoops: 

Finish emptying the trailer and put the remaining bark chip in the greenhouse, with enough to freshen up the path by the Top Pond:  ✔︎

Fix a timber edge to divide what will be our 'wild flower meadow' from the yew hedge ✔︎

So that was Wednesday.  He returned on Thursday morning in a particularly good mood, apparently having had no physical effects from the previous day's labour.  I thought he was going to build the small beds inside our fruit cage - he had other ideas.  Some days, it is best not to argue, although I did insist on lots of breaks.  Our meadow is a step closer . . . The strip on the left will be dug once we've set out a new path down the middle.

I haven’t been completely idle this week :-}  More seeds have been sown and the First Early potatoes are in pots.  I was going to leave it another week or so but the sprouts on “Swift” were definitely ready to be in soil.  Some are in the greenhouse for the earliest meal, the rest are outside with a little cover.

I did a little shopping. Firstly, Vinca to cover this small bed.  I was looking for spring-flowering heather but there was none to be had.  The Vinca might be even better - longer flowering season, really good for bees and will still create shelter for froglets as they leave the Top Pond.

And because, once again I didn’t sow seed in autumn, some beautiful looking Foxglove.  I grew Excelsior Mixed in the Coppice a couple of years ago and it was spectacular, fingers crossed these will perform as well.

And then I went back to the nursery and bought a significant quantity of box plants. I have a mad idea to create some box hedges (whilst praying we don't get the dreaded box blight) and maybe even put some topiary shapes in whilst we're about it.  If all these plant purchases seem extravagant, they're not.  For the past few years a local nursery (that's proper growing-plants-nursery, not a garden centre) has treated me as a 'pro' and not a regular, amateur gardener, and I get all my plants at wholesale.  This amounts to about a third of the cost of going to Dobbies, or Hayes, or somewhere with a huge overhead.  The range is often limited but the plants are generally tough and well-suited to our conditions.  It also means we've been able to afford to stock the garden much faster than we otherwise could have done.


  1. Oh, you lucky girl. Sure wish some local nursery would treat me as a wholesaler, 'cause I want to buy a ton of perennials this spring. I'm waiting on a bid for a new raised bed, a water feature and lots of planting. This new climate is difficult for me to adjust to. I want things in the ground and its still a couple of weeks or more early. Nobody even has perennials near ready yet. (((sigh)))

    1. Hi Sue, very sorry to take so long to thank you for your comment. You (probably) know I'm rather occupied with trying to catch up with a year's worth of backlog!

      Can you face raising perennials from seed? Immensely rewarding and far cheaper than plants.

  2. Much progress and some new plants Jayne :-) Bet you were pleased to see LP back in action. I got excited this week, a friend bought me a Prunus Incisa which is covered in buds and looks wonderful and I know just where to put it but am going to wait until it has flowered. Don't want the rabbits to get it or be looking at it flowering through wire netting! Had some lovely sunny days this week and I managed (albeit very slowly) to barrow some of our compost round the garden. A huge compost heap from last year, wonderfully rotted down and ready to use. I have moved about 10 barrow loads over two days and was pretty much exhausted afterwards but actually feel better and almost myself again today. Raining here and due to get pretty windy so a day inside I think. I'm looking for a new climbing rose, not too rampant, disease free, long flowering season and fragrant. Any ideas??? I have Charles Rennie Mackintosh which flowers for ever with healthy foliage but it smells like TCP!!! I also have New Dawn and Zephirine Drouhin which don't particularly thrive here. Jill x PS My brother has low box hedging in his garden and it looks fantastic!

    1. Hi Jill, lovely to hear you are getting back into your garden. Have you considered Gertrude Jekyll? There is a climbing form and the scent is quite wonderful. I have one, didn't do well last year through lack of care on my part, hope I can bring it back to happiness this summer.

  3. Hi Jayne, I have two Gertrude Jekyll both grown as shrubs ,,, I use the term 'shrub' loosely as one of them is a tall straggly thing which needs support (I am thinking about pruning it hard to make it more of a bush), the other one does a bit better but neither of them are what I would call vigorous or wonderfully healthy! They are both in mole beds so maybe that's why! I have never noticed the scent being wonderful either but I suppose that could be my poor soil. The mole traps have been set for three days now but nothing so far. All evidence of them seems to have vanished! I have actually been out and bought two new ones already ,,, A Shropshire Lad to grow up a wall and Felicia to be planted in the rose garden near Fritz Nobis, Cornelia and Penelope. Also bought a 'Bistro Set' for the garden ,,, if we are to stay here then I would like it to be as I would like it to be. Lots of seating areas in the sunshine near fragrant plants. I am seriously tempted to go and get another one for further down the garden as the wooden bench that Ben made when he was at Uni is just about on it's last legs! Rain today so a cleaning up inside sort of day. x

  4. PS That should read I have actually been out and bought two new roses already!

    Happy Easter to you all xxx


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