Thursday, 27 February 2014

End of month view: February 2014

It's amazing what a difference 28 days makes in the garden. Since the end of January the amount of light coming into the garden has doubled, and the middle veg bed is now getting full light during part of the day.

More sun in the kitchen garden

The height of the sun in the sky increases daily and with it the light that the garden receives. This is good for the veggies, and the broad beans and garlic are very happy.

Cat-Merlyn posing with the broad beans, plus garlic sticking it's leaves up

I thought it was time to dig out the old mini greenhouse and put it together as I'm starting to sow seeds. Sadly, the new cover I got for it was the wrong size. Well, not so much the wrong size as the fact that manufacturers have changed the sizing of recent frames, making them smaller, and meaning I cannot purchase a cover the right size to replace it. Very frustrating! I have considered trying to make one bespoke, but have instead decided to buy a completely new mini greenhouse. When it comes to gardening and having ME, I have to carefully decide where to put my limited energy, and I'd rather put it into growing plants than trying to make a (not very easy to make) bespoke plastic cover.

Hedera colchica 'sulphur heart',
plus snowdrops and pulmonaria planted under the damson tree

I haven't done a lot of planting this month as it rained for much of the month until the last 10 days, though not as bad here as down South. The ground was sodden so not great for planting into. In the last week it's been better and I finally planted my ivy Hedera colchica 'sulphur heart'. This is a lovely variegated evergreen climber, and my hope is that it will not only start covering the fence, but also give more interest and colour to this dimmer corner of the garden. I added some snowdrops under the Damson tree that I picked up at Hodsock Priory, Galanthus Ikariae and Galanthus S. Arnott

The other changes since the end of January are growth! Such as the Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin', also growing up the fence. 

Lots of new growth on the young Solanum

It was with great joy that my Galanthus Bagpuize Virginia suddenly popped up. I wasn't sure they would come up as I dug them up before we left Oxford last March, and they sat in a pot for most of the year, leaves died back, until I finally planted them in the Strawberry Border last November. My lesson from this is that maybe you don't really have to plant snowdrops 'in the green' as is the usual horticultural advice. Or maybe I got lucky?!


Galanthus Bagpuize Virginia in the Strawberry border

Strawberry border with 7 Galanthus Bagpuize Virginia

My first daffodil has flowered, only in the last day, along with Crocus snow bunting.


I pruned back the perennials and Rosa Seagull (growing up the arch) and tidied the herbs in the Herb Border.

Herb Border

And I have this Hellebore, Blue Lady, to plant in the middle of the obelisk.

Helleborus 'Blue Lady'

The hellebores in the Cornus Border are now fully flowering.

Cornus border

As is the first of the gorgeous Iris Reticulata J. S. Dijt.

Beautiful...

The long Shady Border is starting to see sights of further bulb/corm growth, and the Sarcococca confusa is still flowering and fragrant. I need to get onto putting up the proper frame for the Morello Cherry in March, so hopefully by the end of next month the current bamboo cane against the fence will have gone.

Shady border

Overall, the garden has really started to come to life by the end of February. My jobs for March will be focus on some vegetable seed sowing, some in modules and some direct into my new vegetable borders. I'm quite excited that I'll finally be using these borders!


I also need to get the grapevine in, which will be growing up the pergola, and cut back the Cornus shrubs so I can get the lovely red stems to bring joy next winter.

February has been a good month, despite the rain. I'm looking forward to March.


* * * * *
End of month view is hosted by Helen Johnstone, aka @patientgardener. Visit Helen's blog for her February 2014 EMOV and links to other bloggers EMOV posts.

10 comments :

  1. What a lovey end of month review have a lovely weekend

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your garden is looking so tidy and ready for Spring! I love this time of year, it has so much promise. Freshly dug raised beds just waiting for something to grow.
    Gorgeous snowdrop. I'm very fond of the darker hellebores too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm so glad to see the Bagpuize snowdrops have survived the move from Oxfordshire to Yorkshire.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's like something special that I shared with friends like you in Oxon has come with me to Yorkshire.

      Delete
  4. I think I am right in saying that John Grimshaw is critical of planting in the green as he thinks it weakens the plants. The ones I planted in the green last year haven't flowered whilst the ones I neglected in a pot like you are flowering their socks off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting - showing again that the 'take as read' garden advice doesn't always match up to lived experience. I'm v. intrigued to see how the ones I planted 'in the green' will do next year.

      Delete
  5. I understand your joy at the increased sun, when it can get through the clouds my north facing front garden is getting a little more each week, that is maddening about the plastic cover for the greenhouse, you would think they would continue making replacement covers for a few years, your hellebore and iris are beautiful, enjoy your seed sowing, Frances

    ReplyDelete
  6. Don't you think the garden takes on a whole new perspective once the sun is high enough. I rescued a heap of snowdrops last year, an elderly lady friend of my mum was having a new path put in where they were growing. Lots planted in the green and all flowering this year. Plants don't read - therefore don't stick to the rules ;)
    How annoy that the sizes of the mini greenhouses have changed - although the manufacturers are probably out to make more money by doing so! Oops, there I go being cynical again ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great review and piccies, your garden looks very well organized all around.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Islandthreads/Angie: yes, the higher sun make such a difference. It is very frustrating about the greenhouse cover - there's a name for such actions (besides 'bloody capitalism!): planned obsolescence. I'm totally with you Angie on being cynical!

    Rooko: thanks. I'm hoping my garden will look pretty rather than 'organised' as time goes on!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading and please do leave a comment. I love hearing from you, and welcome your thoughts, experiences and suggestions.

Sometimes Blogger's comments play up, so if you have a problem, please email me on jgp@cooptel.net.