flowers, Garden design, Plants

Too many seedlings?

…or is there no such thing?!

I am busy trying to pot up some of the seedlings which are getting taller by the day, including about two dozen French Marigolds.

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Marigold seedlings – plus a small tomato plant dontated by a friend!

I don’t really know how many seeds you’re ‘supposed’ to sow but I seem to have a lot of marigolds here.  I don’t think they’ll go to waste – I have plenty bedding space for them, or could give a few to family and friends so I’m just growing them all on! I also have a few cosmos and zinnia which need pricked out into bigger pots, but there aren’t as many of these and I kept back some of the seeds so that I could also sow direct into the ground. There are half a dozen sweet pea seedlings too but I’m holding off on planting them out for another week or so when there’s less risk of frost.

In other news today I have managed to clear the side patio, which I’m preparing to transform into an area for pots.  I’ve lifted and potted the herbs which were worth keeping and chucked the ones which were past their best.  Now all I have to do is put down a weed-suppressing membrane, lay some decorative stones on top and begin a collection of pots for this area.  This should make the area fairly easy to maintain, and I’ll be able to chop and change pots depending on mood/season/availability of plants.  There’s also a recently planted rambling rose (New Dawn) close to the wall, which I hope will do what it’s supposed to and ramble all over the place, covering up some of the rather drab grey brickwork.

As well as this I’ve planted two new climbers – a honeysuckle for the corner patio and a passiflora which has gone into a large blue planter with some climbing support.  I love a climber and these two I picked up at Asda for just £2 each.

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Passiflora in its new home.  Please also note in the background the gorgeous red rhodedendron which is just emerging and is one of the stars of the back garden!

My husband made himself useful in the garden today, and helped me get rid of a large, unidentified, spiky shrub which I have proclaimed extinct.  He’s cleared it from the back border, along with an old azalea, opening up this area for some colour.  Having put in the Lidl primroses, I realised this corner has the potential to be much more interesting so I’d like to get a few perennials to brighten up the area and make it a bit more pleasing to look at, especially as it’s the main area of view from one of the kitchen windows.

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Primroses and a couple of heuchera providing a small burst of colour, but there’s potential for so much more!

So there we have it, today I spent a couple of hours here and there in the garden pottering on a handful of minor jobs but it was still very useful and enjoyable.  As I was re-potting herbs and clearing old plants I realised how even the preparation work in the garden can be satisfying – it’s like you’re moving around the pieces of the puzzle so that you can figure out the best fit and make the overall picture look really good!

My jigsaw might have to go on hold for the next few days though as the weather is due to take a turn for the worse.  I have set a reminder on my phone to remember to bring in the tender plants I’m hardening off (fuschias and geraniums) as the nights are due to be very cold.  Such is the way of Spring I suppose – a few bonnie days can quickly be followed by Winter’s last hurrah…

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flowers, Garden design, Plants, Uncategorized

Scarifying!

Scarifying has been the main aim of today.  Recently I was enjoying a cup of coffee in the garden and surveying the back lawn, when I realised that it was looking decidedly mossy – in fact it was starting to take over.  The blades of grass were poking up sporadically between large patches of spongy moss, and it was starting to look like 70/30 in favour of the moss – maybe more in places!

So a plan of action was formed.  The Head Gardener (aka My Dad) appeared today with an electric scarifier and we set to work trying to hoik up a large amount of moss and thatch and non-grass from the grass.  He did the scarifying, I did the raking and scooping.  We filled wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow until his trailer was full of a giant pile of moss, ready for tipping at the local recycling centre.   It seemed like a big job but actually took less than an hour – and was SO satisfying.  Removing all the mossy stuff has left the grass looking a bit scruffy and muddy in places but I’m assured by the aforementioned Head Gardener that it should come back looking much better, although we may need to repeat the procedure annually, if not twice a year.

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One of many, many wheelbarrows full of moss

He’s very good at reminding me that gardeners must play the long game.  We can’t always get results straight away – in fact, we hardly ever do!  It takes time for seeds to germinate, for buds to form and flowers to bloom.  If we prune a shrub, it will take time for it to re-grow into a more pleasing shape; some trees will take years and years to grow – we have a Monkey Puzzle (Araucaria araucana) in the front garden which will take so long to reach a significant height that we will probably be long gone by the time it does so!  And he likes to remind me, Instant-Gratification Girl, that I must be patient when it comes to my garden.  I hope to enjoy it for many years, so a quick transformation is not necessary and virtually impossible, so I must take my time, plan carefully and be persistent with things like the grass and the Secret Garden/Allotment.  Grass must be looked after, soil must be enriched and worked – the results will show themselves in time, and will be worth the effort.

In Bargain Shopping News, I was at Lidl today and picked up some more cut-price plants: two geraniums (99p each), four primroses (£1.89 each, 12 box (£1.99 for six) and a jasmine (£4.69).

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The primroses are gorgeous – I chose two cream/white plants and two in pinky-purple shades.  I will probably put these in pots but to be honest I’ve fallen so suddenly and completely for these sturdy little flowers with their vivid colours that it will be difficult to resist going back for more for the flower beds…

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Primula

 

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