I’ve had such a lovely week in the garden, and it’s been a productive one. After weeks of almost relentless rain and winds, the first week of the meteorological spring brought us sunshine and gentle winds. It’s still bitingly cold but it’s been the type of week that conveys a sense of anticipation that springtime is gently flowing over the earth once more.
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
The first job I tackled on Monday morning was to rearrange the pots on the two-layer staging that my husband pulled together from a couple of old scaffolding boards. I took away some pots where the bulbs have gone over and added in the three recently-bought Hellebores that I’ve been so enchanted with. It brought an instant facelift to the garden and a big smile to my face. Colour in the garden at last! It may not be a professional effort, but it makes me happy to look at, and that’s what matters.
I asked my husband if he could make me a planter for the patio at the back of the house. The patio is raised off the ground by a couple of feet at one point, and I was worried that our 18-month grandson would go rushing towards the edge and right over.
So he built me a planter, mostly from wood he had in the garage. It’s 1.8m in length, 450mm high and 450mm deep, and it’s a visual stop if this active little toddler decides to go wildly running about on the patio. The remaining length of the patio will have some pots on it, and that will block off the remaining area. Perennials on the other two sides will soon be growing and will complete the ‘visual barrier’.
When he was putting it together, on the drive at the front of the house, we did get a few looks from our neighbours. It looked like a coffin. You know, the type that you see in Western movies, the type they put dead gunslingers into…have you got the idea? 😬 But it looks a bit more classy than that now, and although you couldn’t call it a lovely piece of garden furniture, it should serve its purpose, saving a very active little boy from a fall, and giving the patio some summer colour. The joke was, that if one of us suddenly disappeared, everyone would know where to look. 🤔
We’ve filled the planter with some of our own compost, and some bought compost. On Wednesday morning I added two hydrangeas, a pink and a white, that I’ve been growing from cuttings since July 2018. They’re scrappy-looking at this time of the year, but as we move towards summer I hope they’ll start to flourish.
The planter gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon, and that suits the two hydrangeas, but what else can I add for a profusion of summer colour? The catalogues are being browsed, but no decisions have been made. I’ll add some spring-flowering bulbs in the autumn, but beyond that, I’m not sure what to plant. Ideas are most welcome!
Mostly I’ve been pruning throughout the week, although I also started emptying the greenhouse so that I can give it a good clean…and that clean is scheduled for today. This morning I plan to wash down the outside, and in the afternoon I’ll tackle the inside…since the forecast says it’s going to rain. Our good spell of weather might be over. Next week I’m aiming to start sowing seeds – in an old – but hopefully bug-free greenhouse.
I’m pleasantly surprised at the growth of the rhubarb this year. It’s an old plant that was divided a couple of years ago. One large piece was replanted, and another, smaller piece, planted nearby. I can’t remember ever having so much rhubarb so early in March – we’ve been picking since mid-February. Too much rhubarb is never a problem as we have a few neighbours who like rhubarb and happily, there’s enough to go around…if there happens to be any surplus there’s always the freezer!
Clematis montana ‘Freda’
This clematis has been growing in the garden for a number of years, and I absolutely adore when her petals break free in April. Yesterday I noticed that she’s covered in good strong buds and on her way to becoming the star of the garden, if only for a short time.
Here’s what I’m looking forward to at some point towards the end of April. Ahh, gorgeous!
It’s fun when you order something in the depths of winter, forget about it, and as soon as spring arrives the delivery man appears at the door, announcing, “it’s for your garden”. He did exactly that yesterday morning. 😁
The Dahlia tubers arrived a couple of weeks ago, and this morning the box from Farmer Gracy contained Allium ‘Summer Beauty’ Allium ‘Millenium’ and Stachys monnieri ‘Hummelo’. All these varieties are new to me and I’m really excited to see how they perform in my garden.
Well, that’s about it from me this week, except perhaps to say that the camera often picks up things that the eye doesn’t see. It wasn’t until I zoomed in on some photographs on the computer that I noticed that I have some unwelcome visitors on one of the hydrangeas!
ABOUT SIX ON SATURDAY
Six on Saturday is like a weekly journal. Take six photographs and post them to Twitter and/or your blog. You can get all the details from The Propagator who kindly set it all up. If you want to join in and see what everyone else is doing in the garden, just follow the link!
All photographs copyright of Catherine Wood unless otherwise stated.