It’s been a busy week. Busy in the garden and busy with family matters. My son, three daughters and their families are all under varying degrees of lockdown, here at home, in the US and Australia. So messages and FaceTime calls have multiplied and devices have been pinging throughout the day. This isn’t a complaint, I’m delighted to be able to talk to them and hear how they’re coping with this strange lack of freedom, and how they are managing to keep their children occupied during the day, and for some, also work from home.
It’s been a week of mixed weather, with the only constants being the wind and the cold. Some days have been sunny, some have been dull and others have sprinkled us with light rain. I’ve potted up dahlias, new plants, sown seeds, and did a bit of weeding, feeding & mulching. With the help of husband I’ve moved some perennials, divided others and lifted two Clematis that haven’t done well since they were first planted in what turned out to be an unsuitable location. I’ve put them into pots and I’ll just let them alone for a while and see if they would like the chance to shine again. I hope they will.
Here’s my selection of six for this week. Some are new, some are updates, it’s their last chance to say goodbye until the following Spring.
Camellia Daintiness is flowering now, but most of her blooms are at the top, higher than I can reach, and I wasn’t about to start climbing a ladder. So the photographs show just a couple of the flowers that were in bloom at a more accessible level, but taken in quite deep shade. In a week or so the plant should be covered in blooms and I’ll photograph her again.
She’s flowered reliably at the side of our patio doors for many years now, and I look forward to seeing her every spring, even for just a short while.
This is February Gold…which flowered in March…
And this is January Gold (which I think might now be called ‘First Hope’ -though the packet did say ‘January Gold’)…which flowered in…yes, you guess it…February. January Gold is past its best now, but February is still doing well.
Tulip ‘Shakespeare’ made me laugh. I went into the garden on Tuesday morning for some reason or other and I didn’t instantly recognise the large brilliantly coloured saucers that were flopping around in the breeze. I went back inside to get the camera, but the sun had gone in, and they had already started to close a little. I think you can get the general idea from the photographs, that they really didn’t look like the tulips I’d photographed the previous week. Their colour is becoming more vibrant as the days go on – these are a keeper – another note for my autumn planting list.
Tulip ‘Ancilla’ opened too, but to a lesser degree, and was still recognisable as a tulip – though what struck me was the intensity of the markings that were now visible.
New Plants this Week
The postman’s been three times this week with small rooted cuttings, and (yeah!) more to follow. The first box contained 5 little Argyranthemum frutescens ‘Grandaisy Pink Halo’ and 5 Artemisia schmidtiana ‘Nana Attraction’ (both are quite a mouthful) which will be planted together in a container.
I’ve had Artemisia ‘Nana’ in the garden in the past, and it’s a lovely soft, touchy-feely little plant – I could never pass it by without stooping to feel it between my fingers. Sadly it doesn’t survive through the winter in this garden, but these are going in a pot along with the Argyranthemum, so I’m wondering if I could overwinter them in the unheated greenhouse. Meantime though, I’m hoping for a beautiful summer pot display from them.
Second to arrive were three Achillea millefolium ‘Lilac Beauty’ which, at the moment will be fine staying in the pots they arrived in. I can’t quite make up my mind exactly where they’re going, and I don’t think I’ll get a clear idea of that until I can see what’s coming up in the garden. They’re sitting outside now, along with the other, still potted, perennials.
Friday morning brought the postman to the door again with another 10 rooted cuttings. They have been in the mail for four days – travelling 1st Class, 24-hour service! Even so, they were in fairly good condition. The roots were still moist, though the verbenas were a bit floppy. I had them potted up within the hour, and I’m sure that they’ll recover just fine.
They’re both whites – Bacopa cordite ‘Gulliver White’ and Verbena x ‘Vepita Polar’ -and some are going into the new homemade planter on the patio.
The half-trays of seedlings and newly sown seeds are lined up on my window ledges. I think by next week a few will be ready to make the transition to the greenhouse and some will be ready to be pricked out. I can’t get terribly excited about photographs of seedlings in trays, but here’s just a few to show.
Finally, a last goodbye to the Spring Pots Display that sits just beyond my study window. The pots rest on two different-height layers of staging made from old scaffolding boards – and they’ve been a source of visual joy this Spring. Many of the bulbs are starting to go over, and their pots will soon be needed for summer planting. Some of the plants will go into the borders, some will be transferred to another pot where they will die down, be dried off and stored until Autumn. I’ll have to come up with a plan for the staging – it can’t be left empty!
I hope you’re all coping with life in this strange, and often frightening, new world that we’re currently living it. Take care of yourselves, your families and friends. 🌈
If you want to join in with Six on Saturday around the world, here are the details:
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.