Weather-wise, having been mainly dry and mild over the last few days, it’s been a perfect gardening week for those of us tackling a clay soil. With no golf at the moment, there’s been a greater opportunity to be outside working in the garden – Chris has been hedge cutting and when not at work, I’ve been getting on with some overdue weeding and cutting back, pot and bulb planting and even enjoying some propagation. Talking of propagation, I ‘attended’ a webinar masterclass on the very subject presented by ‘Gardener’s World’s’ David Hurrion last Friday – it was enjoyable, practical and informative and certainly motivated me to produce more ‘plants for free’ (more on this subject shortly)! My six this week are from our Walsall garden:
I love an autumn pot – with the right plants, they’ll last through to spring with little or no attention. For our doorstep pots, I’ve chosen a gorgeous orange viola to contrast with a blue pansy, enhanced with height from self seeded grasses plucked from the borders; and finished off with heather and gaultheria to fill the gaps. They’ll sit on each side of our back doors where they can be seen from inside – an invigorating start to any day!
This year, I left buying bulbs very late (as usual!) and was relieved to hear that our garden centres hadn’t closed for lockdown. Unfortunately, they may as well have done as there were no bulbs left when I went searching last weekend! Undeterred, a quick browse around the internet on Sunday morning resulted in my ordering tulips, daffodils and alliums, all at discount prices, from Gardening Express, Crocus, Van Mewen and J Parkers. All had arrived in great condition by Thursday – I couldn’t have asked for a better service! I also bought two low growing shrubs on offer at Gardening Express; Loropetalum chinensis ‘Ruby Snow’, an evergreen Chinese witch hazel. I haven’t come across this plant before and am looking forward to its purported year round interest – watch this space… I should add that I’m particularly impressed with Gardening Express, we’ve bought a few plants from them this year; the plants have all arrived in healthy condition, extremely well packaged and importantly – at the expected size!
All the daffodils I chose were for an area we cleared last spring, but before I could start planting, work was required to prepare the ground; the digging up of these self seeded rosa glauca for a start. I was amazed at the depth and strength of the root systems for such young plants, but managed to wrestle them out of the ground and pot them up ready to give to family and friends. Rosa glauca is a delicate looking rose with an arching habit (it can be trained over an arch), small pink flowers in June and pretty hips in autumn.
The daffs are now all in, but they’re bound to be late flowering as they really should have been planted by the end of September – fingers crossed in the hope that ‘Minnow’, ‘Pheasant Eye’, ‘Replete’ and ‘Elka’, provide a great display in spring!
I’ve also started planting the tulip bulbs, starting with tulipa ‘Finola’ and for a little more colour, ‘Passionale’, focusing on the pastel border. This was a rather frustrating job, as over and again, once I’d picked the the perfect position and started to dig, I found last years bulbs just starting into stem!
Elsewhere in the garden, the wonderfully fragrant viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ is flowering it’s socks off just now, such a treat adjacent to the greenhouse!
Finally, we still have roses flowering – ‘Iceberg’, ‘Munstead Wood’, ‘Summer Song’ and this English shrub rose – ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ – gorgeous!
Keep well all – fingers crossed for safer times ahead.
For more Six on Saturday adventures, a visit to the Propagator at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com is recommended!