What a week! The weather’s shifted continually between heavy rain/dry but cloudy/a bit of sun/strong winds (a few gusts recorded at 60mph) and I’ve been getting a lot of exercise darting in and out of the house to get things done when I could. Today’s outdoor photos were taken on Thursday as insurance against the heavy rain that was forecast for Friday. Which is good as the heavy rain decided to turn up on schedule, beating down on the greenhouse in which I’d ensconced myself to get some potting on done. I couldn’t hear myself think!
Still, I’ve made it.
1 Ed 2 Developments
Iris don’t last long! The two alpines I featured last week have been battered to death by the weather. But life continues in Edifice 2. Here is Corydalis ‘Beth Evans”, currently carrying the mantle whilst other plants catch up.
2 The Changeling
Last week, I featured a few Hellebores (Helleborus if you’re pedantic). The third of those has grown from a self-sown seedling so is var.unk, as Mr Prop would say. I’m thinking of calling it var.changeling. To begin with it’s a deep wine colour with thin white margins which are spotted with the same wine colour. But it changes colour and by mid-May the white will have changed to pale green and the wine bit and spots retreat a bit. It’s already starting to change.
I ventured into the garage attic the other week to retrieve my dahlia tubers from their usual winter hideaway. I left all my then tubers in the ground under a mulch over winter 2017-8 to see how they’d cope. The unusually cold winter here did for them so I bought some new ones. They didn’t perform that well but I went back to my usual lifting and storing. I don’t seem to have done any better as the tubers were all soft and mouldy. So I’ve gone for new ones again, this time from Sarah Raven. And I have to admit that what I’ve now received is way better than the last lot (I won’t say where from). A bit more expensive but much bigger and looking very healthy.
Now where the heck are my dahlia starting pots? I’ve hunted high and low but can’t find them. And not a single 2 litre pot to be found in the local garden centre!
And before a certain Gill Heavens flies into a rage, your mum is quite safe with me. She was carefully cossetted in isolation, regularly assessed and cuddled. Maybe this year she will pull her drawers up and flower. Incidentally, poor Gill has had another encounter with a killer pasty and isn’t sure whether she will make it this week so, on her behalf, I will offer apologies, just in case. If ever you meet her in a pasty emporium, never buy the same range of pasties as she does!
I’m also having a go with Roselilies, which do not produce pollen and reputedly flower for longer than normal lilies. These came from Dobies. And I had a pleasant surprise. I had thought I was ordering three bulbs (I know they’re not tubers) but it turns out that I was actually ordering three packs of two bulbs so twice as many as I expected. Which may be a problem as I only ordered three because I only had space for three! Still, I’ll work something out. And again, I’m very happy with the quality of the bulbs.
4 Leaves Appear
My Malus crabbus (OK, Malus var. unk) has started to leaf up. For me this is the real start of spring. Unusually, this year the leaves are keeping a lot of old fruits company. The crabs are usually stripped off by birds (last year a flock of fieldfares stripped it bare before the first leaf opened) but this year they’ve all dined elsewhere. I wonder if that’s because I no longer park a car under the tree so they’ve got nothing to c**p on.
5 A Last Hurrah
This tree heather is 25 years old and nearly five feet high and two across. But it’s seen better days. I’m letting it flower one last time before I dig it out. It’s not making that much effort though.
6 Sow, Sow, Quick Quick, Sow
It’s that time. Today’s going to be very wet again so I’ll be in the greenhouse merrily sowing away. I resisted all the seed exchanges this year, mainly confining myself to hardy annuals which I didn’t
bother get round to sowing last autumn.
At which point I must away through the storms to the greenhouse, pausing only to pay homage to our
glorious leader, the indomitable Mr Propagator, appended to whose blog of the day you will, in time, find a host of links to other participants. Why not join the merry throng? A handy sheet of orders to the troops can be found here.