variety is Musicbox, which I’ve now grown for a number of years. It’s a knee-high one, growing to around 30in/70 cm, which is ideal as they are rarely affected by the wind on my exposed plot. The plants are multi-headed with dark-centred flowers 4 in/10 cm across in range of colours including cream, mahogany and yellow including some bi-colours. As well as letting them self-seed in the autumn I also save seed, some of which I sow in pots on the windowsill to plant out in late spring.
Regular readers may remember that last year one of the seedlings was much smaller than the others so I repotted it into a larger pot and kept it at home on the windowsill. It only grew to around 6 in/15 cm and the few flowers that bloomed were little bigger than my finger nail. There’s another small one this year so I’m going to do the same again.
Plotting was put on hold for most of last week as apart from Sunday and Friday it’s beentoo cold with a bitter wind, and one morning there was ice on the dustbin lid pond. There’s been surprisingly little rain for weeks and the ground surface has dried out out so I did some watering on Friday.
Looking closely at the onion sets I can see that they’re beginning to sprout, and it’s always good to see new leaves on the blackberry bush and raspberries.
This morning I picked the first few rhubarb stems, with plenty more to come.
All the yellow daffodils have now mostly finished leaving just the white Thalia to enjoy.
Thankfully it looks like being slightly warmer, and less windy, from Tuesday onwards so I hope to plant out the rest of the potatoes over a few days.
Liz – Here in Lexington, Kentucky I had asked the company that trims my trees to do so during February but following the ice storms they were overwhelmed with work clearing away downed trees and limbs so didn’t show up until late March.
The Seven-sons was one of the trees on the list to be attended to, and pruning should have been done in late winter before the buds form. Hopefully having done the work this late won’t result in a dearth of blossom later on.
Mike – When I went and looked at the hornbeam last Sunday I found that, from a distance, the yellow, male catkins give the tree a golden glow.
For details, and pictures, of both the male and female catkins see this webpage.
Close-up as well as the catkins, new leaves are now beginning to show.
the mystery plant from the stone feature where I’d recently planted it into a large round container, where I think it will do better.
As you can see it’s already doing well with leaf buds now beginning to show on all six stems.
Replacing it is the small clump of red flowering Michaelmas daisies, which had temporarily been in a small pot awaiting a more permanent home.
The yellow and white primroses in the long planter have been flowering for months but at times they’ve clearly suffered when it’s been cold and wet, with the flowers and leaves turning brown rather quickly. I’ve tidied them up and hope that they revive during the coming weeks.
As planned I’ve planted out the first early potatoes Pentland Javelin. As I’ve not grown them before it’ll be interesting to see how they do, and more importantly how they taste.
The only other job I’ve done this week so far is to rough cut round the grass path edges.
The lovely, elegant white daffodils Thalia are now flowering, providing a good contrast to the yellow ones.
The long weekend looks like staying dry but getting noticeably colder, and breezy, again with it feeling only a couple of degrees C above zero by next Monday. That’s in contrast to Tuesday when it was well over 20 C/ 68 F.
During last week I planted out all the onion sets Sturon, along with twelve of the red variety Rosanna which I was given to try. Since then I’ve checked the rows each day to make sure that none have been pulled out of the ground by birds, and so far I’ve only had to replant two.
At home I’ve sown three of each tomatoes Gardener’s Delight, Golden Sunrise and Outdoor Girl, and one Red Robin. I also sowed various flower seeds, mostly cosmos and sunflowers. Yesterday afternoon I noticed that the first seedling, a pot marigold Oopsy Daisy, was just starting to show and this morning there were a couple of others.
On the flower patch lots of self-seeded seedlings are now appearing, mostly pot marigolds as shown in the left-hand picture. There are plenty of others showing elsewhere, including this nasturtium.
It’s going to be an up and down week weather-wise reaching 20 C/68 F on Tuesday and then dropping to 11 C/52 C by Saturday but remaining dry, and thankfully less windy.
which for me is the spring flower, and mostly prefer the traditional shaped, yellow ones.
I have this large group of dwarf Tete-a-tetes which have been flowering for over a month, and are only now starting to look past their best.
I also have this small group of the variety Sweetness, which are little more than a foot tall with lovely neat flowers.
Sadly there are less flowers than usual, as some plants have come up blind.
Hidden away next to the raspberries are these few bigger ones which were there when I took the plot on so I don’t know the variety.
That leaves the white Thalia to appear, which won’t be long as they are showing plenty of buds and a handful of bi-coloured, yellow and white, ones in a large pot which are showing plenty of leaves, but as yet no flower stems.
before that after the crocuses finish flowering the leaves then grow a lot longer as you can see with these Romance ones, which are green and silvery and shimmer in the sunlight.
I acquired a small clump of blue Michaelmas daisies last autumn which I don’t think I’ve mentioned or shown here. I recently dug them up then replanted to the left of these crocuses. I have another, much larger, clump between the cornus and the roadway but I think, indeed hope, that these are a different variety.
I mentioned recently that I’d dug up then replaced the sedums which are now in the top north-west corner and, as you can see here, doing really well.
The week ahead looks like being mostly dry, dull and slightly warmer than it has been so I may start planting out the onion sets.
The weather has been much the same as last week so I’ve been mostly plot pottering, and it’s really been a case of just ticking over. This morning the wind was particularly chilly, and it started spitting with rain intermittently, so I came home early for a welcome cup of tea and a couple of biscuits.
At home suitable windowsill space to start plants off in pots is limited so I’ve been double checking what I’ll be doing and when. I’ll be sowing some some flowers including cosmos and sunflowers along with the tomatoes in a week or two. The cucumbers and sweetcorn will follow in late April.
Looking out of my living room window I can see this flowering skimmia japonica Rubella.
It provides welcome colour and interest among the mostly mundane plants in the communal garden.