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.
plotting last week as it was chilly and windy, with plenty of rain at times. As always after it’s been very windy I’m a bit apprehensive as to what I’ll see when I get to the plot but thankfully all was okay.
The rhubarb started to appear some time ago, but it’s only really got growing in the past week or so. I don’t know the variety but would guess that it’s a late one.
The only tulips I have are some dwarf red ones Toronto but sadly it looks like I’ve lost them over the winter as just these three have appeared, and I’d be surprised if they flower. I’ll have to think what I’ll replace them with. This year I’ll sow some annual flower seeds.
Despite the high winds the dwarf daffodils Tete-a-tete are still doing well. A slight drawback with these is that being as short as they are, and with the flowers facing slightly downwards, it’s generally the back of them which gets seen.
Liz – last month saw three severe winter storms pass across the state leaving the Seven-sons tree in my back garden here in Lexington, Kentucky covered in ice and snow.
These two pictures were taken on February 18th, and in the lower one the power cable is being pressed down by branches. I had to clip these away to allow the cable to return to it’s usual level. I hope that spring now brings much better weather so that the tree will show signs of new growth by next month.
Mike – Tuesday was a bright and sunny day so I detoured on my way home from the plot to have a look at the Hornbeam. From a distance it doesn’t look as green as it did last month, and close up it was noticeable that the lichen had mostly faded to a greyish-green. Also visible, as you can see in the lower picture, are the yellow catkins starting to form.
By next month they should be bigger and I’ll be able to get better photos of them.
As planned I dug-up, then moved and replanted the perennial cornflowers (shown below) and sedums during the week.
I also weeded, then hoed, the main flower patch. Yesterday I worked my way round all the plot edges. It was a bright and dry morning, but rather chilly so I wasn’t surprised to find that I was the only person on the site, and even the robin didn’t come and say hello as it has done most mornings recently.
Needless to say I’m well pleased with the way that it’s all looking and is now ready to start planting and sowing later this month. This picture shows most of the plot except for the comfrey plants and raspberry bushes which are off the photo on the right-hand side.