the year begins

Cherry Garden

I love Spring.  The flowers, the bird call, the vibrant lime green leaves that are just starting to show.  The pond is coming alive and oh so suddenly there is a garden again!

Most of my seed sowing has happened over the last few weeks.  Except for the tomatoes (which I’m really questioning this year – the time -v- output – can I justify it?), everything else has had the first crop sown.  Lovely to see the greenhouse full of seed trays and new shoots.  A little frightening as well given the snow we had up here last night and during the day.  Last year I started everything off too late and felt the consequences during my summer harvest – hopefully I haven’t jumped too soon this year!  Impossible weather.

The rhubarb has been as wonderful as ever, although it has already started to flower.  Does this mean it needs to be split?  Stewed with ginger and orange juice – superb!  I still have kale, purple sprouting broccoli and leeks coming from last year – have well and truly filled the hungry gap for 2017.

The front spring border has been beautiful – the weeks I spent clearing rhododendron, rotivating, weeding and planting bulbs was certainly worthwhile.  Now it needs to be refined.  I’ve had lots of fritillary spring up – however, I understand why they are naturalised rather than planted into the border – the flowers are beautiful but they look a little lost without some grass.  My strength is certainly not grasses – but I expect there is something that I could plant both to support them and to show off the blooms to their full potential – perhaps that’s a job for tomorrow’s snowy day.

 

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6 thoughts on “the year begins

  1. Your pond area looks lovely. So natural. I planted three Fritillaria imperialis in the autumn, but the slugs/snails have eaten the shoots as they appeared. Drat! Another one on the list of ‘what not to plant’. My last year’s kale has bolted and I am letting it flower (it looks lovely) before planting more. And my rhubarb is only just appearing. I agree with you about tomatoes, I got 12 plug plants for £2 a few weeks ago and they are growing madly already. Last years plants were not worth the effort, so I shall see how I go this year. Spring is so lovely though, despite the recent chilly spell.

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    1. Hi Jude! I cannot believe that your rhubarb is only just appearing – how does that happen? Perhaps it loves my cold weather… Strange! I love the F. imperialis – shame about the slugs – not warm enough yet for the nematodes which are the only things that seem to work for me. Like you, I just don’t bother with lots of things anymore – a waste of time and money! Good luck with your tomatoes – fingers crossed we have a lovely warm summer and you’ll be inundated – 12 plants is a lot of tomatoes!!! and I would recommend a pond, I think it’s my favourite part of the garden! x

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  2. Beautiful my dear. Just one editorial comment ‘the weeks WE spent clearing ….’ one day I’ll have time to build my workshop for my hobbies ☹️☹️and Yes, I am available to help reclaiming even MORE garden for ONE day next week – 8 hours, anything above requires additional payment 😂😂😂😂 keep up the fantastic work, we all enjoy the fantastic views xxx

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  3. Are those alliums in the pond border? They look great, then I realised you’d still got daffodils in flower! Crazy old spring time this year! Your rhubarb looks really yummy – that’s the forced rhubarb your daughter’s holding, yes? I think rhubarb plants flower (and therefore try to set seed) when they’re under stress, possibly through dryness or lack of nutrients. Both my Champagne rhubarb crowns have tried to flower (I chopped the flower spikes off) and they’re in the shade of the fruit trees and therefore denied water unless I get the hosepipe out (which isn’t often). I also forgot to mulch them. I’m going to move them next year and see if they do better. The Glaskins Perpetual, which is a much hardier beast, has never flowered and is in full sun (so also not watered but better light). You can tell when the crowns need splitting as you can see extra plants growing near the crown. I think it’s roughly every three years. Hope that’s been useful advice, Simone! PS. The plant you admired on my recent blog post is Cerinthe, aka Honeywort. It self seeds as the plant dies off so, once sown, your never without it. Mine even grows through the winter (albeit probably not in snow!). I have some spare seeds if you want some. Caro xx

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  4. Hi Caro! Re: the rhubarb – thank you – GQT gave the same advice on today’s show!!! You should be a panelist! You are so right re: the feed and the variety – poor thing hasn’t been fed for about 3 years – so on my list for the week ahead! I had assumed all rhubarb would perform the same – so will be getting myself some new varieties (have noted your Gaskins Perpetual). Ah, Cerinthe, have heard the name but never put the name to the plant. Yes I would love some seeds…. Shall I send you my address… that would be totally marvellous. 🙂 x

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    1. And, no, they aren’t alliums – they are my Denticulate primulas that I mass planted in that border. Best years ever for them. And, after your post I went to check our my Alliums in the back border – and there are shoots….. Exciting! x

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