Friday, April 21, 2006

It’s not a competition but…

…the tulips are out before the daffs! Admittedly the daffs are in the dampest part of the garden which receives pitiful amounts of sunshine. And the tulips are located in the sunniest part of the border, worshiping the sun all day long (cloud coverage permitting). There are plenty of greens, whites and yellows about so those vivid reds really stand out! The daffs are slowly emerging revealing several pale cream blossoms with a bright orange centre per stem (also known as tazetta daffodils). This is the first time daffs have featured in the garden. I’m thinking of adding bulbs to the front which is distinctly lacking colour at the mo. Maybe some purple or pink tulips positioned between the lavender next to the box? Oh, looking forward to autumn now and those catalogues!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Green (or should that be yellow?) alternative

The rose bushes are alive with healthy red-blushed shoots and foliage. Recently read a (potentially great) tip about feeding them diced banana skins. Apparently they adore the potassium released during decomposition. Since trying to go green I haven’t been applying any rose feed to the plants and they have responded in kind… a few flowers on skeletal structures – bare of any foliage. Hopefully the chopped up banana skins will revive my inherited cultivars enabling continuous bloomage all summer long. Have been adding skins to two bushes and will obviously(!) let you know how they get on.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

First casualty?

There are no shoots, no buds, no leaves, nothing. This is the first time in four years that the clematis has decided to stay dormant. Dormant might be a little optimistic since it should be showing some signs of life by now. The days are getting longer and sun’s stronger, the ground’s warmer, and other plants have sprung back to life: garlic, rocket, poppy, hollyhock, aquilegia. So the Arctic Queen is my first casualty this year. It’s gone to join that veggie patch in the sky. And I don’t even know why? Was it pruned too late? Too cold and dry over winter? Going to have to chalk it down to (the growing number of) life’s mysteries.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

100 v. 0

These are the germination success rates for the sunflower and foxglove seeds. Thankfully didn’t sow the foxglove hybrid varieties that I bought at Chelsea last year. Will wait till its a little warmer. Decided to water all the seeds with water claimed from the butt since the tap water is incredibly hard (yup, it’s got muscles and everything!). I think that the tell-tale limescale build-up around the base of the pots was the give away.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Pieris strikes again

Nope not the Gunners midfielder Pires, but my Pieris japonica which is happily blooming away with pendulous large clusters of fragrant white flowers. It’s such a great shrub as it's low maintenance. The only attention it needs during the summer is the (regular) contents of a watering can since it’s fully exposed to those UV rays from mid morning to late afternoon. They are native to the forests and hillsides of the Himalayas and like partial shade, so perhaps mine isn’t in the best position. When it’s happy lots of new pinky-tinted foliage appears regardless of the time of year – always a treat!

Friday, April 07, 2006

The golden crowd?

And there I was worried about them being blind! It was probably just the cold weather and my heavy clay soil holding them back. But over the last few days the daffs have shot up to a respectable height. Heads are beginning to emerge suggesting that there will be another patch of yellow (in addition to the primroses). Can’t wait to find out what colour they are going to be…pale, creamy, bright, white, golden, yellow, orange? Will be happy with any! And might even have a photo or two!!!

Late arrivals

Ah ha, the squirrels didn’t get all of Suzy & Chris’s bulbs! There is a clump of creamy yellow flowers which has been joined by a purple individual. Belatedly realized that the container might get dry so have added some shingle to reduce any water loss – which I’m anticipating will be a recurring theme this year. Should really have got that second water butt hooked up.