Monday, 23 March 2009

Giant chives or white crocus? Protecting the garden fence.

Our garden fence has reached that point where weathered silvering may easily evolve into withered shreds, so over the past week of dry sunny weather I've devoted an hour every day to the quick rescue of a paint job.

Stephen took some pics on Saturday afternoon. I couldn't decide between white crocus, giant chives, huge honeysuckle or now pruned back rosemary bush so put them all in.

Only two panels left to do now - but it's been raining this afternoon, so they will have to wait until later in the week! And hopefully our old fence will survive a few more years...

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Spring sowings

I was so glad to get a couple of hours' digging done in bright sunshine this morning! A chill wind was rising and clouds blowing up (March coming in like a lion...) as I left for home and an hour or so later, showers of rain blew in from the north, and have continued through the afternoon. As I'm gardening on heavy clay, and at the bottom of a hill where once ran a stream, conditions get boggy at the slightest excuse. As it is, I've tickled the top two inches of around one third of my plot and cleared the little weeds, so feel I've made a good start to my allotment season.

On Monday (another bright day, but much warmer) I put in garlic and broad beans, so was delighted with the couple of nights frost we've had this week (garlic needs it to get started). This was my first planting in the new raised bed on the extra boggy side of the plot, which is normally too wet to plant with anything before April. The bed fortuitously divides into 7 sections (my lucky number) and the moon's on its way up, so with some fair weather following these should soon put on some growth.

I've also emptied the garden compost bin this week and put a couple of inches of this horticultural gold dust around all the beds in the back garden. I'm dividing up the compost from the big pots where I grew salads and courgettes last year for the front garden and allotment, on the latter I'll be supplementing with bought in manure and peat free multi purpose.

Yesterday I worked on the border in the front garden. I was struggling to divide a five year old Eupatorium perforatum into four clumps, first with a fork, then a spade. Then I thought of my lawn edging tool, which worked beautifully, perhaps because it has a sharper blade? But it was also an easier shape because it has a curved, rather than a straight edge, I guess.

The clump of crocosmia (see photo posted last July) was also divided up, I've moved some of the rooted bulbs to double the area occupied by them and jiggled the rest around a bit with the fork. I don't think it will kill them and I'm hoping they'll flower even more in protest at this rough treatment!

Also moved some rooting rudbeckia from the back of the bed to the front, thinking these would make a good contrast next to purple asters come the autumn. It was only half an hour later when I was sorting out the empty space with more compost that I remembered I had a developing clump of Shasta daisies (the big white ones), not rudbeckia, in that spot last year. Ah well, they won't clash either.

I wonder what happened to the rudbeckia though? Now you know why I'm the Scattered Gardener...