I don’t feel like I’ve done much gardening this week – the rain showers and various domestic tasks have staged multiple interventions. However, when I look back, as I do every week for my seasonal diaries, I’ve done quite allot. Hope you enjoy reading about what I’ve been doing.
Planting small bulbs
Come the spring I will have forgotten the sometimes back-breaking task of bulb planting and will be so happy I took the trouble. This week I focussed on planting the 160 miniature bulbs that arrived in a box from Pottertons Nursery. This is a specialist alpine and bulb nursery and I have previously bought some little gems from them at the Alpine Garden Society bulb day. The day didn’t happen this year but happily Pottertons have a great mail-order service.
I planted some of the bulbs in pots – spring flowers such as crocus, ipheion, and miniature narcissi – and others in gaps in my rockery. They’ll be cheering my heart next spring and I’ll be sure to share them with you all.
Presenting a melon
This week wasn’t all spent in the garden. Some was spent organising furniture and books from my late father’s house.
One of the books I found there was this Mrs Beeton’s book of Household Management. I was intrigued to find this picture of a melon on a plate. It’s hardly cooking is it but it got me thinking that back then the drama of growing and presenting a hothouse fruit would have been spectacle in itself. This was the Victorian equivalent of the humble brag.
Now to mine. Here’s my lovely cantaloupe melon, variety F1 ‘Alvaro’. Missing a silver salver, I chopped it up and ate with Parma ham, taking the remainder to work in a tupperware pot. I need to up my presentation skills.
In the woodland garden
Another book found in my Father’s collection was this newish edition of Gertrude Jekyll’s book ‘Wood and Garden’, which focusses on woodland plants, trees and shrubs. I’m a longstanding fan of Miss Jekyll’s gardens and especially her writing, so I’ll look forward to reading this book.
I’m thinking she may approve of how my woodland garden has developed since the first plantings just a year ago. I’m particularly pleased with the ferns, many of which were babies back then but which have blossomed into superb frondy fabulousness.
Also looking great are these pure white colchicums which look rather wonderful next to the variegated Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’.
A big big Brug
Until Monday, this huge Brugmansia, grown from a cutting last year, was planted in the tropical garden. The wild storms, wind and rain last week gave it a bit of a battering as a new flush of flowers were opening so it’s been potted up for protection in the greenhouse. It’s big and takes up allot of space but fills the greenhouse with a sweet smell.
I’ve had a hard decision to make on this plant. I love it but it’s just so big and will only get bigger. I have successfully taken cuttings from it, one of which is also now fairly large. I have a friend with an even bigger greenhouse than me so I’ve decided to give it to her. It’s sad but I know it’ll have a good home with her.
Overwintering pond plants
All my pond plants are pretty hardy except for this one – the water lettuce – Pistia stratiotes. They just float about in the pond, don’t need rooting in pots and really do look like tiny floating lettuces. They are very prolific, multiplying quickly throughout the season. I started off with just three back in May and have just composted about 25, saving just these 8. I’m hoping they’ll be able to survive the winter in this unheated greenhouse section and go back into the pond next year.
An unknown variety I’m afraid but this beautiful ribena coloured clematis scrambles through some tall ferns Dryopteris felix-mas. I haven’t got much else to say about this one. It’s beauty speaks for itself.
This seasonal diary is part of a weekly link-up of garden bloggers from around the world, called Six on Saturday. For more information and links to other blogs crammed with gardening activity, check the blog of host The Propagator.