Another storm approaches the UK this weekend, this time with the very a Spanish name, Jorge. As if the weather weren’t bad enough, I have been assaulted by pests this week. Read on to see what’s looking good despite the weather, and what’s been damaged by pesky mice and deer.
With so many fabulous sweet pea varieties to choose from, I look forward to the sweet pea season each year. I lovingly sowed some new varieties a couple of weeks ago. Returning from a half term break on Saturday, I discovered that many had been dug up and eaten and even those that had germinated had had their stems chewed off. I knew straight away that there was a mouse in the greenhouse. You can see holes in the compost where the pesky rodent has burrowed down for the tasty seed.
I quickly brought them into the house to protect the remainder but put them back in the greenhouse the next day with a mouse trap. I love nature and I even like mice but I also really do want some sweet peas this summer. One mouse caught and no further damage. I console myself that he had a gourmet buffet as his last supper.
A few weeks ago I shared news of post Christmas plantings of dates and pineapples. Four of my date palms have now sent up bright green sword-like leaves and I’m hopeful a few more will soon, despite the fact that these too were dug up by the mouse. One date stone was lying on the surface, uneaten, so I’m thinking date stones are not something mice are particularly partial to.
I’ve never noticed these stout purple and white crocuses in the lawn before. I didn’t plant them so they must always have been there. I’m pretty observant and was surprised I hadn’t seen them before. I now know why. In the past few years I think they were munched off before they got a chance to show off. I suspect Muntjac deer to be the perpetrator.
We get allot of Mutjacs around here and whilst they only rarely wander into our garden, they graze on some special things when they do. Crocus. Tulips. Roses.
Luckily I photographed these glorious crocuses in the sunshine on Sunday morning. By Monday they were gone.
Protected from storms in my greenhouse and unappealing to rodent pests is this dear little hepatica. Two weeks ago I shared a picture of a pale pink double hepatica. Unlike the double variety, the stem of this one is much more upright and showed its purple-blushed bonny open face. It’s a tiny flower, less than a centimetre in diameter, but certainly cheered me up on a damp day.
As well as planting some rhizomes of wood anemones out in the garden last year, I thought I’d throw a few in some pots to compare how easy it was to get them going. They did nothing all last summer and autumn and I assumed they would never sprout. They were tucked away at the corner of my patio until I could be bothered to empty the pots out.
This week I discovered they are in rude health – with lots of leaves and the potential for some flowers in a month or two. Patience, and sometimes negligence, are gardening virtues and it’s reminded me not to junk things too early. These are further along than those planted in the open garden too.
I’ve previously shared a picture of a calendar for which I’d contributed a photograph. I am still so taken with the featured planting scheme (seen at Savill Garden) that I have decided to replicate it in a new border I’m planning. This week I took delivery of several mail-order plants of Kniphofia alcazar from Peter Nyssen ltd. As storm Jorge hits, I’m looking forward to some summer heat and a hot border colour scheme.
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.