I’m visiting my greenhouse very often. I have the time to go there several times a day now and I open vents, close them, shade the plants and open them to the light again. Greenhouse primping is good for the soul.
This week the greenhouse got more than a primp. It got an all over body-scrub – the annual greenhouse clean. This was a major operation with everything moved out, glass sponged down inside and out with detergent and then pressure-washed all over. It’s now sparkling clean and it seems so bright and pleasant inside despite the lingering scent of Jeyes fluid.
Now for the perfect pick-me-up, a peek at some lovely spring flowers. These are the ones that are cheering me up at the moment.
I have three auriculas and one has failed to flower – I’m loving this pretty purple single one and a frilly double one though.
Sadly, neither of these are named as they were garden centre purchases with one of those bland labels that just said ‘primula auricula’. Helpful.
I really like their farina. Farina – flour in latin – is the white powdery substance that can be found on the leaves and inners of the flowers. Growing these in the sand box really helps to preserve the farina, as I water the sand not the pots or plants. Overhead watering is sure to knock the farina off.
I’d like more of these and saw on twitter a post from Abriachan nursery in Scotland. They are doing a pot luck selection of 10 auriculas and I couldn’t resist. I’ll be sure to share them with you all when they arrive and it’s a reminder that smaller nurseries selling exquisite plants can deliver colour to the garden despite Covid-19 restrictions.
I bought several bulbs of this beautiful fritillary at the Alpine Garden Society bulb day last autumn. I didn’t really know what I was buying but Potterton’s nursery stand is so tempting I usually buy a few little things I’ve never heard of. This is one I’m just so happy I chose. Each flower head has plum tart and custard colouring with a silvery sheen.
These don’t need to be in the greenhouse so I only put them in there to bring them along in time for the Alpine Garden Society local branch show, which would have been yesterday. The show is cancelled of course so this stunning pot is now on a table outside.
Another purchase from the Alpine Garden Society bulb day. Unlike most fritillary bulbs these were big meaty ones – bigger than tulip bulbs, so I was expecting big plants and just look – these are stunning! Again, these have silvery sheened plummy flowers. I’m not sure these are quite open yet as the flowers should be more bell shaped.
Again, these aren’t in the greenhouse but just outside, next to the steamer chairs my family bought me for my birthday in February.
This is one of a selection of bulbs I was given by my local Alpine Garden Society branch to grow in competition for yesterday’s now cancelled spring show. This is the only one that flowered in time although the others are a few days away. This is a stunning blue flower, about the size of a 50 pence piece.
Lewisia tweedyi ‘Lemon Form’
Regular readers of this blog will know I like flowers with the colour-way of Battenburg cake. Here’s another one – a very pretty star shaped flower. No lewisias like cold wet weather but this one really does need to be kept in a cold greenhouse or alpine house. I’m growing this it, together with a brighter pink ‘Rosea’ variety in my sand box. They are very pretty and I hope I can keep them going.
I’ve written before about my collection of potted pelargoniums, which sit in the bright porch area of the greenhouse. This week, after cleaning the glass, I gave each one a little tidy up, pulling off withered leaves and pruning them for more flowers in the summer. I couldn’t help myself and decided to grow some of the prunings as cuttings. There are quite a few of them! I was hoping to open my garden this summer for the hospice charity I volunteer for but Covid-19 has put paid to that. I’m hoping I’ll be able to run a charity plant sale instead, if restrictions ease, and these pellies should be popular. I’m hoping many of them will root.
Meanwhile, pelargonium ardens is flowering well. This one is cosseted in the heated section of my greenhouse, although it’s rarely heated now. The flowers just seem to glow, something to do with the cardinal’s robe edging to the deeper burgundy centres.
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.