The garden is slowly cranking into action. I can hear the starter motor begin to whirr. Things are mostly still grey but expect a colour explosion on the pages of this blog in the coming weeks. But first, here are the six things that have been the spark plugs for my tired brain this week.
Orange snowdrop – Galanthus ‘Anglesey Orange Tip’
Last week’s snowdrop special featured this pretty apricot blushed snowdrop and I mused on whether the colouring would remain as the flower matured. Yesterday was a warm day and the first of my two buds opened up. You can see that the intensity of the orange is slightly less than in the bud but significantly more than the white snowdrops in the background. They do sort of glow.
Snowdrops in the lawn
My father died five years ago last weekend and the snowdrops in his garden looked annoyingly perky the day he died. I hated them for a while but just weeks later that feeling had gone and I started planting some snowdrops in the grass alongside the track driveway to our house.
I add to them each year and now the display looks better than ever, with a combination of the standard Galanthus nivalis and some taller Galanthus elwesii for an undulating display. It’s best at night as the car headlights pick out each flower like cat’s eyes on a road. I have nowhere to go at the moment but it’s tempting to drive up and down the track in the evenings – just to enjoy the spectacle.
Acacia dealbata – Silver Wattle
By rights the greenhouse should be filled with a heady honeyed scent as the puffy pompom flowers of this acacia dealbata are bursting open. I admired the blooms of a huge specimen of this in the Princess of Wales Greenhouse at Kew three years ago and I’m sure it had scent but this one has no fragrance at all. I don’t know why and it’s a bit disappointing. **Stop Press** Saturday lunchtime – I just went to the greenhouse to check again and stuffed my nose right in an open flower and wow – the scent was there. I’m very happy!
This is a smart addition to the garden, bought using Christmas money. I have a compost heap of course but most of my family have lost use of their legs and don’t seem able to walk into the garden with kitchen scraps and fruit cores. This wormery from Wiggly Wigglers will be positioned by the back door and no-one will have an excuse not to use it.
For now it’s in the greenhouse to protect its new wriggly tenants. I feel a duty of care towards them and since they arrived in a snowstorm I felt it was acceptable to cosset them until the wormery ecosystem gets established. A second layer can be added once it really gets going and I can use the compost they produce and the liquid worm tea on my plants.
Bulb pans coming alive
I bought several new bulbs to plant last autumn in pots and shallow pans for a great spring display. A few are close to flowering, others have lots of leaves but no sign of buds for now.
Included in my selection were a few miniature tulips but they’ve all been dug up by squirrels.
Rock garden bulbs
I’m so glad I took the time last autumn to select a few miniature bulbs from Pottertons nursery to plant in the rock garden too. I didn’t plan out where to plant them but just moved about randomly trying to find spaces to plant little groups of them. Most are sprouting now and I can’t wait to see the little pops of colour after the dreary winter we’ve had. Crocus, narcissi, ipheon, chinodoxa and olsynium are all waiting in the wings of the rock stage.
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.