|Troublesome bed last summer|
Last week, despite the temperature, I piled on my jumpers and ventured outside to clear away more winter debris. Once I raked away dead leaves I could see the new shoots thrusting up from the soil and felt instantly better. At this time of year it is mostly 'housework' - it is rather like tidying up the morning after a heavy party but without the beer cans. I managed to surface tidy every bed, and lightly forked a few. Then the rain came back and after being chased out of the greenhouse by a monstrous spider, I was housebound again.
Yesterday, it was sunny for a while so I went out again and today although the sun didn't put in an appearance, it wasn't cold. I persuaded my old fella to take a short break from the bathroom he is installing and replace the greenhouse glazing that was blown out over the course of the winter - now, I am worrying it will get windy and smash it all over again! I've cut back the fuchsias and tucked them up in there and put my dahlias in sandy soil in the hopes of cuttings later on in the season. If we can banish the spider I will also have a cosy refuge from the weather.
The long border we put in last year was looking really straggly and unkempt and some things just wern't working. I heaved a few things out that had gone a bit haywire and moved some unhappy from the shade into full sunshine (if it ever shone). I put some tulip and daffodil bulbs in, and lightly forked it all over. It is still not looking great but I am confident that come late spring it will come into its own.
The camelias are beginning to look lovely, the white one ahead of the pink and these need little care. I have primulas, marigolds still blooming from last year, daffs are out, tulips up and snowdrops about to bloom. Next job is a proper prune of the roses and a good feed. I want to plant some out but will put that off until I've acquired some manure to beef up the soil a bit.
Our most troublesome bed is half sun and half dense shade, the shady side struggled last year so my intention is to divide it with a narrow path (this will make weeding easier too). The sunny side is ok so I will leave the planting alone but plant the shady side up with shade lovers: ferns and aquilega, astilbe etc. I have moved plants and raked out where the path is to go but it is horribly wet at the moment, I hate claggy soil clinging to my boots.
Hopefully this plan will work but if it doesn't, I shall just rethink it. It is damp shade on this bed, the other shady beds are dry shade so this provides the opportunity for diversity. I wish it was big enough for gunnera, I had two at my old house and they were fabulous! I must resist the temptation here or I won't be able to get out of the back door. I have thought of trying some more jungly type plants, they always look so great in other people's gardens but I am not sure if they will like the salt winds, or the inconstancy of the climate. I have found that in the summer it is either on the chilly side or boiling hot, there seems to be no middle ground, and although we don't get too many frosts, it is very wet in winter. I think more research is needed before I decide.
I was driven indoors by rain at lunch time and there is still so much I want to do. I can feel a trip to the nursery coming on - I want some fancy ferns, a couple bags of compost and some vine weevil control (sigh) the weevils are back ... with a vengeance.
|troublesome bed early last summer|