Monday, 27 February 2017

February Favourite's

Good Morning!
Today's post is all about what has pleased me the most in my garden this month and it's a clear winner ... the flowering Iris reticulata in my Greenhouse!

Briefly describing these are early flowering bulbous perennials with narrow leaves alongside erect stems that hold the flowers. The flowering time can start in late Winter, Spring and early Summer. Iris reticulata reach up to 15cm high with a light fragrance, they are happy in a sunny position and will cope on most soils as long as it is well drained. 
Please note that these are deciduous which means that they will die back then reappear when they start back into growth the following year.

The varieties that I currently have growing are ...

 Iris reticulata 'Alida'

Iris reticulata 'Natascha'

Iris reticulata

I always enjoy having a few pots of these in Greenhouse as they bring some welcome pops of colour at this time of year, especially on those grey dreary days! After flowering I will plant them out into the borders of the garden adding extra interest there along with freeing up the pots for something else.


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Winter Blooms ...

Good Morning!
Over the past fortnight we've been graced with the appearance of some of my favourite blooms. The sight of these lovelies makes it known that Spring is around the corner, my favourite season!
Today I wanted to share with you a couple of photographs ...

Snowdrops pushing though the cover of Heuchera 'Black Knight'

If you've got Snowdrops in your own garden why not turn one of the heads over gently and take a look at the petals close up? This particular Snowdrop is Galanthus 'Flore Pleno'

The Hellebores are slowly starting to wake up, the following two have been in bloom for the past week with the rest in the garden patiently waiting in the wings ...

Helleborus Harvington Double White Speckled

Helleborus Blue Metallic Lady

A classic plant for this time of year is the Primrose, I have a few planted up in pots that add a great splash of colour, my favourite's are the simple white's.

Lastly another plant in flower is my Clematis 'Winter Beauty', unfortunately there's only a couple of flowers this year due to the resident garden birds nipping the buds off as they were forming ...

Thanks for taking a look, when the rest of the Hellebores come into bloom I shall share some more photographs to share with you all.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

February's Garden Checklist ...

Good Morning!
The daylight hours are getting longer and there are a few things you can be doing in the garden right now ...

1. Cut Back  - It's time to do a little bit of tidying up by cutting back a few faded stems! Plants such as Sedums can have their old flowering stems cut back to the base, along with them any ornamental Grasses that have been left standing over the winter months can be cut back before the new shoots appear. You could also divide congested clumps to produce new plants for yourself!

2. Transplant - Now is a good time to transplant any deciduous plants whilst they are dormant. For example if you've planted something in the wrong place or too close to another plant then now is your chance to get that sorted.

3. Late-Summer Flowering Clematis - If you have a late-summer flowering clematis in your garden give it a prune when you get a moment. Cut all stems back to healthy buds about 30cm from the base.

4. Winter Pruning - Keeping on the subject of pruning it's time to finish any winter pruning of your fruit and soft fruit trees by the end of the month.

5. First Early Potatoes - If your planning on growing some first early potatoes this year then it's time get them started! All you need to do is place the tubers into a tray or an egg box in a bright, frost free place to chit.

6. Feed - Give Fruit Trees and Bushes a little boost by sprinkling sulphate of potash around the base which will encourage fruiting.

7. Seed Sowing - You can get Sweet Peas started this month by sowing them into deep pots, 3 seeds to a 9cm pots or even singly in toilet roll inserts. Keep them frost free in a Greenhouse or if you don't have one simply place them on a bright, sunny windowsill. Alternatively if you sowed some back in Autumn then now is the time to pot on and pinch out the seedlings.
Along with these you can some other seeds started such as Antirrhinums and Lobelia, if you have a heated Propagator you could also get your Tomatoes & Chilli's going!

8. Weather - The weather can be pretty varied at this time of year and I've already had a few snowy spells where I live. If you get any heavy snowfall make sure that you knock it off any shrubs, trees and hedges to prevent it causing damage to branches. Wind and Frost can also cause some damage by lifting and loosening plants, make sure that you firm them back in and keep an eye out after any bad spells.

Thanks for stopping by, don't forget you can find all the previous Checklists on the page tab above.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Plant of the Month

Good Morning!
I hope you have all enjoyed the festivities over the past few weeks and are embracing the New Year!
The garden always seems to give a renewed enthusiasm at this time of year (well in my case at least) as you can finally start looking towards to the growing year ahead! After taking a back seat in regards to the garden over the past month or so I'm hoping to get back into the groove whenever I have a spare hour to two.

Today I thought I'd start us all off by bringing back the PLANT OF THE MONTH feature.
The PLANT OF THE MONTH that I've chosen for January is ... 
Sarcococca confusa also known as 'Sweet Box'
Photo from crocus

Sarcococca confusa is a Hardy Evergreen Shrub which throughout most of the year tends to provide structure more than interest with it's simple green, glossy leaves. However don't let this put you off, it really does come into it's own at this time of year and thoroughly earns it's self a place in any garden!

This particular shrub can grow up to 2m with an equal width, do be aware it can take between 5 and 10 years to do so.
However it is also one of those plants that is perfectly happy in either partial or full shade which can be problem areas in our gardens for some people, this gains it even more brownie points in my opinion!
This plant is also ideal in low maintenance gardens for those that don't always have the time to garden.

At this time of year it's stand out feature is it's perfume! Trust me when I say that you can smell it from a couple of metres away, maybe more so if there's a slight breeze. The sweet scent comes from it's tiny white flowers which can only really be seen when you're close up. These flowers are followed by glossy black berries which can remain on the plant until the following winter. The flowering period spans from December to March so your guaranteed more than just a fleeting display!

Photos from my garden

As mentioned earlier this Hardy Evergreen Shrub is happy to be planted in either partial or full shade. It can be situated facing any aspect but would prefer a slightly sheltered position in any soil type that is moist but well-drained. In Winter or Spring you can gently prune the shrub to keep it in an ideal shape and then mulch around the base with well-rotted compost.
If you'd like to produce extra plants for yourself it can be propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings in late Summer or by seed sown in outdoor containers in Spring or Autumn.

Generally pest and disease free.