Here I am again – can’t believe it! Two weeks in a row is my personal best … this has been a fiercely cold, snowy week that did not tempt one to go out into the garden, so that would explain my dedication to SoS!
I have also been dedicated to the birds congregating around our balcony feeders outside the living room window. The cat is kept firmly inside (she doesn’t like wet paws/the cold anyway), because the BV is concerned about a second Valentine’s Day massacre. Because it’s so cold, they are gobbling the food faster than I can dish it up. So far we’ve had blue tits, great tits, coal tits and a robin. Then, rather excitingly, a chaffinch and blackbird have appeared in the last couple of days. We know there are plenty in the garden (and many other birds too), but the balcony is high up and so far they’ve been shy. Clearly the tit family has no shame.
Only four days later and there’s virtually nothing left …
Here’s my six:
1 A lovely box of goodies from the Jardin d’Adoué near Nancy. This is the first time I’ve purchased from them and was really pleased with the size of plants (when balanced against their comparative inexpense). I haven’t had huge success with herbaceous plants here – spring flowerers are fine, but it gets very hot and baked in summer and I have a ‘no-watering-unless-strictly-necessary’ policy (reinforced by the nature of the extremely sloping garden). However, now that I am finally gardening in the cooler, moister part of the garden nearer the river I have high hopes. Many of these were replacements for old favourites lost in previous years.
Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ … the third time I’ve replaced it … each time in a different spot. Fingers crossed, because this will be my last try.
2 A rocky future for Euphorbia ‘Silver Swan’? Last year I added quite a few new, interesting euphorbias because the Euphorbia characias subsp characias that I planted back in 2013 do so well and provide a lot of structure. However, when we had serious wind a while back, ‘Silver Swan’ must have been rocked sideways by its own weight. If I’m lucky it will simply be encouraged to shoot from the base that’s now exposed more than I’d like.
3 Signs of hope on Salvia ‘Amistad’. I only just managed to save my three plants last autumn – since I had no time to take cuttings because I was away, they were hastily dug up and put in the greenhouse. Unlike my other half-hardy salvia, ‘Mystic Spires’, it had no growth around the base. Before the big freeze, this one was showing signs of shooting, so, when our temperatures were forecast to plummet below -11 on Tuesday night, I whisked it up to the sun room where it will be frost-free.
4 Hellebores beginning to do their all …
Like the snowdrops, the hellebores are much too expensive for my taste, so I’ve never quite managed (yet) to add in the pale yellows and apricots and picotees that I’ve been longing for.
5 Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Charles Lamont’ was just starting to look good before the big freeze. Doing well now and only in the ground since 2015.
6 Carex buchananii. Finally purchased at the Jardin de Berchigranges last year, still not planted and hanging out in the greenhouse temporarily. I’ve always enjoyed it, not least because my maiden name was Buchanan. If only I was as pretty as this little sedge. I’m certainly as ‘well-rounded’ (in spite of the many steps in my garden)!
Have a wonderful week – not too cold, I hope – and sample all the other sixer’s offerings at the Propagator’s blog. With many thanks to him for hosting SoS!