Even while with think of the folk in Ukraine, let’s keep clinging to little bits of spring joy …
It’s been a really sunny week with heavy frosts each morning, although the greenhouse temperatures have never dropped below below zero. It’s been about 12 days since our last proper rain, so I’m wondering if we are headed for another dry spring, followed by a wet summer. Hopefully not. I’ve not spent enough time in the garden … but there’s always next week. Here are my six.
One. The first daffodils. The BV’s favourite, ‘Jet Fire’, is usually the first to flower.
However, this year an even more slug-ridden specimen on our banks beat ‘Jet Fire’ to it.
These banks are where I shove bulbs after they’ve flowered elsewhere. Not much added recently, since no new tulips were purchased in 2020 and 2021 – but there’s always this year to go mad with the bank card!
The bank is a tricky situation to manage (not the financial bank, although that can be tricky too, but the bank in the garden), so I copied another blogger and decided that instead of endlessly strimming, I’d put bargain-basement shrubs and bulbs in there. Unfortunately we rarely have bargain basement material in the shops around here (it all looks like bargain-basement to me, but at ‘normal’ prices) – so they are cuttings moved from elsewhere, if they were taking up too much room. It’s beginning to work – i.e. the grass and weeds aren’t so bad in summer as they used to be. Here you can see it was nicely tidied by the BV before he left for England.
Two. Plants and dahlias arriving, as well as seed sown
I was quite impressed by my Friday delivery of plants and dahlia tubers. The plants that were obviously considered too fragile to put straight into the box came in these little cardboard containers (dual purpose, since I can use them to light the fire).
The focus of all the plant pot movement and seed-sowing was our newly decorated sun room (previously simply a ‘hold all’ for plants in the winter).
The BV did it up nicely in the summer. The only problem is that because it looks so nice I am continually cleaning up after the plants, trying to keep it that way. After the sowing session on Wednesday (there are more some seed pots in the greenhouse), I probably spent about an hour mopping up after myself, something I’d never have taken the time to do in the past. On the plus side, my lettuce germinated the following day – a happy thing because I struggled with them last year.
Three. Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ – purchased last year and full of hopeful buds. This probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, but this is the first plant of ‘Bowles’ Mauve’ I’ve encountered in France (in the life – not online!!!) in 14 years. I need to take cuttings, because it will surely get leggy and have a short life on our clay soil, even though I’ve planted it in crack between wall and concrete.
Four. I thought I was rather clever in using the dogwood stems to create hoops for protecting veg seedlings in what I call my ‘cold frames’ (although they haven’t got covers).
I used to buy rather expensive fleece to put over the top of whatever support I was using, but the cats thought it a great game to jump on top and run up and down inside, tearing it in the process. So this year I bought cheaper plastic. Unfortunately the brown boy, Sage, is a ‘chewer’ – he’s like a puppy. I keep going into the drawer where I store toilet paper and finding it’s been shredded (it’s an Ikea model – bolted to the wall and he climbs in at the back). I hope the plastic is not to his taste.
Five. Crocus etruscus ‘Zwanenberg’. It does seem to be bulking up, unlike the corms in the lawn of the Iris Garden, which sadly dwindle a little every year. I like to be botanically correct, so I’m determined that they WILL like the Iris Garden. But you can’t order plants around … and I don’t think I’ve got my mowing regime right yet.
Six. New hellebores, planted just before confinement in February 2020. They were imported by the BV from England. The last time he’ll be able to do that!!!
Decent, named cultivars of hellebores at a good price are hard to come by here, which is a shame, because they do so well in the garden. They seed everywhere and, fortunately, not all the seedlings are a boring dirty pink.
So that’s it for this week. Have a lovely one. Let’s hope the news gives us some glimmers of hope in the days to come.
Go on over to see everyone else’s six at the Propagator’s blog. And thanks to him for hosting!
31 thoughts on “Six on Saturday. 5 March 2022”
Beautiful Hellebores to finish off the post. I do find they’re very obliging from seed; growing freely and as you say, often providing a few different colours.
Yes – and always nice to see the ‘freckles’!
Lots happening in the garden and all looking well, despite the cats.
But sad to see the snowdrops go!
Your got a purrfect garden what with all those cat toys you set up. Your hellebores are nicely suited to that spot in the garden. You may need to select the best flowering seedlings, and find other gardeners out where you are to set up a plant exchange.
Maybe if I bought them a cat tunnel for the house, they would leave the one in the garden alone! Your comment made me think that perhaps I should post something on Facebook to get a group together – we are few and far between here, us ornamental gardeners.
Lovely post, Spring is such a joy but like you I have noticed the lack of rain! X
On Sat 5 Mar 2022 at 08:35, Garden Dreaming at Châtillon wrote:
> Cathy posted: ” Frosted Kale ‘Nero di Toscana’ Even while with think of > the folk in Ukraine, let’s keep clinging to little bits of spring joy … > It’s been a really sunny week with heavy frosts each morning, although the > greenhouse temperatures have never dropped ” >
It’s due to last, Paula!
Spring is definitely springing in your garden. Love the Zwanenberg – such a lovely colour. My crocuses have about finished except for ‘Snow Bunting’ which are very small and don’t seem to like the wind much. As you say, plants find their own place in a garden.
Funnily enough, I’m noticing this year for the first time that we are behind the UK here – so many daffodils on blogs, long before mine were showing colour …
My early daffs were later to flower this year, not sure why.
Your garden room looks fantastic and I can see the garden waiting to burst forth.
Thanks, Rosie. Yes, we love to sit in there and look out. In some ways our garden is slightly divorced from the house, because we are on such a steep slope.
At least my cat isn’t a chewer, he’s not much help in the garden, but HD does like to watch me when the weather is warm. You have been very busy and it shows. Interesting Six-on-Saturday.
Sorry…he, not HD.
Those Crocus are a show. Jet Fire is lovely – yours are just starting to do the sweepy back petals thing.
Yes – now in full sweepy-back mode!
I love the Zwanenberg crocus, too. And the cats, though I can see how aggravating that could be. I keep my dogs out of the garden as much as possible. That is an interesting slope solution…
The thing with cats the garden is where they have their walk!!!! Normally they are no problem at all, but Sage is glued to my heels and is one of those teenagers that just doesn’t know where to stop!
Things are looking spring-like. Love the hellebores.
I wonder if a homemade spray of crushed garlic and cayenne pepper would deter the Chewer? You’d have to reapply after a rain or maybe weekly, but it might help.
Oh Eliza – that’s interesting. He’s hard to deter, mind, but I should have a try – now noted in my gardening notebook!
Goodness, you certainly have a lot of pictures for ‘six’.
Well, I like pictures. It’s my blog … I do what I like!
That is why I sometimes sneak pictures of Rhody into my Six; and everyone else also likes Rhody.
Lovely to see signs of spring while we head into autumn down here. Love the hellebores.
They are looking even better this week …
What a great round up of everything that’s going on in your garden. I always enjoy reading your posts. The crocus and hellebores look great, and I always love a cat photo!
Thanks so much – the cats won’t get out of the frame!
What an interesting post, Cathy – especially about your trial and error schemes, something we can all pick up tips from. Your garden room seems to have proved to be a big asset!
Thanks so much. Yes – it’s always been good for the plants, since we moved here (a difficult house for plants – but too complicated to explain!!!), now we are reclaiming it for people (and cats). It’s so pretty and one of the oldest parts of the house, since it was the base of the tower on the old medieval rampart walls.