Sunday, 6 March 2011

Garden Tidy Time

I had the first wander in the garden this year to do some real work and we've seen a bit of sun today which gives a sort of mini spring feeling. I know I did a bit of clearing up of leaves when the snow went, but this is the first time I've been able to stand on the grass because it's been so wet.

I cut down a broken branch from one of my favourite bushes which had snapped under the weight of the snow and I was going to cut down the clematis Montana (the prolific early flowering variety) because I thought it was dead. The shoots were dark brown and brittle but on closer inspection, hey, there were leaf buds sprouting so apart from a trim, the Montana is still there to give us some early spring flowering cover.

Sadly, for the first time, none of the cacti in the greenhouse survived the winter. This is very unusual because they are not difficult to keep in cold climes providing the conditions are right (dry for example), but they were all stone dead, wilted and rotted. However the bay bush and my pots of lavender plants did survive in the greenhouse and I'll be putting them out in the next couple of weeks in their pots once this latest batch of frost goes.

There were loads of twigs from the trees on the grass and they're all in the council bin ready for disposal and my next job probably next weekend will be to empty the bottom of the compost bin and put it into the borders. There is a train of thought that compost from bins should go in the ground earlier to allow the frosts to break it down, but the bad weather has prevented that this year (good excuse.)

All the annual flowers are peeping through and the last of the snowdrops still shine white set against the dark soil. The begonia is the first flower other than snowdrops to show itself, just one lonely spike, but there will be others coming out soon.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit;
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Chat soon



  1. Blimey, killed cacti? That takes some doing :) I suspected the clue is 'rotted'. I suspect you have a cold, damp draught getting in somewhere.

    Having said that, the cold this winter has killed my mint. Not too unhappy about that - mint is a thug, like chives. Chives are beautiful with their delicate purple flowers, but unless you eat them, they pop up all over the lawn :)

    Sage and the related lavender seem to be indestructible. Try cooking using a little lavender if you have no sage. About half as you would sage in a hot-pot or stew.

    Time I started to annoy 'er indoor by starting off my big terracotta pots of basil, thyme, parsley, some good hardy bay this year, and the ubiquitous garlic of course in the kitchen, for planting out next month.

    I'll shurrup now (Grin!)

  2. Hi Wheelie
    I think you're right about the damp bit. I visited Scawby Hall a couple of years ago and they had a whole allotment size patch full of different varieties of Lavender - not only did it look and smell incredible, but it was absolutely full of bees, moths and butterflies of every description. I'll be glad when we start getting some frost free nights and warmer days.
    Take care

  3. I'm well into herbs. Not to be confused with homoeopathy (to me me that's hope into things yet unseen, well diluted :) ) Herbs are more than tasty.

    Sage in a flower bed keeps greenfly down, as does marigold, and marigold protects spuds too, in my experience. I could go on... try a quick web search for symbiotic herb relationships.

    Thank you for reminding me that my davidi budliei (butterfly bush) needs pruning :)

  4. Hi Wheelie
    Herbs are so important in our lives, particularly for healing minor ailments, much better than popping unecessary pills. But you are right to point out the symbiosis of the very clever natural world.