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Our box of supplies from Mr. Fothergills this month contained 24 strawberry plants, 4 kinds of tomato seeds to be grown outside to test against blight etc, one pkt of broad beans to compare yield with autumn sown ones and three pot grown garlic plants to compare with the autumn and spring sown ones for risk of bolting - interesting. I did get the garlic planted but too cold to do the beans and strawberries. Here is the garlic, autumn planted on the left, spring planted on the right, both from cloves, and the new plants top in the middle.
Even foggier this morning in Bristol and so cold. I will sow my new tomato seeds from Mr. Fothergill on the kitchen table in the warm and hope to get my strawberry plants in and my second sowing of broad beans done this afternoon. The forecast is for sun about 1pm. I need to check up on all the other trial subjects too and report to the PR firm who are handling the data. We do that once a month and I wrestle with the soreadsheets and end up putting most of it in an email but it all gets there. I tell myself I bet there are not many 85 year olds in the world doing this as I wonder what I have done wrong or failed to do on the laptop now! But I am a firm believer in exercising the mind as well as the body so I soldier on.
I tackled my spreadsheets yesterday and got that out of the way. No fog this morning and sunny and dry and warm forecast for the whole of today and tomorrow in Bristol. I will reserve tomorrow to arrange my St. Patrick's Day,( which is Monday )display so today i must sow my new broad beans and tomatoes which did not get done yesterday. Many of my tomatoes need pricking out now so shall have to search in my potting shed (back of the garage) for 9cm pots to wash. I have about 30 auriculas which could come out of their pots now and go into the slate scree, so that should help. AS I have tomatoes to test under glass and others outside I will reserve one of the raised beds for outdoor ones and put the others in large pots. Next week is the local group of the AGS meeting so I have to get the March Newsletter written and printed for then. That will have to be an evening job. I was so pleased to see Carole Klein on Gardeners World last night talking for the second week in a row to a well known member of the AGS. Those cyclamen were just delightful. I have Cuclamen hederifolium, coum cilicicum and pseudo - graecum all flourishing at different times of the year outside and of course, persicum in the conservatory. Lovely to see a new variety with such lovely leaves. Ashwood Nurseries and Graham Massey are well known to AGS members too = hint to Carole.
Just in time before I disappeared up the garden, the courier arrived with four lovely pale pink azaleas from Jersey plants. Of course I had to unpack them and inspect. They have masses of flower buds but no colour showing so their bright green foliage will be ideal for St. Patrick's day! They are destined to be planted after flowering in four of the circular beds of the six I cut out for my Olympic Rings in 2012
Then came the parcel post with 15 bareroot lupins, five each of Noble Maiden, My Castle and the Governor. Long roots so need to find about 20 big pots for them. They are for the front garden prairie patch. There were some extra! The bright sun has the early tulips opening up to it so had to get out my camera. I wonder if Carole will visit a primula specialist.
One of my favourite alines is Primula allionii - here are two about tp flower now, P. allionii "Eyres Mist" has cream flowers and "Dwaine's choice" has purple.
Oh what a glorious day I have had in my garden. The weather was perfect, the soil friable. I sowed 50 broad beans and 4 Elephant garlic cloves I had saved from my harvest last year, weeded round the new blackberry Reuben and found a new shoot just appeared at its base, checked on the strawberries I planted yesterday and was astonished to see them all proudly showing their first new leaves off. I said hello to my wild violets and sniffed their scent and was never alone as the robins were out in force. Now I am quite whacked and planning fish and chips for supper. Gardening does give you quite an appetite,
Beautiful photos marion, I haven't got any tulips out yet, how lucky are you. I too have had a lovely day in the garden, the weather has been glorious here in Bournemouth. You are right marion, gardening does give you an appetite.
My Hyacinths are just pushing out the perfume, I have quite a few dotted around the front garden, they seem to have done really well this year.
Donutsmrs I swear I can smell that lovely pink hyacinth but then I have been taking pots of my mainly Delft blue ones out to the front garden where I have been working on my St. Patrick's Day display all morning. in case it is not such a glorious day tomorrow here are some photos. Happy St. Patrick's Day in advance from Marion, her garden and the thousands of insects who are enjoying my huge willow tree covered in pussy willow
catkins at the moment.
Such a beautiful start to the gardening week - sunny and warm. Production line will be in full flow this week . I have changed my bed, done all the washing vacuuming and dusting, cooked enough food to last the week, so feel free to spent all daylight hours in the garden which is great as it means nothing switched on in the house and lower energy bills means more money for plants, compost and plantfood. The flowerbeds are buzzing with bumblebees this morning and that bodes good for the broad beans in flower. The tulip heads are opening for the pollinators. The cowslips are flowering in the box hedge.
Hello Happy Marion, such a good way to start this week : the lovely photographs of you garden.
My tulips aren't in flower yet but the daffoldils, Muscari and Pulmonaria always give their best when the Snowdrops are going over.
The weather continues to be bright and sunny here in Herefordshire and your photo's inspire me to 'get on' with my gardening in anticipation of more to come.
Have a good gardening week
My tulips seem so much ahead of all my neighbours. I ordered them in July and planted in November though they arrived in September. Very big bulbs, definitely flowering size! I am busy planning my Mother's day display now.
Ah, so that's the answer. Noted in the diary. Off out again now to supervise the re-siting of flagstones (there is a limit to what my creaky knees will withstand!). Looks like being a pleasant evening.
I spoke too soon, grey cloud being blown in on a cold wind.
The paved area looks good around the shed now.
So happy for you , It is good when a job you have done turns out satisfactory. A bit greyer here now before the light went but a fairly good day forecast for tomorrow.
Hello Marion, St. Patricks display looks lovely. Is the plant with the big red leaves on the bench on the right, next to wall a heucera? It's a stunner.
Marion, can you remember the name of your tulips? Think I have the same ones, also in flower:
Loving your St Patrick's Day display
That looks like "Ancilla", 4th Panda, a kaufmanianna tulip. My red ones are Batalinii Red Hunter and the yellow and red ones are "Stresa". Lots more to come as I planted some late to do a "Chelsea" and the earl ones were put in their pots in a sheltered spot in the garden after a spell of cold weather. Lisa, that heuchera is called "Southern Comfort" and looks a good whisky colour. The backs of its leaves are fiery red in winter. So glad you are enjoying my displays. Colour theme for Mother's Day is cream and pink.
My tulips are nowhere near out yet. Daffodils in full swing and wild cowslips coming out everywhere.
Love your bright red tulips, Marion.
I have cowslips establishing themselves under box hedging. My neighbour said I must see my willow tree from her garden so I took my camera round.and snapped it.
And my forsythia from her side of the fence.
Oh I do wish the Chancellor had done something about a living wage for gardeners. The minimum wage will not entice young people no matter how exciting the garden. I pricked out two lots of Mr. Fothergills tomato seedlings today and was disappointed in the one which is not on the market yet, such weak stems compared to the others that it was a very fiddly job. I doubt whether it will make it. Pink Charmer and Black Opal are good plants already. Colder weather forecast so I think i will be putting down plastic on some of my raised beds tomorrow to keep the heat in the soil. "Charlotte" potatoes to be planted outside soon. Keep looking out my windows at the show from the primulas and polyanthus. That is going to be a bog job dividing them in a month's time. Some of my alpines like the parahebe have succombed to the wet and died this winter so the drainage failed which is normally adequate.but Arenaria montana is still flowering profusely like it normally does.