Tag: lavender

Potato Day

Today we sowed the potatoes so I’m writing this post mostly to keep track of that date. To recap on my previous post, I am growing Casablanca and International Kidney.

The weather has still been cold and wet; everything is late this year. My forsythia are flowering now and I’m so grateful for their cheery bright yellow. Some blue wood anemones have popped up and the pulmonaria is beginning to flower, but most plants still seem very sleepy.

I have some plans for a bed in the front garden which I started enacting today between rain showers. I am going to have to put the ceanothus out of its misery. (It is a broad-leaved one, Trewithen Blue, I think.) I mentioned last year that it came back from the brink of death a few years ago and since then has been rather misshapen and straggly. It did not appreciate two small dumpings of snow in March just as it was coming out of dormancy. I even went out with a broom to try to brush the snow off but that was too little, too late. It’s still alive but a lot of leaves have died and the flower buds are brown and floppy – I don’t think they will open. So that along with its already bad shape means it needs to go.

Yesterday I bought two Elaeagnus x ebbingei ‘Viveleg’ – one will replace the ceanothus (but slightly further away from the philadelphus which it was too close to) and the other will go on the other side of the philadelphus. They have nice evergreen variegated leaves which I hope will go well with the variegated leaves of the philadelphus but also fill in for its bareness in winter. I look forward to its scented flowers in autumn. I also bought some lavender which will go at the front of the bed, I couldn’t decide which variety to get so bought Munstead and Hidcote to mix it up a bit. I’m going to try using some mycorrhizal fungi when I plant these plants out. I haven’t used it before but it’s supposed to support the root system and help the plant get established more quickly.

Another change in the front is that I decided to put the Christmas box (Sarcococca confusa), that was in a pot in the porch, into the ground right next to the porch. It hasn’t grown very much in the pot and I wondered if it would be happier if it could spread its roots but when I took it out of the pot the root system wasn’t that big and it certainly wasn’t pot bound. I didn’t find any grubs so I don’t think it’s been eaten, maybe it’s just a very slow grower. I also popped some bluey-purple hyacinths, which I’d had indoors, in the ground in front of it.

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Ace Acer

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My chocolate vine (Akebia quinata) is flowering and, I’ve just noticed, so is my Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’). I have never noticed it flowering before so this may be the first time!

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The lavender cuttings that I wrote about before didn’t actually take – the new green growth wilted and died. So I took some new ones today from just new green shoots rather than the woody parts, hoping that works better. I also took some dianthus cuttings, from a very leggy plant which will be euthanised if the cuttings take, and sowed some dill seeds in three little purple pots that my Mum gave me.

New Life

Things are starting to come to life! My forsythia are coming into flower now – I have one in the back garden and one propagated from it in the front garden. They are providing some much needed cheer. Another harbinger of spring: I spotted my first brimstone butterfly of the year flutter across the garden yesterday. Not the first butterfly of the year though; I saw a red admiral a couple of weeks ago.

About a month ago I took some lavender cuttings and two of them seem to have taken and are making new green growth. It’s probably not the right time of year to be taking them but my conservatory is warm so I thought I’d give it a go. I also have some baby succulents growing from some leaves that broke off. It’s amazing how easily some plants will root!

Outside I have made up some pots with fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris) and grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) which are starting to come out now. I love the chequerboard pattern on the fritillary flowers, and I think the new grape hyacinth inflorescences look like little blue conifer trees!