Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sunday - and about cowslips for Juliesmum

Yesterday, when I woke, it was very cold and when I peered through the window I could see why.  There was quite a heavy frost.  Today it felt warm but still, when I looked, I saw that there was another frost.  The difference was, as I realised as quickly as my sleep fuddled brain would allow, that today I woke up after the heating had clicked on!  We had glorious sunshine yesterday but, even so, there was a decidedly chilly feel to the air at times.  I'm hoping that today will be milder.  It would be rather nice to sit comfortably out in the garden and feel warm.  I am reminded of when the children were little, before I had a more established garden, when at this time of the year I felt the urge to stock up with bedding plants but resisted the temptation until the end of May when all danger of frosts had gone, realistically speaking.

Yesterday was a busy day although I didn't get as much done as I had hoped, especially at school, where I left the display for during this coming week.  I did get a LOT of clearing of old work done, some marking and some sorting out of table boxes which were, frankly, rather a mess!

I also got the planning done and dusted and now only have to make the resources, which, sadly, are quite considerable for this week but never mind!  Most of it involves playing about on the PC one way or another, and that is fun!

I took a few photos of the cowslips to show Juliesmum.

This is where I planed the original one and, of course, the new plants have grown very close.  It's a nice little clump but I think they would be better further apart.  The 'problem' is whether to move them while they are flowering and risk killing off the flowers or leave them until; they have seeded and have more then growing in the same place.  I'm not much of a gardener so I will Google for information (how DID we manage before Google?)

The photo below is of the scillas really but, in the corner, you can see a new little cowslip plant that has just come up this year (I think) although, as it is flowering, perhaps it is a second year plant and I didn't notice it last year..
They might be doing so well because they are really wild flowers and the soil at the front is quite poor really.

I've just Googled and there's some helpful info out there.  It says the seeds take a long time to ripen, not being shed until July so I guess if they are dead headed before then they won't have shed fertile seeds.  It also says they are attractive to bees and don't really like shady conditions - so it's a mystery why they are doing well at the front of my house where it only gets the sun early morning.  It looks as if I will have to move some round the back and compare!

Some sites say it is perennial and some that it is biennial.  As long as they keep coming up year after year and earn their place by reproducing nicely, I don't mind which it is!  It also seems that the plants do better after a cold spell so this year should have suited them just perfectly!

I found this photo here.  It just goes to show how much they can seed themselves, given time.

This blog has an interesting little article about the cowslip.  It seems that the leaves are edible!!

Seeing as this is going to be a lo-o-o-ng posting, I may as well make it longer by saying that I'm going to plant runner beans this year and I'm going to give them a good start off in loo rolls in the kitchen.  What you do, it seems, is stand your loo rolls up in a waterproof container, fill them with soil and plant the bean seed inside.  When they have grown, you plant the whole kit and caboodle outside without any need to damage the roots.  I'm going to try it and see.
Link here

And just to finish, it seems that my usual kiss of death to plants has gone into reverse as here's a patio rose I was given almost exactly a year ago, starting to grow very nicely again this year . . .

. . . and the hyacinths are still lovely.  These were gifts that I planted out several years ago now.


joanygee said...

When I want to know anything about plants I use the RHS website. The only planting we've done is onion sets. Harvested leeks yesterday (bucketful)so cleaned and trimmed some and gave to a neighbour. As for Gove et al I'd be tempted to retire. (grin) Jx

Joy said...

Maybe that's the idea so all us oldies retire (or die - after all, look what's happening to some disabled people!) before we get our full pension!

J x

Dianeuk said...

Don't the cowslips look good. As for politicians perhaps Guy Faulks had the best plan!!!! Before they break down my door and arrest me I had better state that this is meant to be a joke and I don't want a one way ticket to Guantanamo Bay.

Joy said...

Behind many a joke there is a germ of truth! See you there, Diane!

J x