Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Tuesday morning - garden ramblings

I'm supposed to go into school today to do 'stuff'.  I'm not sure I can be bothered.  Shameful, isn't it?  DG is coming round this morning and staying overnight: I'm taking him to the Flyer for lunch so perhaps we can pop into school for a while after that.  Oh, it is so nice not HAVING to do stuff, but one could (does) get terribly lazy!

Yesterday was rather pleasant too.  It got quite warm in the garden in the afternoon and I spent a very pleasant hour or so just pottering out there, making decisions, etc.  I have made a final decision as to where the rectangular willow planter will go (up by the shed, next to the redlove Auntie May tree): as I said before, the most obvious place for it was already taken by tomatoes (or will be) and I didn't want to put it in any place that I like to put my garden chairs.  It's now a third full of soily stuff from a bag, another bag is waiting to be put in and the last third will be compost from my compost bin.

I have decided, after much dithering and with regret. that the rosemary probably does has to go.  It really is way, way, way too big now and is not only crowding other plants but also blocking the pathway.  I will cut it right back, use some of the chop back to take cuttings, as I did last year most successfully, and then see what happens.  It might look really ugly once it's been chopped, it might die (most likely, knowing my luck) or it might work well and I can keep it there for a few more years.
Talking of herbs , I looked at one of the purple sages and saw that there is a shoot right at the base, so I cut everything else right back and just left that one shoot.  If it works, great, if not, then I will get a new plant.  I also took out the thyme, as it was in a poor state and a replacement is on the shopping list.  I can't manage without my thyme.  And the cold weather has 'killed' my bay again.  After last year's experience, I will wait and see what comes up from the base before making any decisions. 
I was, however, delighted to see that the mint is making an appearance.  I'm not good with mint, usually managing to kill it off, but somehow last year's has survived.  I think that's possibly the first time ever.

I need advice - the snowdrops are spreading mightily and there really were too many for one little bed this year.  They are all dropping mini-bulbs at the moment and my question is can I just pick up these little embryos (for want of a better word) and plant them elsewhere?  Will they come up - does anyone know?   Photo immediately above, a bit out of focus but I mean those green oval thingies.
I'm also going to move some established snowdrop plants.  if I had a grassy bank, I would plant some there and let them run wild, but I don't so I can't! 

I love this bush.  It is unkillable and it brightens up the darkest corner of the garden.  When Bryan first did my garden makeover I splurged on a very big pot, loadsa soil and a little plant that had nice leaves and wasn't a holly although it looked like it.  I didn't want anything poisonous with a little grandson who put everything in his mouth and loved playing in the garden.  For a while it looked perfectly ridiculous, a titchy plant in a huge pot.  When the extension was built and I wasn't living at home during that very hot summer, the poor thing nearly died.  A lot of its leaves fell and it was in a bad way.  We chopped it right back, talked to it nicely and lo and behold, it survived and thrived again.  It takes everything I throw at it, drought, poor soil, shady corner, no pruning and still it looks shiny and happy.  I love it!

Another plant I love, albeit in a somewhat 'horrid fascination' sort of way, is my twisted hazel.  It's weird, really peculiar.  It is in a pot as you can see, again I have nearly killed it several times, it's been cut right back and still it refuses to lie down and give up.  What is has given up on is sending branches up and has one long branch off to the right.  I'm hoping that what I have heard about plants is true - that they find their own balance if you let them - because if it doesn't it will get to the point where it topples off the 'stand' the pot is on!

Also yesterday, I went online and cheated.  I bought seed tape.  Seed tape for early nantes carrots, little gem lettuces and radishes (for the willow planter).  I've never heard of it before and yes, it's much more expensive than packets of seed but looks jolly convenient and the seedlings shouldn't need nearly so much thinning out.  I will let you know how it goes.
I also splurged and bought grafted tomatoes again, for delivery at the end of April.  I did the same last year and they were very successful with no disease whatsoever (although I did suspect blight at one point and sprayed, just in case), but they were late ripening and I suspect that was because I dithered for so long, I only caught the June delivery (they deliver end of April, May and June).  I'm getting them in earlier this year and if they have to stay indoors for a while, well, no problems!  I'm sure I can find space for them!

Well, better get going I suppose.  I need my coffee and I think proper coffee is what is called for.  After all, it is the second day of the holidays!  A bit of spoiling is definitely in order!  And I need it after writing this splurge.  It's as long as a TMA!

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