Friday, 23 March 2012

First bunch of the year

Big fat buds are appearing on the pear tree and I've had to clean out the cold frames to house the greenhouse overflow.  It must, therefore, be spring.

I've even managed to pick enough stuff for a vase of flowers, so hopefully it is the start of a prolific year of flowery marvellousness.

Must prune more of the red-stemmed dogwood used in the arrangement above, so it comes back with more bright red growth late in the year.  Love the lime green of its leaves at the moment. Very eye pokey!  Have planted lots more honesty seeds (the purple stuff) in the garden this week, so should get lots more to pick over the next few months - got quite a surprise to see that flowering this early - must be a self-sown seedling that has overwintered in the hedge bottom.  Also sowed pot marigolds, nigella and cerinthe so I should get a few vasefuls from that investment of five minutes labour.  I love this pink hellebore flower - a seedling from one of my mother-in-law's plants years ago, which is now firmly established in my own garden.

Nearly pruned the straggly bit off the amelanchier tonight, but had the bright idea of holding off for another few days.  If I trim it back when its blossom buds are a bit further on, I can enjoy it in the house rather than just putting it straight into the shredding pile.

This good weather has brought on a ruthless purge on all things which are not earning their keep in the flower border, or which need dividing to promote new vigourous growth.  Leggy lavenders have gone, sambucus nigra is about a third of the size it was this morning, things have a bit of breathing space around them, and plant labels marking out seed beds are now starting to appear in all the borders.

 A friend went home with a tray full of various hardy geraniums, lysimachia, knapweed and knautia as she's just in the process of digging out a new flower border and needs some inhabitants for the bare soil.  Just hope I haven't passed her any bits of ground elder with it.  I DID inspect all the rootballs carefully to see if there were any nuggets of the evil weed lurking within.  I see that stuff when I close my eyes at night at the moment!

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