After my last post it may have seemed like my gardening year was over but today I spent a very enjoyable few hours out in my garden. What about our hard frost? Well, the next night we had no frost at all in my garden and today it was really quite pleasant. We even had some sunshine!
Sale plants in Garden Centres are often a great buy especially at this time of year. I had a few plants in pots that I picked up last month and as we could get our frost back again at any time I felt the need to get these plants in the ground.
Daphne mezer ‘Rubra’ was one of my bargain plants found in a corner of a garden centre with a selection of other sickly looking plants. However, I knew the three stick-like stems had the promise of purple-red flowers in February/March. The label read £16.99 but the sale ticket had dropped all the way to £4! I like to rescue plants from areas like this and today it became one of the latest additions to my garden.
Drumstick alliums, Sphaerocephalon, planted in baskets and British Bluebells, Scilla Nutans, planted in small trenches were both bought half price and finally made it into my garden today too. I know I’m a bit late and that is why I got them at this price. However, I have planted bulbs this late before and if the soil has been warm as it was today they have been okay.
Ligulaia x palmatiloba has towered over my pond border for a few years now with its wonderful bright yellow flat daisy heads. However this year I moved a small pine tree to this area and I now feel these two plants are in competition. So today I moved the Ligulaia to the border that backs on to my pergola trellis with the sulphur heart ivy and euphorbia – I think the yellows will blend well in this area. I even managed to divide one of the plants which will refresh it too.
The Japanese anemone hybrida ‘Serenade’ with its pink flower replaced the ligularia in my pond border. I bought three of these as they were selling them at £2 each. They have been quite pot-bound as you can see in the photos above. You can also see the familiar sight of division too. I decided to tease apart two of the plants and got four plants from each. I left one plant untouched so I will definitely get flowers from it next year. Not all of the divided plants may flower next year but they will be worth waiting for!
I cut back my grasses around my pond border and it is good to see the soil once again. After weeding this area I mulched it with the compost left in my pots. It looks quite refreshed and my pots are now empty! I will now be able to see the birds run around the plants which I always enjoy in the winter months.
As I worked around my pond I happened to notice the familiar signs of decomposing leaves in the water – I had a few oily spots on the surface. There was a chance we could get frost tonight and the pond could get frozen over so I got out my net and a basin and went fishin’ once again! I filled my small basin with leaves and the, not so pleasant, smell told me that they were definitely giving off gases. I will keep an eye on it over the winter months.
My greenhouse needed a little ‘tidy’ and I rearranged my trays of allium bulbs, that I have planted up in pots, on the benches. I planted a tray of grasses in front of my ligularia and kept one in the greenhouse. I also potted up one of my Pentstemon ‘Etna’ and have stored it in my greenhouse – just in case I loose some of my plants this winter. I also potted a blue and a deep red coloured one together in a larger pot as I am undecided where I will put them. So all in all I had a good gardening day! However, I did think about all my gardening friends with snow covering their gardens at the moment.
Watching as I gardened today was the tiny robin adding a lovely splash of colour where he sat. He perched on my garden spade and on the branches of shrubs as I worked and the minute I walked away he bounced down and ran around the plants looking for food. Even as I tidied my greenhouse he decided to run along in there too! Sorry no pics of that although I did catch him on the way out as it jumped on to my blue ground sheet with potting soil. Isn’t he a beauty?
Finally, tonight as I go to post this we now have a foggy and frosty night! Our grass is frosted and sparkling already and I have just looked at the car temp gauge and it reads minus 3 deg C at 10.30pm. I guess we are in for a cold night again!