Six on Saturday: 15.2.20-dahlia love begins

The garden survived last weekends storm relatively unscathed. I’ve reattached the back gate with heavier duty hinges as it got broken in the wind last weekend. But apart from that, the garden has held up pretty well. We’ll see whether it holds up to the rain this weekend. Despite the weather, I’ve still managed a few jobs this week and still a good couple of flowers still coming out to play.
1. Primula Veris-cowslips

I started with one little pot of cowslips. I’ve gradually been dividing them under the dogwood. Most of the year the dogwood would overshadow this area but the cowslips flower early enough to shine before the dogwood takes over. They provide an early source of nectar for early bees and beetles and provide the garden with a bit of colour early on in the year.

2. Charity find

This week’s charity find was this little painted pot for the price of 20p. I’ve put a cheap pot of daffodils in it for now. Another little burst of colour amongst the foliage plants. The pots have survived through the storms. The log store acts as a bit of a buffer for a few of the pots.

3. Bin tidy

I finally got round to sorting the bin area. I dug out the border, put sand down and these plastic grids that the bins can sit on. Then the area was covered with gravel. We thought it would look neater while still giving drainage rather than the paving we’d originally considered. I’d still like to build a covered bin tidy but it all looks neater than the strip of mud that was there before. The fatsia was only put at the end temporarily but it seems to like the spot so it may stay.

4. Iris reticulata- Katherine Hodgkin

The second of the Iris reticulata varieties to flower and it is a stunner. It rather foolishly decided to open during last week’s storms but has survived the winds. The creamy bloom with the blue veins is a delightful combination. I planted these in one of the tall hosta pots with the idea that they’d be up and flowering and then the hosta would come up later in the year. So far so good.

5. Lupins

I got another batch of seeds sown last week as Alice was pestering to sow something. She’d chosen a mixed bag of lupin seeds a while back. She likes the red ones on the pack. Hopefully, we’ll get some red ones or she might be a bit disappointed. Lots have germinated within a few days so it seems hopeful. I noticed last year at open gardens that almost every garden that was selling plants had lupins so I figure they must be fairly straightforward to raise from seed. I’ll grow them up in recycled plastic pots to protect them from the slugs and snails and then use them to gap-fill later in the year.

6. Plug plants

I picked up a few small plugs to grow on. I got a few of these dahlieta options. I got one last year and it flowered for months across summer and into autumn. They grow small and compact and within regular deadheading and feeding, they can keep flowering. I’ll need to grow these on and pot them on. They’ll need keeping inside initially so I may regret getting them this early but it’d be nice to have an early show of dahlia flowers.

I also got a few Nepeta hederacea plugs. This forms a good trail of variegated foliage. It’s useful for trailing out of pots or hanging baskets. Then I also got a white trailing fuschia that I will probably use in the front garden if it survives potting on.

The garden is currently very calm but we have storm Dennis on the way so I want to check the garden is all secured. I have a handful of jobs to work through over the next week. I’ve got the last few stepping stones I needed for the front garden. I’m going to add some drainage holes to the front while I’m at it. As it’s thick compressed clay having had weed matting and gravel on it for a decade the drainage isn’t great and don’t want it to waterlogged. I’ve also managed to pick up some cheap peat-free soil improver to use to top-dress it. This will gradually get taken into the soil improving the structure which will help drainage. It will also add a few extra nutrients for the plants. I’d started work on a new seat in the back garden and I’ve still got the roses to prune so hopefully get a few dry days after the storm. Hope you all survive the storms and enjoy your weekends.

27 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 15.2.20-dahlia love begins”

  1. Hope storm is kind to your garden, you seem very much in control. I am always tempted by those little plugs, I haven’t seen any yet this year must take a trip out to find some. Love the iris, such a little darling, and of course the variegated fatsia. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I looked at my cowslips this morning but not a sign of a flower – yours are well ahead. We all seem to feeling that need to get going again, storms yes but the mild weather is moving things along. I’ll be sowing seeds in a week or two but good to see yours have already germinated – greenhouse or inside sowings?

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  3. I imagine that your cowslips give a welcome show of colour at this time of year, and your Iris is very delicate and pretty. Hoping you get some of those red lupins too. I’m sure your little dahlias will fill your garden with rich summer colour – I haven’t noticed any of those in our local garden centres.

    But – bins! You shouldn’t have mentioned bins! I’ve been complaining about the location of our bins (and we now have five. Yes five!) for 20 years and can’t get husband to move them to a new spot. He put slabs down to house the original three, so really doesn’t want to have to put more down elsewhere.

    They sit under my study window (where I am often, in winter) and when I stand up, they are my first view of the garden. Multi-coloured, massive plastic bins. Grrr…

    Sorry – you shouldn’t have mentioned bins. 😂 But that’s a really good idea with the grid – I might just mention that to him…

    I hope Story Dennis doesn’t hit you too badly. Have a happy gardening week.

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    1. We used to wheel the bins out of sight round the back of the house but it’s too much hassle brining them round for bin day. So they ended up at the front. They look a bit neater for the new fence behind them but I still like to get them covered. There not in sight though from the sitting room so this is at least a practical solution for now. But the front garden is coming together bit by bit.

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      1. The brown bins get very heavy too – so it’s probably much easier for you to have them at the front. Our gardens are open at the front, so bins would just blow away. One of my daughters has suggested adding trellis screening around ours, with some planting growing on it. I’m still considering that. There’s a solution to everything.


  4. The bin area looks neat and tidy. We have one bin behind the garage and one behind the greenhouse. I would like them shielded from view more but I can’t find anywhere better. I was in the gardening section of Wilkinson’s this morning and noticed the “Fairy” area of the shelves! I did think of Alice – she would have liked it.

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  5. I’m curious. Are you sure those are cowslips? Cowslip flowers usually form at the top of a tall stem and have elongated leaves. Yours looks more like a common primula vulgaris or a polyanthus.

    Liked by 1 person

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