Wednesday, 19 December 2007

A good gardening day!

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!

7 comments:

urbanextension said...

You put me to shame! My garden is an awful mess. Leaves, weeds, plants to cut back... Fancy a trip to Dorset??? Your Robin is gorgeous. Amazing pictures. He's so much plumper than ours. Maybe I need to fill up the feeders "yet again".

st said...

Very photogenic robin. Is he tame?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I couldn't hardly read all about all the work you did in your garden because I was admiring the photos of the Robin. They are just great photos. You can almost see what the robin is thinking..."Where are some of those luscious worms she is stirring up in the garden??"

You deserve a rest after working so hard. My garden is so wet and half frozen. I can't do much here.

Pete said...

delightful birds robins

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I love the robin photos! Your robin is so different from our American robin. Yours has such a lovely color.

jodi said...

Such great photos (and how nice to be still planting!) As mentioned by robin's nesting place your robin is very different from the American robin (which hangs out in Canada, too).

shirl said...

Hi again Jane. St, Lisa, Pete, Robin and Jodie :-)

Jane – You should see the inside of my shed! It is quite a handsome Robin. We have a couple that visit and the other isn’t so plump – equally that same bird can look much slimmer. Perhaps it deliberately puffs up his chest just like a peacock parades around to attract the females :-D

St – that robin is a good subject – if I am quick enough! No, it isn’t tame at all. I have a lot of ground covering plants and gravel mulches so when I actually turn over any soil I am never alone. I also get joined by the blackbirds and both will practically come right up to my feet. I am always watched when working in the garden :-D

Lisa – I deliberately posted the photos in that way to show it was there at every turn I made. I am glad you enjoyed the photos – I enjoyed the company. To be honest it was a great break from Christmas preparations so I wasn’t really tired at all. We have had it really cold since then as shown in my next post but it is now raining so that will soften the ground again :-D

Pete – they are, they are :-D

Robin – Glad you liked them – I took many but I thought these ones captured its visit well. Yes, our Robin is quite small too at only 5½ inches. Yes, it does have a very distinctive colour and manner as it bobs and darts about :-D

Jodie – Thank-you! It was great to be out planting again. It is very interesting to see the differences between our birds :-D