Wednesday, 15 February 2012

GBBD: planting in lawn

Every year I look forward to seeing my lawn spring into life. Without a shadow of doubt one of my better gardening decisions was to plant a large number of mixed Spring bulbs before seeding an area of lawn a few years ago. Crocus are the first to say hello.




As of now we haven’t had the coldest of winters and very little snow. Postings on previous year’s 15th of February for GBBD tell me that crocus usually begins flowering at this time. The exception there was during the very long prolonged cold and snow spells of the previous two winters.

I adore the crocus growing in my lawn. Narcissi, Fritillaries will follow with the wildflower Lady’s Smock joining the lawn party now too. I plan to experiment more with planting in lawn over the next few years.

Another experimental planting of wild primroses on a small grass mound seems to be a success now too. This is early for the primrose to be in flower in my garden. Only one flower… and I nearly missed it when out with my camera today as I wasn’t expecting it. Last year I planted Lady's Smock down the gentle slope. I'm looking forward to seeing if this will be a success or not.




Planting in lawn works particularly well for my style of gardening where I am always lifting and relocating plants in my garden. Doing this disturbs the bulbs and the depth they need to flower and then I wonder where they went come the next Spring.

Bulbs in gravel work better than in soil borders for me but as I will move plants in gravel too then this results in losses there too. However, on the positive side to this they alliums seed themselves further around after I disturb them and I get a more natural planting. I do like that.

Today I’m joining Carol and other garden bloggers on posting on what’s in flower in my garden just now. Orientalis Hellebores have been giving a good show with many wonderful deep read buds just about to open.

As we’ve had a much warmer winter with fewer hard frosts my perennial wallflower Erysimum 'Bowles' Mauve' still has nice grey/green foliage and a flower.




A border revamp at my back door after replacement paving after frost damage from last winter seems to have lost my snowdrops (unless I’ve put them safe in a pot somewhere) but my snowflakes are breaking through the ground just now.

Berries on the Skimmia japonica 'Olympic Flame' are adding a bit of colour to a border seen from my window. This suggests I have a female plant but in order to get berries next year I’ll need to get a male to plant nearby. There begs the question – how can you tell the difference when standing at a plants table?

Crocus planted in in areas of my garden that catch longer spells of sunshine at this time of year (making the ground warmer) are not surprisingly seen in flower earlier than in areas of grass or borders that see less sun. I quite like that as it spreads the flowering period especially in my partially shaded back garden.




Final image for today shows a brief preview of a revamped back door border where I’m hoping to try to successfully ‘not disturb’ the considerable number of crocus bulbs planted there. I’m hoping it will be a great show from my kitchen window this year.

Perhaps I should laminate a small image of this area in flower and peg it to a stick in the border as a permanent reminder to keep my gardening tools out!




A major attic sorting of my daughters’ school and childhood stuff has taken time away from blogging this last couple of weeks. This has been an overdue job. It has been a wonderful trip down memory lane. I am trying to keep my focus to finish this job so once the gardening year starts I can take on another overdue and equally big job – my wildlife pond build. This year – it is going to happen!

Wishing a Happy GBBD to everyone taking part today. Sending my thanks to everyone who has visited and left comments on my blog in the last few weeks. I’ll get to answering them and visiting you very soon.

Finally, to my gardening visitors I have a treat for you with an overdue garden visit posting to The National Botanical Garden of Wales coming up very soon. After much trouble in deciding which of the many photos to use I decided on a slideshow video. This is a garden visit I would recommend for all ages.


This post was written by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in February 2012.

16 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Wow Shirl, You have lots going on in your garden. My garden has more than usual due to the mild weather. I too have crocus in my lawn. I just love it. I planted mine with a drill and a paddle bit as the lawn was already established. Ha. I am sure that gave the neighbors something to talk about. I like your idea of other bulbs in the lawn. I might try that too. Happy GBBD.

Liz said...

Hi Shirl,

Lovely photos, and so nice to see so much in bloom. Ours were put back a bit by the snow that stuck around for a week but they are moving quickly now!
I really need to have a go at having bulbs in the lawn... Never tried it before but I think it's about time I did.

And, this morning I noticed the council had cut all the grass verges on our estate??!! In february??!! Very surprised.
Must be spring already.

Janet said...

Crocuses seem to be worth their weight in gold (or flower) at the moment. I'm embarrassed to tell you that I managed to stand on the bulbs in a friend's lawn - she had so many...every time I turned round I stood on something else...better to admire from the patio..

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

Two years ago, I planted 1,000 'Tommies', but the squirrels liked them a little too much, only about 50 bloomed. Hopefully, I will have a better show this year.

bookworm said...

I've thought about putting bulbs in my lawn here in upstate New York, United States, but so far have chickened out. We have had a very mild winter here but no bulbs blooming....not quite yet. Nice photos. It was nice seeing green grass.

NellJean said...

I never plant crocuses. Maybe I should; yours are lovely.

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

When do you cut your grass? Our primroses have been eager to flower this year as we have had flowers since before Christmas.

Christina said...

Crocus look lovely planted in grass or a lawn; I'm all for there being more flowers than grass although I understand that it's not possible for everyone. I look forward to your photographs of the other bulbs later in the year. Christina

Crystal said...

How strange that your garden is so far advanced than ours in South Yorkshire. We were doing alright until a couple of weeks ago too.

patientgardener said...

I planted some crocus and dwarf narcissus under the lawn last autumn but no sign of anything yet. Will try again this autumn

Wife, Mother, Gardener said...

Wonderful post, Shirl! I have some huge patches of naturalized crocuses in our backyard from our houses' previous gardener. I cannot wait to see it again this year... probably still a month off. It is so magical to see them growing everywhere.

Happy GBBD!
Julie

Layanee said...

Our winter has been somewhat snowless as well although I fear a bit colder. Spring is on the way.

shirl said...

Hello everyone, I’d like to wish you all a great weekend :-)

Lisa, it looks like lots but truth be told they are spread around! Yep this wild weather is good but the plants get caught out in cold snaps too. Yes, I don’t know what makes the crocus just sing in lawn. Hahaha… love the drill use! After loving my first planting I added a second in established grass using a bulb planter to pull up cores of soil – really hard work in hard ground! Yes, we could compare notes on what other bulbs work in lawn :-))

Liz, thanks, yes that’s usually the problem up here. I’m slightly nervous for our plants this winter (that’s keeping us waiting) as cold at the wrong time can damage so much. Oh yes… do try the bulbs in lawn. You’ll not regret it. Grass cutting already… now that’s just wrong!!!

Janet, the crocus is a great splash of colour. We’ve only a few but look forward to seeing the bigger plants coming into flower. Ah… I’ve stepped on bulbs getting photos and video too. Ooops!

Deborah, yes, now this is an interesting point. I’ve always blamed myself for disturbing bulbs in borders when I’ve moved plants around but I have also considered that squirrels or mice might have taken a liking to them and have been the main culprits. Fingers crossed for your 2012 show :-)

bookworm, Thanks for popping by. Yes, I would recommend you tried planting bulbs in grass. It’s great seeing them there :-)

Nell, oh yes… do… you won’t’ be disappointed with them :-)

Sue, well ,I vary the time of grass cutting (depending on what look I want). As a rule I now tend to let the area of bulbs left to grow longer cutting a nice shape around it. It gives a wild look but come autumn I take the mower over the lot. My grass mound is more of a challenge. I let it get long too and when there are no flowers of interest I had shear it down – usually autumn again so it’s nice shape can be seen as winter interest :-)

Christina, I completely agree with you. Planting in lawn doesn’t suit everyone. I just like experimenting and do have fun as a gardener :-)

Crystal, Ah… I see where you are now. Yes, in many ways I’m uncomfortable with how much further we are. There could be trouble ahead!!!!

Helen, Oh… that is a pity. Don’t give up hope yet though. Depending on how much sun the area gets the bulbs can vary in flowering time. All may not be lost for this year :-)))))

Julie, Thank-you! How wonderful to hear of someone else feeling the magical sight of crocus in the garden. Happy GBBD to you too :-)

Layanee, these milder days (albeit cold some days) really do make us feel ready for Spring. We’ve to get through March first and anything can happen here then. Thanks for stopping by :-)))

scottweberpdx said...

Happy GBBD to you too...you touched on quite a few subjects in this post! I have to say, I LOVE it when people scatter bulbs in their lawns...it's so beautiful...and surprising! I wish my Alliums would seed around a bit...I've never seen any seedlings that I am aware of :-(

ShySongbird said...

Hi Shirl, What a nice colourful post and lovely photos. Your garden really looks quite Springlike. We were full of hope here for an early Spring a few weeks ago... then it all went downhill!

The only things that grow in my lawn apart from weeds ;-) are there by accident! I do have quite a lot of Primulas dotted around which always look pretty but best are the Cowslips which were either in with the turf when it was laid or seeded by the birds, they are a joy I look forward to every year.

By the way, what do you think of the new word verification? I have removed it from my blog and am relying on Google to filter the spam which seems to be working pretty well so far.

Hope you have a lovely weekend Shirl, and that your mild weather leads you gently into a beautiful Springtime :-)

shirl said...

Hello again Scott & Jan :-)

Scott, thanks for stopping by - great to hear of a fellow lover of lawn crocus. I recently spotted a mass town planting – must get my camera back there again :-) Ah… my alliums do seed but I’ve yet to see any flowers from them. Guess I’ve to wait a few years for that and by that time I’ll have revamped the area. Perhaps I should lift some and keep them in pots for a few years. Mmm…

Jan, thanks, nice to see you posting again too. Yes, we’re often caught with the cold snap to our plants. I’m a tad nervous of our early garden this year. I fear winter cold can’t be past for us yet. Ah yes the cowslips are great too. Being honest the new word verif caught me by surprise at first. I don’t particularly like it and I can imagine it may put people off leaving comments. However, I had a horrendous day a few years back where someone went through copying pages and pics from my blog (I nearly deleted my whole blog). I don’t like comments leaving links to businesses and waste time checking them out, deleting comments and setting rules. I plan to keep it and hope everyone is ok with that. We did have a lovely weekend, thanks – you can read about a trip on my next post. Enjoy the rest of your week :-)