Saturday 4th March – a morning of bright sunshine and brief, sharp showers lured me and MrOG into the garden this morning. Lots of garden prep to do, tidying and shaping.
We raised the crown of an old photinia so that it now just skims the top of the fence. It’s about 14 feet tall (who knew they could get so big?) and I’ve been trying to do a kind of Portuguese laurel thing with it – you know, shaping it into a dome with a flat bottom and the trunk exposed. It’s looking ok, though I say it myself. This week it has started to get its spring buds – a promise of beautiful rich red against the shiny evergreen leaves.
We also finished clearing the space where I plan to put the raised veg beds. Several plants have been moved – a Euonymus, a Buddleia, a ground cover rose, two or three Hebe, a surprise rhubarb, and a horrible Kerria that I keep meaning to throw out (now’s the chance!).
It’s a good, big space considering the overall size of the garden and will get all the late morning and afternoon sun so I’m hoping the veg will do well there. It needs levelling though and we couldn’t do that this morning – moving and temporarily potting up the shrubs was plenty of work for two ageing gardeners! Little and often is the best way. I also found two opportunist verbena bonariensis seedlings so they’ve gone into small pots and will be dotted in the borders later on. They are great for providing a bit of height and they have a lovely branching-stemmed, open habit so they don’t block your view of other plants. I think it’s hard to have too many of these.
You’ll see on the left of that patch there is a fig attached to the fence. I made the stupid mistake of thinking it would be ok without restricting it’s roots. It grows feet in a season, it does have fruit but they don’t really have enough time to ripen, and it’s taking over. Another day it will have to come out and go into a big pot. To be honest I think it will do better and at least it will be easier to control!
Monday 6th March – classic gardening accident today. I trod on the rake and it smacked me straight in the face. Ouch! Gave me such a shock I burst into tears! Luckily no lasting damage and no bruise. Spent the rest of the day feeling very sorry for myself.
Wednesday 7th March – fence painting. Well, MrOG has been fence painting, and there’s a lot of fence. We’ve gone for black to give a good background for the plants and the bit that’s already finished is looking pretty good. Saw the first bumblebee in the garden today too – a queen white-tail. It was making the most of a few flowers on the Berberis.
Thursday 8th March – a lovely sunny day with real warmth in the sun. Sat in the summer house for a while dreaming about how the garden will look later in the year. Sowed the first seeds: tomato, kale, purple sprouting broccoli, celery and peas. They’ll be indoors on a sunny window sill for now. Also sowed some Echinacea and dwarf Cosmos. The season’s started.
The Optimistic Gardener