It looks like yesterday morning’s frost may be the last and that we are going to get slightly higher temperatures in the next week or two. We had a good bit of rain overnight but less seems to have found its way into my storage system than I would have liked. A lot of things seem to be growing at a snail’s pace, which means that the snails can keep up with them and the slugs, which are a fraction quicker, can get ahead. A very dry month has driven them to ground but I am under no illusions about how quickly they will bounce back.
Six things going on, in the garden, now; that’s the brief, so try these for size:
Azalea. A seedling of what may or may not be Rhododendron atlanticum, assuming such a thing exists and quite different from its parent, which I also have a plant of. This is the better of two seedlings that I managed to grow and have in the garden. A bit more moisture would doubtless help, the original plant was growing in boggy ground, this one is in a very dry spot. It’s a shame you can’t smell it; lovely it is.
Holboellia brachyandra. I’m learning that this is an immensely vigorous climber but also that you can hack it about a fair bit with minimal consequences. It was mainly on a trellis arch from which it was reaching into the tree above. I’m re-directing it along the fence instead, an arrangement that seems to suit it. It’s a long fence, so long as it doesn’t stray, should be good for a few years. The red is Chaenomeles.
The arch. The posts supporting the trellis were rotting out, and sinking into the ground, so I replaced the whole thing while keeping as much of the climbers as I could. Basically I built the new structure inches away from the old, then cut the old one away a small piece at a time, moving a Clematis viticella across on one side and the Holboellia on the other. You can’t really see the Clematis on the left hand panel, it’s all tied to the other side, but I don’t think it noticed the move. The Holboellia tried, futilely, to resist. I used taller and thicker posts and the archway looked too tall so I filled it in a bit at the top with some bits cut from my bamboo.
For better or worse we have quite a lot of bluebells growing in the garden. Some look very close to native English bluebells, some are fairly typically the Spanish sort. They’re probably all hybrids and getting rid of them would be all but impossible so I’m trying to enjoy them while not thinking I need be overly nice to them. The flower stems will all get pulled out as soon as the flowers fade and the foliage won’t be far behind. I’ve been doing this for years and still there are carpets of seedlings every year.
Corydalis ochroleuca. I don’t think Andrew has shown this one yet so I’ll get it in quick. Looking at something similar on his post this morning it seems likely I’m about to have a name change foisted on me. For most of the nearly thirty years I’ve been growing this I have had one plant, which produces a seedling then dies. At the moment I think we’re up to three. We get plenty of seedlings, all of which vanish, except one. I’ve collected and sown seed, which germinated then gradually all died. It flowers from April until winter.
Sue’s glasshouse with its new extension is gradually getting sorted out. For the moment there is space enough to park a couple of chairs and enjoy a cup of tea. Terracotta pots are coming in and going under the bench so we can get along the path behind the glasshouse. There are two or three bags full of spiny nasties that I will take to the tip, there’s no way I’m shredding them; too many spines, too much gravel top dressing. I even knocked up a little step so she can open and shut the roof lights.
And that is the current state of play here. We go for our second jabs this morning, on a wet and windy day just like the last time. I need to visit a garden centre on the way for compost. There’s more rain forecast for tonight so I need to clear the blockages in my water system – rain diverters are so easily blocked by a few leaves or a ball of moss. That’s my day sorted. Oh, all the other sixers, mustn’t forget to check in at The Propagator at regular intervals. Have a good week.