Well, that was a full on horticultural week. Camellia Society meeting on Monday, Mount Edgcumbe on Wednesday (camellias), full day on my allotment on Thursday and a couple of days of pricking off, potting up and on, pruning and so on around the garden. I want to get another day in on the allotment today, plant more spuds and some lettuce, get supports in for the peas. It’s good to be slowly emerging from winter and the frustrations of wanting to do so much and being able to do so little. I went around yesterday and took pictures of a few things, far too many as it turns out, which is a good sign, so here are the six I narrowed it down to.
It’s that time of year when the need to start moving things out of the greenhouses is becoming desperate. In the autumn they get stuffed full of all the Fuchsias, Begonias, Pelargoniums and so on that needs winter protection. Then in February, into already full glasshouses, go seeds, seedlings, potted up bulbs, potted on things, unneeded purchases and so on. Temporary shelves get erected so some of it gets moved out by day, back in by night, allowing watering to be done. It’s a kind of madness.
This is the sort of thing I mean. I came home from Mount Edgcumbe on Wednesday to find this in a carrier bag by the door. Sue had bumped into an ex work colleague to whom it had filtered back that I had lusted over his Begonia that he had put on Facebook. It may not look much right now, but just you wait. Begonia omeiensis. If you think it looks like rhubarb now, see what it looks like in full leaf. It’ll probably stay in a pot for this year, then get bedded out for the summer in subsequent years.
Another looming task, pruning the Euphorbia mellifera. It is now in full flower and has spread itself out to almost block the adjacent paths, especially when it’s wet. As soon as I’ve had my fill of the flowers I will cut all the flowering stems to the ground. The non-flowering stems of the same age and height will go too. That will leave the shorter non-flowering stems that are now under the flowery canopy and getting drawn for lack of light. I may leave them for a few weeks then remove them but if they’re really messy they will go with the flowering shoots. It’ll be a lush mound of new leaves by mid summer.
Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’. The male Skimmias may not produce berries but their flower display pretty much makes up for it, visually and olfactorily, if there is such a word. I read once that ‘Rubella’, much the commonest male form grown, is a poor pollinator, presumably not producing much viable pollen. With this much flower it would need for much of its pollen to be viable to succeed with the ladies. Indeed, our two female Skimmias are regularly loaded with berries.
Anemone x lipsiensis ‘Pallida’. Lovely thing, spreading very slowly, much slower than A. nemorosa, I’m always surprised when this pops up each spring covering a slightly larger area.
Erythronium californicum ‘White Beauty’. These seem to have settled in nicely and are just so graceful and refined that I can see myself planting a lot more. I learned the hard way that Erythroniums are a bulb you plant as soon as they arrive. Leaving them lying about for a few weeks before planting them is very likely to result in failure as they rapidly dry out. The perennials and shrubs that are going to be the mainstay of the garden for the summer months are starting to green up now and Erythroniums are perfect for filling in the few weeks before they do, then vanishing until next year. I took a picture yesterday just as the rain stopped,
could do with getting a better one. I’ve just been out and taken another.
A lovely clear day has dawned, albeit cold in a frost on the car roof way. An allotment day beckons. I get to walk a mile there and a mile back, probably at least twice. I can’t compete with The Propagator, but he has age on his side. See you later.