Monday, 28 March 2011

Flowers in the House Monday

Jane at SmallButCharming is hosting Flowers in the House Monday.

I really wanted to have some flowers from the garden but there isn't very much yet. I did gather some primroses, pulmonaria and hardy geranium leaves and put them in this small white jug on my window sill.

Primula vulgaris and Pulmonaria 'Cotton Cool' with hardy geranium leaves

The flowers looked particularly cheerful this morning with a background of frost and mist through the kitchen window.

Thursday, 24 March 2011


Warm sunshine and birds singing has made working in the garden such a pleasure. We did consider having lunch in the garden but I was in the middle of tidying and potting and it was too much trouble to move everything.
Primula vulgaris
Pulmonaria 'Cotton Cool'
I have finished cutting off old stems, flower heads and leaves. I have moved Aster frikartii 'Monch' and planted Chrysanthemum 'Clara Curtis'.
Honeysuckle and Winter Jasmine have very long flexible stems which root easily if they have contact with the soil. I found quite a few plants that I've been able to pot up to give away.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Garden jobs for March

I had annual leave last week so I was able to take advantage of the dry sunny weather to get to grips with the end-of-winter clean up.

It was very satisfying to see so much new growth amongst the dead leaves. Unfortunately there have been more winter casualties as most of the Stipa tenusissima have died.

I have two clumps of Narcissus 'Tete-a-tete'. I have been very pleased with these flowers, they don't grow too tall and the smaller leaves don't look so untidy as they die back. I hate planting bulbs and as these are smaller I didn't have to dig such deep planting holes. I ought to plant more.
Narcissus 'Tete-a-tete'
I have been able to start seed sowing. Several years ago I replaced my electric propagator with this windowsill version. It has 7 separate covered quarter size seed trays. As each tray germinates I can remove it. I'm glad I bought it.
Heated propagator
My cut flowers this week are tulips. For years I said I hated tulips as the only ones I had seen were red and yellow which I didn't like. A friend gave me some dark purple and lilac tulips.  I loved them and buy several bunches every Spring. I still don't like the red and yellow ones though.

Monday, 7 March 2011

A winter home for Ladybirds and cut flowers

While at a garden show last summer, I came across a stand for 'Buglife' a charity devoted to the conservation of  invertebrates. They had a DIY bug house made a drainpipe inserted with hollow stems. I had been meaning to sort out a bughouse so I picked up a leaflet. I didn't get round to it for ages then decided it was too late to place it so it stayed in a cupboard.
While picking seedheads for Christmas decorations I came across 3 ladybirds underneath an Echinacea. I dug out the bughouse, hung it on an evergreen shrub for shelter and placed the ladybirds inside. 
I noticed that some of the stems (which I gathered from around the garden) had been sealed up.I hoped  something was having a comfortable winter. I remember that one of the ladybirds I found matched the description of this one. I hope its the same one. I will be making another bughouse later in the year but I will hang it before the bad weather arrives.
 The Daffodils I photographed for Flowers in the Home Monday finally opened midweek. The flowers are hanging down with the weight of the petals. I wondered if one of the blooms would float in the round 'goldfish' bowl. I think it looks great.
 I also bought some Narcissus 'Paperwhite'. They fill the kitchen with a lovely scent. These have now taken the place of the yellow daffodils above (apart from the one in the bowl which still looks good)