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After a smattering of sunshine and plenty of rain, the entire garden is going berserk with everything heading upwards. If I turn my back for a minute, the weeds grow by another two inches. There’s so much to do. The roses require pruning and perennials need the old growth clearing, since I left it intact for any wildlife that could make use of it. Lawns are desperate for a little attention and grass in the paths must be eradicated without mercy. Really, I should be mounting a determined campaign of destruction.
Hyacinthus orientalis “Delft blue”
Hyacinthus orientalis “Delft blue”

Instead, I retrieved recently purchased Dahlias from bags all over the kitchen. I took them into my cosy shed and matched them up to plastic pots just big enough for a close fit without stuffing. Ideal roots are plump, generous in size and sturdy. They should be undecorated with mould, slime or other gruesome marks. Single tubers are unlikely to grow, unless they have an eye where a shoot has started or will develop. This does not stop me from collecting them in a spare pot, just in case. I bedded them in with compost, leaving visible heart warming splodges of leaf buds within reaching distance of the surface. Each was labelled with precision, although I’m aware that a season outdoors with weeding, mulching and deadheading going on all around, will scatter the tags like cherry blossom. When they are hardened off and thriving, I’ll take stem tip cuttings which will strike easily and make the parent plant more bushy, with better flowers. More Dahlias and increased blooms, that sounds like a plan.
Pieris japonica “Variegata”
Pieris japonica “Variegata”

Spring is the time to acquire Hellebores. Buying them when you can inspect the petals means that you know exactly what you are getting. Alright, I know that I have a large collection but this year, I found picotee and anemone types. Attila said that he would need a magnifying glass to see the difference but he’s a learner gardener. Give him another twenty years and hopefully, he’ll understand. I had to joust with another wily plantswoman for possession, using umbrellas as lances. I’m happy to report that no blood was spilled and although I emerged from battle with a limp and a few bruises, I won the prize. I shall get them settled in next week with a helping of bonemeal fertiliser, when I can see the perfect place in which to site them.
Mini greenhouse
Mini greenhouse

Along with the Dahlias, seeds that I threw into trays of soil in autumn, have sprouted in the care of the cold frame. There’s a long way to go before admiring the adult specimen, healthy, bug free and laden with blossom but I can see the end result if I close my eyes. If I was to recommend a single piece of kit it would be this, which has been a Godsend for germination, growing on and close supervision. Oh, I love my lawn mower, strimmer and heavy loppers. My secateurs are so sharp, they could slice through time but they are essential. The mini greenhouse is a toy but if I were you, I’d sell my soul to get one.

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