I love this time of year when our weekly jobs move on from weeding and dead-heading to thinking how we can increase our stock of plants by division and propagation.
We also continue to nurture recently planted specimens to grow where we want them rather than purely letting nature take its course.
Here are two videos to watch of jobs we are doing this week:
Propagation by division:
Potting on Foxglove seedlings and training-in the Passion Flower:
To be honest, you wouldn’t believe I am a gardener when you see my back yard. However the number of plants I have bought over the years could fill this space at least 5 times over. The fact is that whilst the yard receives sun for a great part of the day, it is also assaulted regularly by salt laden winds of hurricane-like proportions that leave devastation in their wake. The times I have woken up to plants in a pile at the end of the yard and pots smashed to smithereens does not bear thinking about. I have also filled my kitchen with plants for days on end to save them from the raging elements.
Finally I have just given up and given in. My yard is now a place for relaxation on a hot summers day where I can lie in my hammock and read a book and not be tempted to tend to plants.
Nevertheless I have a few seed trays on the go, just a few that can be brought inside quite easily. Now is the time to sow the seeds of Honesty, Wallflowers, Foxgloves and Violas. It is great sowing at this time of year because the seeds germinate quickly and can grow outside quite robustly without getting leggy on a windowsill. Just beware of the demon slugs and snails. Every day I move my seedlings to a new position just to confuse those little critters.
Here it is standing tall and proud at the back of the border. Wow. But just the one one? It looks daft on it’s own. Foxtail lilies flower for about 3 weeks. I shall be leaving the flower spike to stand till early Autumn this year as that gives it more of a chance to self seed. Fingers crossed.
Two years ago we had an opportunity to plant up an area besides the moat that had been neglected:
We wanted a low screen during the summer, winter interest, low maintenance and plants that would enjoy the boggy conditions. So we decided to go for a selection of willows. Several varieties were selected for their vibrant stem colours and we ordered some cuttings on-line. Following the planting guidelines we made our willow bed:
We covered the black plastic with wood chippings and away grew the willow. In February last year we coppiced the willow and developed another area with our own cuttings. This February we coppiced the willow again and this time have enough willow to make a willow basket.
I thought I would share with you a short video I made at home this week of my attempts to weave the willow basket, made from our very own, home grown, willow.
I hope that made you smile as much as it did me, on playback!
I suggest you don’t walk past a large patch of snowdrops without quickly digging them up with a trowel and dividing them into smaller clumps and re-planting straight away.
Snowdrops bulk up very quickly so as long as you keep dividing them, it won’t be long before an area can be carpeted with these dainty little darlings.