Sunday, 28 July 2013

Garden Update July 2013

Sorry it's been a wee while since my last update but things have been a bit hectic recently. Anyway, quite a lot to get through so on with the show - and talking of shows, I'll start wih the first show we entered this year - the Sutherland County Show which was held at Dornoch Links on 20th July. Now the previous long term convenor had retired and the show was organised this year by some growers from Alness - David Munro, George Pirie and his wife Christine who agreed to organise the show this year until the Show Committee found a willing volunteer to take on the task annually. Anyway due to various political and social factors, entries were down this year but there were still some quality exhibits. Scotsburn Garden entered Sweet peas and a vase (alright a bucket same as last year!) of perennials, as well as a set of the anemone flowered dahlias. And bettering our outing last year when we came away with two seconds, this year we came a way with two firsts and a second. We won the sweet pea class with a vase of 12 "Gwendoline" - I had picked all the Gwendoline that were ready the day before the show and had 14 to choose from, but two had lost petals overnight so my choice for twelve blooms was made for me, but they were all good and proved their worth.
The perennials bucket was filled with Campanula, Peruvian lilies, Valerian (red and white varieties), Echinops, Sea Holly, Alchemilla, Astrantia (three varieties), Achillea (mixture of Summer Pastel), Shasta Daisy and Scabious.
Here are a couple of pics of our entries

Another highlight came last week when the Kiftsgate rose started to flower it's not insubstantial socks off yet again. This year, the Climbing Iceberg rose that is adjacent to it is also putting on a magnificent display and there follow three photos that cannot hope to do justice to just how magnificent the display is in real life. The noise of the bees visiting this rose surpasses the constant drone of those v=bees feeding on the huge lime trees that overhang the garden by the potting shed, and that takes some doing, believe me!

The raspberries and strawberries are now being picked with the former in particular having a huge crop. The first early potatoes are also producing a heavy crop - the variety is Foremost (aka Suttons Foremost). I have grown this variety before and have found it to be both very reliable and a very heavy cropper.
Now on to the hare saga - despite having James rid us of 5 so far, it would appear there is still at least one more in the garden - I had planted out all the brassicas but the following week they were all gone - and I know it was the hare because I could see footprints and droppings amongst what was left of the young plants. So another night with the gun is called for.
The lupins, both in the herbaceous borders and those of the Lupin Wall have been deadheaded religiously and we await a second flush - there were a group of four plants in the lupin wall that were absolutely smothered in aphids  but these were cut right down to the ground and the area given a generous spray of Provado.. Other than these four plants, I have not seen aphids anywhere else in the garden this year
I also managed to procure 5 largish clumps of white Campanula from another garden I look after over in Shieldaig - the words "there is too much white" were uttered and I thought to myself, I know just where this "too much white" is going
The Cordon Sweet Peas are looking good, though it is doubtful any of those bought in as replacements will ever make a show bench/ However, with the exception of Jilly (the sole white variety we grow) the others are up and away and flowering well. I think that the initial hare attack was harder on Jilly as these plants were at the end of the row and would have been eaten first, and therefore probably took a bigger hit than those further down the rows.
The old rose-bed, now home to Gladioli, Dahlias and Canterbury Bells looks full of promise with plenty of flower buds on all the plants and the Glads look to be coming on well for a bit later in the summer.
In the small bed to the left of the summerhouse (under the Garrya elliptica tree) we have planted up and other 9 Hellebores which will hopefully grow well and bush out to join the existing heelebores and give us a fairly large clump in years to come. In the opposite corner of the same bed, we have planted up 3 Anemone "H Jobert" as these will allegedly tolerate the dry shade caused by the Garrya - though if they look to be struggling, we now have a water supply about three feet away.
Richard has a painting in the house of this bed as it used to be and we are going to try and recreate this. It shows a tap (done), a Belfast Sink (located but not yet in place) which is surrounded by black Iris. Now I have seen many irises advertised as black but when you see them in the flesh they are not even close to it -but I have now been successful and have located a black iris at a nursery in Rogart and Sarah (the owner) assures me that it is black (not a dark purple) and I have been invited to go have a look for myself but I have known Sarah for a number of years now and if she says it is what I am after, I believe her.
In the greenhouse, the tomatoes are doing well having now all set about 4 trusses, the scallions are ready for a first picking and I have sown some mixed salad leaf for summer eating. The greenhouse does look a bit bare with only odds and sods on the staging now, so I might suggest that Sally has a go at growing some pot plant flowers next year - possibly Begonias.
Anyway, that's about it for now so I'll leave you with a photo of the borders looking pretty full and lush.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Hare today, Gone tomorrow ! :-)

There is a Bugs Bunny Cartoon where Elmer Fudd sings "Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit". Having failed to trap the hare and watching the devastation it was causing grow weekly, we called in Rusty and his rifle.
Not only did he shoot the hare we had seen in the garden, he shot another three hares within the confines of the garden. No wonder the devastation was on such a scale.
So, if you have a problem with hares, the answer to your problem is in the photo below.

The only downer was that all four hares were buried below various fruit trees in the garden - good for the fruit trees but, as a lover of all things "game", I would have liked to have taken one home for supper!
On the garden front, the oriental poppies having been removed (6 wheelbarrows full) after going over and turning what I optimistically call "scabby" I planted out the last of the border filler plants and did some more weeding.
The fruit is looking good with the strawberries forming lots of fruit, the rasps are dripping with immature berries and at least two of the redcurrant bushes have decent crops on them. We also have lots of young apples and pears forming.
The dahlias in the old rose-bed are starting to produce flower buds, as are many more of the perennials in the herbaceous borders - and the Kiftsgate looks like it will be putting up another fantastic display this year.
The cordon sweet peas are picking up and in fact a fair few of the originals which were reduced to bare stalks by the first hare attack have put up new growth in the form of side-shoots , which is what you want anyway as the main shoot or "leader" on sweet peas has a tendency to go blind (produce no flowers) so all is not lost though we may struggle to get sufficient show quality blooms for the earlier shows.
No camera this week so you'll have to believe me when I say that the borders are looking good, and will continue to improve over the next month or two.
Back next week.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Hare today, gone soon (I Hope)

Well, the ongoing hare problem continues - so far the score is hare - lots, plants - nil. Not content with chowing down on the phlox, sea holly and heliopsis last week, this week he has nipped the tops off most of the onion sets, the chives, a lot of the cosmos, a couple of young hemerocallis - he has even had a nibble at rhe gladioli leaves.

Double spring trap is mow in position, baited with runner beans and lettuce - kindly donated by Sally, and if we succeed in catching the little beggar, he can be released in the forest I also work in, with the permission of Lesley. Just gotta catch him first !
So anyway, on with what was accomplished today.
I began by giving everything in the greenhouse a good soak, and side-shooting and tying in the tomato plants. Then it was onto the cordon sweet peas, weeding as I went along the rows placing rings on those plants that needed them. Some of the original exhibition varities have put up side shoots so all may not be lost but they will be considerably later in producing blooms so we might have to rethink entering at least the Sutherland Show. This was the first show the garden ever entered sweet peas in last year and we got a second place, so it would have ben nice to go and try and get a red card but it's not looking too promising as the show is in 4 weeks time.
After this I weeded the strawberry patch and placed some straw round the plants to keep the berries clean and act as a barrier against annual weeds.

Then it was back to weeding - weeded the rosebed (Dahlias, Gladioli and Canterbury Bells) then moved onto the small slope above the steps down to the greenhouse.
Finished the day by hoeing off the path from the top of the garden to the greenhouse and barrowing in scalpings to tidy it up and stop it becoming a mudslide after it rains.

The garden has this week also seen two local garden clubs have evening visits - Edderton Garden Club came to see the garden on Monday Evening, and this evening I showed Alness Horticultural Society around. There is on more group to visit, and next Thursday afternoon will see East Sutherland Gardening Club come to pay us a visit. The borders are looking good, with the irises, hemerocallis and paeonies joining the lupins ,assorted geraniums and  poppies, and the red hot pokers are about to burst onto the scene too, so here are a few pics to finish with

Thursday, 13 June 2013

B*****d Hare is back !!

Well it would appear that the young hare has found it's way back into the garden - this time it has left the cordon sweet peas alone and concentrated on the two herbaceous borders - it has eaten all the sweet peas at the base of both wigwams, all the newly planted heliopsis, one group of three newly planted sea hollies and has nipped the tops off all the phlox planted last week - am picking up a trap on Monday and I swear if I see it in the garden at any time, I will smack it over the head with a spade!
Cute and fluffy no more !
The border looked really good in the sun today - the oriental poppies, which are not my favourite border perennial,  do look great in the sun, and there are a  smattering of lupin spikes open, the geum has started flowering as has the hemerocallis and the iris and kniphofia will join the party next week.  The roses against the SF wall are starting to bloom and have lots of buds forming so they should put up a good display this year. Here are a couple of pics of the borders taken this morning............

The lupin "wall" is beginning to put on a bit of a show too............

Hare or not, plants have to go out and today I planted over 100 Cosmos "Purity", and about 60 Alyssum "Carpet of Snow", I also planted out three gooseberry bushes and 7 blackcurrant bushes.
In the greenhouse, I flooded both beds, then planted out some lettuce and spring onions in front of the tomatoes , which are just beginning to show their first flowers.
We now have three long hoses running from the greenhouse so I also managed to water the rosebed where the dahlias are doing well, the gladioli are just sticking their heads out the ground and the Canterbury Bells looked like they needed a good drink!
I cleaned a couple of areas in the west facing border to take the limited amount of veg we have this year and also prepped an area for Sally to plant out the 50 or so Statice plants for her mum's flower arranging,
I also did some weeding and tidying up as we have our first of three Garden Club visits on Monday evening when Edderton Gardening Club are coming to have a look at what we have done and see what we are planning to do.
Back next week....................

Friday, 7 June 2013

We're getting there, slowly, but we're getting there.

After last weeks devastation caused by the baby b*****d hare, I finished erecting a net round the cordon sweet peas and set about replacing all those that were beyond new growth - and there were a lot of them. The most annoying thing was that the hare seemed to take a particular liking to a variety called Gwendoline which was by far and away our best performing sweet pea last year. Anyway, all the canes now have a sweet pea planted at the base, all had a good watering, and the bed was weded as I went so it looks pretty good, though it has to be said that the replacement sweet peas (bought in garden centre) are nowhere near as strong as those we grew from seed.

I also planted out 17 x assorted Phlox, 5 x Heliopsis, 6 x Sea Hollies and 4 x Echinops - so any spaces left on the borders will be filled with the white Cosmos "Purity" ( there are about 140 of these) and  the remaining 36 Canterbury Bells, and possibly some white Alyssum "Carpet of Snow, (94 of these) though these are mostly for the side of the rosebed walls and the walls of the beds either side of the summerhouse.
The border is beginning to fill up nicely with only a few plants (most notably the Scabious and the Phlox), not performing as well as expected. 
The oriental poppies are opening and there are quite literally hundreds of flower buds on them this year, so if the weather stays good, it should be a fantastic display - if it rains, they'll fall to bits and look like sh** ! The lupins should start to put on a proper show over the nect couple of weeks, the white geranium alomg the top border hedge is flowering it's socks off, and so much more to come. The Peony Sara Bernhardt is still in flower though the "garden originals" are still just in bud.
The lupin wall below the top borders is just beginning to show a flush of colour so should also look good in a couple of weeks time.
Add to that loads of blossom on the apple trees, campanulas already surpassing the height they reached last year, cherries forming on the two trees against the wall (and no sign of blackfly as yet)
and thigs are definitely moving - and about time too - it is June after all.
So here are a couple of pics to finish, firstly the Lupin Wall and then this weeks shot of the borders,

Back next week  -will be planting out veg and fruit plants from the greenhouse.

Sunday, 2 June 2013


Two weeks ago, Sally and I came across a leveret (a baby hare) in the top herbaceous border. I like hares - both on and off the dinner plate so no further action was taken against this young 'un. Well, on Friday did I live to regret not giving it a knock on the head. On my arrival in the garden, after a week of brilliant sunshine I was expecting to see a big jump in growth in the garden, In the two herbaceous borders this was obvious, but I couldn't see much down at the cordon sweet peas and I soon discovered why - every single plant bar two or three was eaten to the ground. Now my first thought was wood pigeons, then mice / voles but having made a mad rush into Tain and buying all the sweet pea plants left in the town, I returned to the garden and what did I see upon opening the gate - the b*****d leveret sitting finishing off the plants that he / she / it hadn't got round too at it's last sitting. Rex was dutifully called upon and after some initial confusion, he got onto the hare and it fled the garden, hopefully with enough of a scare to not want to return. Anyway, another trip home produced a long, long. long length of green windbreak netting and a barrier fence is now being erected round the sweet pea bed and the replacements will be planted out next week - by then I should be able to spot any of the originals that may recover.
So there we go, the sweet pea saga - watch this space!
In between the above events, I did some sorting out in the greenhouse, and Sally and I have now placed all the phlox, sea hollies and Heliopsis in their final planting places ready for next week.
The borders are beginning to fill out now and we have the first real splashes of colour appearing in the shape of oriental poppies, geraniums, knapweed and the peony "Sara Bernhardt". Peonies do seem to like this garden, and in fact we found another one hidden in the wilderness that is the botton third of the garden, which will be dug up and transplanted to the borders next week. I know that conventional wisdom says that peonies will throw a strop when dug up and transplanted and will not flower for up to a couple of years, but all the ones transplanted from the bottom of the garden so far have positively thrived and flowered straight away. They do not get any special treatment - dug up the I spend uip to 10 minutes sitting extracting couch grass and ground elder root systems from their root balls, placed in their planting hole, firmed in and watered and that is it - no feed, no compost, just an option to live or to die.
I also planted the larger greenhouse border with six tomato plants - a mix of Shirley, Gardeners Delight and Sweet Millions - this leaves room for a cucumber plant, a couple of chillies and some salad crops too.
After this I planted out the remaining three dahlia plants in the rosebed and then filled the centre of this bed with quite a few of the Canterbury Bells that were sown last year. So that is the rosebed planted up for the year, Gladioli to the left, Bells in the centre and Dahlias down the right,
As I mentioned earlier the borders are beginning to bulk up and we have the odd splash of colour as you can see.......
However, I w3as comparing it to last year's photo (see below) for same time and given that the plants are a year older and therefore larger, we are still well behind where we were last year.

So anyway, that's where we are just now. I also weeded the strawberries which have their first flowers, the tatties are through and look healthy, I have also tidied up the edge of the lupin wall after the digger had done it's work, and pricked out 108 Alyssum "Carpet of Snow". Onwards and Upwards!!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Big Changes afoot

So I get to the garden last Friday morning and by the time I leave, the centre section has been remodelled. Now I know the levelling of the veg garden area was completed last week but this week we have a new semi circular bed mirroring the shape of the rosebed which is accessed through the boxus arch and the sloping area between the lupin wall and the cordon sweet peas has now been terraced to give a flat growing area in front of the lupins - more on that later.
Anyway, other than more weeding, I lifted the last of the leeks, sprayed off all the paths and all the as yet unplanted areas (the bottom section of the WF border, the rosebed, the area for the new fruit trees and the new semi circular bed mentioned earlier). I also sprayed the area round the edge of the cordon sweet pea bed and then proceeded to plant out the first three batches of young plants, so Gwendoline, Alan Titchmarsh and Orchid were planted out, with Vera Lynn, Tranquility and Jilly done this week after the arrival of the new 8ft bamboo canes. .
The sweet pea bed and the roesbed (which will be home to the Dahlias and Gladioli) have been given a feed with FB&B and will also get a top dressing of the same later in the season. On the subject of the dahlias, they have finally decided to get a shift on and are only now starting to throw up fresh shoots from their home on the greenhouse bed.
I have also put up supports round various plants, especially the campanulas againt the wall as these will reach 5 - 6 ft at flowering so really need to be held against the wall. Last year I was late putting in plant supports but hopefully this year, the supports will do their job and will be hidden as the plant grows.
Generally speaking everything is growing away strongly, we have buds on the oriental poppies, peonies and the tulips are just starting to flower, so it's getting there.
Anyway here a re a few photos showing what has been happening over the last fortnight.

Site of new veg garden
And again
looking up to raised bed in front of box arch

And again
Terracing the slope in front of lupin wall - for lots and lots of sweet peas next year
And the borders on Friday.
And finally, it only remains for me to congratulate Jen and Hamish on their engagement, and now I have to figure out how I am going to have sweet peas in full bloom for the end of June next year - not easy this far north but we'll have them.

Monday, 6 May 2013

May - and still it snows !

Well, not snow exactly but definitely sleet - and a lot of rain and cold cold winds. However, time is marching on, so I started by going down to the greenhouse and watering everything, then sowing some veg (cabbage, caulies, PSB, lettuce, leeks and spring onions) , two pots of Alyssum " Caopet of Snow" and about 70 white Cosmos "Purity" - these last will be added to the 50 or so that I potted on last week.
Sally has been buying some young perennials again so I also came across 18 mixed delphiniums, 6 trailing fuschias ( a freebie with her latest purchase which are coming home with me next week), 6 sea hollies "Blue Star", 6 Heliopsis "Summer Sun and 3 Anemone H. Jobert.
Add to the above the dahlia tubers, blackcurrant canes, phlox, sweet peas, and the greenhouse is filling up again.
After sorting everything out in the greenhouse, I weeded the bank by the steps down to said greenhouse - this is home to Mullein, Perovskia, Japanese Quince, Aquilegia, Alchemilla mollis and a couple of young buddleia,
I also planted out 3 Echinops in the lower of the two herbaceous borders. Things are still greening up but there are buds appearing on the peonies and most of the daffies are open now, so here is a pic of the borders for this week

Now, there was a bit of a misunderstanding as to how the digger was to set out the area for the new veg garden and things have changed as a result, but the area is now cleared and ready for paths etc to be marked out, though there is no real rush as it doesn't need to be finished until late on this year, so that I can get all the beds filled etc ready for the 2014 growing season. So here is a pic of the area, cleared of stumps and scraped back to a level that we are happy with.

There are more groundworks that have been undertaken this week and I'll update you all on these after I've been back to the garden on Friday.
Other than tying in the first row of sweet pea canes and helping Richard and Sally mark out levels for the digger for this week, that's about it.
Back next weekend.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

End of April

So much for it warming up - it is still cold and wet and Friday saw several heavy showers of hailstones in the garden. On the plus side, things are starting to green up and we have a semi decent amount of daffies in flower in the herbaceous borders.
Along with everything else greening up, there has been the usual explosion of weeds and so the weeding continues apace - this weeks main efforts being focussed on the top of the west facing border which is now home to the 130 or so onions that were started of from sets in cell packs in the greenhouse, another session on the cordon sweet pea bed and one of the beds by the summerhouse.
I'm sure that I failed to mention that I have now planted out 5 x tree peonies that were started from seed two years ago - I do hope they flourish as it would be a shame to lose them after waiting for so long!
BIG NEWS!! The work has started proper on the creation if the vegetable garden. Alan arrived with his track digger on Friday and spent the morning digging out stumps and the old cotoneaster hedge from the allotted area. And after marking out roughly where the edges of the veg plot will be, he started work on terracing the area. There will be three levels, each with three beds and the centre bed on the middle level will have Tim's apple tree as a centrepoint. However, this meant Alan digging up the apple tree which was done with as large a rootball as possible and placing it to one side whilst he worked on the terracing. There is a lot of willowherb and ground elder in this area but hopefully the digger's work will kill off a lot of this.
I am really looking forward to seeing the garden on Friday as the terracing work had just got underway when I was finishing up for the day. Expect a few pics of this next week !!
What else has been happening - Sally has grown some Cosmos "Purity" from seed and these are now all potted up into individual 3" pots, all 56 of them,  and will be planted out en masse in the lower of the two long borders when they are ready.
I sorted through the dahlia tubers as well - we lost three over the winter but all the remaining ones are now snug and planted up in the larger greenhouse bed to get them underway.
So as per usual, here is a pic of the borders this week...........

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Warming up now

A glorious day on Friday which hopefully is the start of a longer spell of warmer weather!
So first off , apologies for not updating this for a wee while but there hasn't really been too much to report of interest - weeding isn't exactly top of the "lets see that" list!
However it is a necessity and I have now weeded both herbaceous borders, the west facing border, the fruit bed (incorporating this years tattie ground), the dahlia bed, both beds either side of the summerhouse and the long bed for the sweet peas and gladioli.
I have started chitting the gladioli and have erected the first row of 50 x 8ft canes for the cordon sweet peas, which have now all had their growing tips nipped off to encourage side shoots. At planting out time, the strongest sideshoot will be the one that is trained up the canes and any others will be removed - this is done as it is common for the main shoot on sweet peas to go "blind" and not produce any blooms.
The tatties are chitting away in the house and will be ready for planting out just as soon as the soil has warmed up a bit.
The borders are starting to show signs of life and have had a few additions planted out - some pinks, and astilbes which came from some of my other gardens and were surplus to requirements. as well as some Campanula carpatica in the beds by the summerhouse which came from a neighbour of mine.
The daffs are beginning to open (finally) so hopefully we should start to get a bit of a decent show next week.
Elsewhere, I have started off 8 dahlia tubers in the greenhouse - these are the only ones we will be taking cuttings from this year, the remainder will be planted out direct in the Dahlia bed (the old rosebed by the summerhouse).

Anyways, here is a pic of the borders from April 12th last year......

And hers is one taken on Friday............
Considerably less greenery in the one taken this year!!.But with the arrival of warmer air from the South, things should hopefully get a move on now.
We now have a new door to the garden - the old one was a bit past it.....
So Matthew made a lovely new door which looks really good - though I think I have to agree with Matthew when he says that although the colour is called "Woodland Green", it looks more like John Deere Green !
And finally, the digger should be arriving in a fortnight to start clearing up the area of the proposed vegetable garden - much excitement on my part as veg are my passion !! So hopefully it won't be like this for much longer......

Monday, 18 March 2013

Still no daffies!

Well, the Alness Spring Show has been and gone and in the garden, there is still not a daffodil in bloom - which is a real shame as I was hoping to enter 5 of the old fashioned original daffs. Never mind there's always next year. They are about a fortnight later than usual this year, so hopefully we'll get a show soon, as the snowdops were a fortnight later this year too. With this in mind I might actually lift some after flowering and force them on in the greenhouse for next years show.
Spent most of the day weeding and tidying up the top border -more or less a full day, which is less time than last year and much much more than the year before - in fact the actual weeds are not the problem, it's the removal of the weeds without damaging any of the bulbs or plants in the border that makes it so slow.
So there you have it - nothing too exciting - the most exciting thing about the day was the discovery of a newt in the border!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Winter has returned

Friday this week wasn't too bad weather wise but it was definitely colder (and since then we have had more snow and plummeting temperatures at night)
I began by cuting away all the old foliage from the Hellebores to give their blooms the chance to shine - I can only hope they haven't succumbed to the sudden temperature drop.
Still no daffs in flower - which is a shame - I hope we have some by Friday 15th as there is a local Spring Bulb show on Saturday 16th - I'd really like to take a vase of the old original daffs that proliferate in the bottom section of the garden as I really like them....

After tidying up the Hellebores, I got the wheelbarrow out and trundled 14 barrows of well rotted muck onto the potato patch - ideally this should have been done in the back end of 2012 but as we didn't know what areas of the garden were going to be available for this years veg, it had to wait.
After this I planted out the strawberry runners that have been growing on in the greenhouse. These had been placed outside about a month ago - strawberry plants benefit from a cold spell, so planting them out now does no harm and frees up more time for when things start getting hectic in April.
To finish the day, I started into clearing up the herbaceous borders -a seemingly endless task "
That's it for this week..............

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

First Day of March

And still not a daffodil in flower ! We all thought that with the mild winter we had up here, things would be early on the go in the garden but for some reason, the oppposite seems to be true with only the snowdrops and a handful of crocus in flower - there are signs of life but not too many.
Anyway, this week was spent applying a winter wash to all the fruit trees - something I meant to do before now but forgot!.
And the Mantis was brought out the potting shed and put to work, rotovating the rosebed (where all the dahlias will be going)

followed by the cordon sweet pea bed (where the veg was last year)

 and the area of the fruit bed that was under black polythene all winter (where this years potatoes will be going.

The rest of the day was spent clearing up branches and setting light to one of the last remaining burn piles in what will be the vegetable garden - only one left now, but it's a biggie !

And to finish on a bright note - a pretty little hellebore!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

A wee bit chilly

The weather has been beautiful all week up here, with beautuiful clear blue skies every day. Unfortunately it is still February so the clear skies can only mean one thing - hard frosts every morning. This morning was no exception and it was -6 this morning as I arrived at Scotsburn.
Given the ground hasn't had a chance to thaw out all week, there was lirrle to be done with the beds and borders etc, so it was out with the chainsaw and more logging and blocking done, to clear more of the felled trees.
I also cut down the cotoneaster that was growing up through the beech hedge and pulled it clear of the hedge - no point in having it slow down any growth the beech wants to put on.
In the greenhouse, the exhibition sweet peas are just beginning to show through the compost and the onion sets are putting down roots.
So, not the most exciting day garden wise but all the felled timber needs to be cut up and removed so that the next phase of the garden improvement can proceed. One more day with the saw should see the bulk, if not all, of the felled trees cleared.
Thats it for this week.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Mid Feb update

Friday was a beautiful day, although there was still a bit of snow on the ground - I am informed that about 6 inches of the white stuff fell on the garden on Wednesday (I had 4" in the forest I was working at on the same day).
First off was the greenhouse - I moved all the perennials outside...........

then set about planting up the onion sets (Centurion and Red Baron) into 12 cell trays, and started to pot on some of the larger Cantebury Bells after giving them a good soak........

and finally, there is no point in wasting the snow that was left around the greenhouse, so I shovelled it up and spread it on the greenhouse beds to help in the rehydration process.

After this it was up to the small beds either side of the summerhouse and these were weeded and cleaned up as they are full of various bulbs so hopefully in the coming weeks we should start to see some colour in these two beds.


And to finish the day I logged what was left of the fallen trees in the area set aside for the veg garden - the photo below also shows the beech hedge fully cut back, though there are still large clumps of cotoneaster growing through bits of it, and this will all be either cut down to about 3ft or removed altogether.
That's it for now, back again next week.