SoS 2/5/20

Before I start, happy birthday to SoS and congrats to Mr.Propagator for starting the whole thing three years ago. It’s been such a bonus for me, watching and learning about different shrubs and plants and meeting gardenaholics. So thank you, Jonathan!

My  pics today are from earlier in the week  when it was springlike and sunny. Today, on my end of the globe, it’s wet, windy and chilly with frequent little cold cells drifting across the radar and preventing any outdoors activity at all – something I don’t take kindly to.

The first image is the western perennial border.  I had planned not to plant any tulips this year but after seeing Monty Don’s and the Mindful Gardener’s and all the SoS’ers, I was drawn into Tulip Mania again and so have planted out tubs and the garden with a small selection (both in the main garden and the Matchbox). I chose black, white and orange colours and ordered a couple of white super parrots as well.  I also planted out more white grape hyacinths. I don’t know why as I hate the rampant leaf growth closer to spring. But I do love the flowers, so quirky. I cast freesias everywhere, some cream exotics and some bog-ordinary, and also planted more Jeanne d’Arc white crocuses in tubs. I have also finally located some purple alliums. It was almost impossible to buy them on the island and illegal to import most varieties from the mainland because of quarantine. We have a thriving onion industry here and I suspect the diseases are similar and so the Powers That Be are protecting the farmers.

I spent time this week oiling the garden furniture and also tarted up my little cold frame. Husband built a firm pad for it and I have already placed 2 Euphorbia Diamond Frosts in there (they hate frosts) and a little budding white climbing rose cutting that I’ve cossetted from mid winter last year.

This is the flower of a Cape Gooseberry. Ugly plant and only bought it for those vibrant unusual seedheads. But I suspect the plant may be lifted – it’s got such an ugly shape and doesn’t suit my tastes at all.

The flowers and foliage of the bronze fennel are a favourite. I love the delicacy and I also love the flavour of the fennel leaves in cooking. Win-win.

The view from behind the quince looks down the orchard to the veggies and berries. We have said quince, 2 apples, three pears, a cherry plum, a green gage, 3 olives, 3 almonds, an apricot and a nectarine (Husband made nectarine jam from the freezer this week. It’s yummy!). I have an unrealistic image of the orchard as a pretend arboretum and have also planted a Chinese Elm and have plans for a walnut and a silver birch which are already acclimatised to this microclimate. I’d love to plant more exotics as well but the reality is that we have achingly dry summers and it’s a struggle. The orchard is surrounded on two sides by Pittosporum James Sterling which is loosely hedged and on the third side by a whomping great weeping willow which was planted fifty years ago when winters were notoriously wet and cold (verging on floods every winter).

And finally the berry house which I look at in trepidation. The strawberries in the raised bed must be lifted, the soil replenished and then the stock replanted. Then all other berries in the house must be pruned and tied back into manageable shapes. It’s an unenviable job and despite gloves I always manage to bleed like a stuck pig.

Pop over to Mr.P for the usual wander and I look forward to catching up.