Six on Saturday: 15 February 2020

Goodbye Ciara: Hello Dennis.

Please pass through quickly and without damaging our plants.

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Clematis montanna  in the rear shady border – growing well.

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The fuchsia in the front sunny border has new growth too.

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Still waiting for my sprouts – they could be some time. The largest is about the size of . . . a small sprout!!!!

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The first crocuses are looking good.

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A rare glimpse of the front sunny border – there’s usually a car blocking the view. The rather scruffy concrete block wall was here before we were. I don’t want to paint it but it is looking a bit grim and depressing. Any suggestions?

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With rain battering the windows and slates rattling on the roof, I’ll be spending most of the weekend checking out other Six-on Saturday’s. You can find them in the comments on The Propagator’s Blog.

Six on Saturday: 8 February 2020

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We’re waiting for Storm Ciara to make an appearance, though I think we might be okay for a few hours yet. The sun is shining but the clouds are starting to gather overhead. Because of our mountainous (sort of) and rural location, we’ve taken a few precautions – mainly filling flasks with hot water and bringing logs for the wood burner nearer the back door and under cover.

These are the ‘before’ pictures – I really hope I don’t have to post any ‘after’.

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My pots by the back door are doing well. By pure chance, the colour of the surprise primula matches the cyclamen). These should be safe as they are sheltered by the conservatory.

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These rescued narcissi should be opening soon, if they’re not blown over first.

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This little cyclamen doesn’t look like much, but it will have a few tiny flowers eventually. The corm is only slightly smaller than the diameter of its pot. I estimate it to be at least thirty-five years old, if not more. (We’ve been in this house for thirty-three years and it was empty for at least three years prior to that).

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This fuchsia has lots of new growth coming through. It should be the perfect size to plant out in the front border towards the end of April.

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No, this is not the work of a local North-Wales dung-beetle but the first shoots of my alliums – grown for the first time last year and left in the same pot. There should be five!

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If you are currently experiencing or expecting ‘adverse weather conditions’, wherever you are this weekend, stay safe and keep checking The Propagator’s blogfor more garden posts from around the world.

You can track Storm Ciara – and other weather/wind conditions in your part of the world on this handy interactive map.

Monthly Roundup: January

This new month/year/decade began with mild, dry and sunny(ish) weather, tempting us to thoughts of Spring.

And the month had only just begun when I made my first plant purchases – both from the Rescue Shelf at the garden centre.

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The first was this Hebe Champagne Ice, reduced from £9.99 to £2.50. This is for my front border – one of the gaps left by removing excess peonies last autumn. It looks a bit leggy to me, but I’ll wait until I see new growth before I give it a trim, though some websites say a light trim in early winter will keep it compact. Continue reading “Monthly Roundup: January”

Six on Saturday: 25 January 2020

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A grey day, thankfully dry and mild.  Hellebore Christmas Carol finally decided to flower, and very pretty is it too, brightening up the shady part of the front border.

In the mini greenhouse, the rosemary cuttings I took last year are (mostly) growing well. There have been some losses, which may be down to over-watering, but on the whole there will be enough there for me to use to divide my allotment bed into three sections.

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Outside, the dwarf narcissi I rescued from the Very Shady Border (now Compost Corner) are growing well, with buds beginning to show. Once they’ve finished flowering, I’ll just decant them into the front border and leave the leaves on so I can see where they are when I come to plant new shrubs.

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And in the front border, a few brave crocuses have managed to push their way through the layer of topsoil I put down in autumn.

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And this bud/shoot bodes well for the clematis Montana in the shady border.

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as does this honeysuckle bud.

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Grab a coffee (or hot drink of choice) and take a few minutes to check out other garden offerings over at The Propagator’s blog. You might need to return several times throughout the weekend.


Project Greenhouse: New Plans for 2020

This time last year, my thoughts turned to the removal of a raised bed to make room for a self-designed greenhouse, though it was almost four months before the raised bed and its contents were finally gone, and too late in the year to start building.

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Now I can resurrect the greenhouse plans I’d put on hold – slightly updated to take account of the space available, but pretty much the same size.  I originally thought of having three separate greenhouses, each 70 x 70 centimetres (the width of a sheet of twin-wall poly-carbonate and slightly over the width of the previous raised bed, which will hide the old wall foundations).

20200102 Final Plans With the two compost bins already in place (and too full to move) there is still plenty of room to play with – wriggle-room if you will – which currently leaves a 400 – 600  mm gap (16 inches) between one end of the greenhouse and the first compost bin.

I have simplified the structure into one, with a single door in the middle.

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The side cross-bars will act as shelf supports. The greenhouse backs onto and will be fixed to the brick wall of my husband’s shed, so the wooden uprights don’t need to be more than 4″ x 4″ – but it depends what we have in the shed. I refuse to pay out for wood when the shed is full of posts and beams of differing lengths and thickness.

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I don’t have a scanner at the moment so had to photograph these sketches – which is why the image below looks out of shape.

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But it’s easier to visualise when there is a (almost) scale model – and I had a spare hour or two, and plenty of craft cardboard so . . .

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Now we’ve just got to build it!

It may not be very large, but it will give me plenty of room for seedlings and cuttings in the spring, and (with shelving removed) somewhere to grow tomatoes or peppers perhaps. It won’t get a lot of sun in the summer (shaded by my neighbour’s trees – still), but it will be warm, especially with the brick wall retaining heat.

There might even be room for a deckchair!

And it will be a step up from this mini-greenhouse in my shed.

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