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Spring has sprung (I think)


By samjp


Hey guys, been a while since I last posted a blog and boy have I been a busy bee :))

Been working on planning for 2 gardens, the back garden at home (mostly looking at the shady border) and the front garden at my OHs. I’ve got the basis of a plan in mind, just need the plants for it now and the time to put the plan into action lol.

I’ve been gradually (or not so gradually at times lol) collecting new plants, most of which are currently residing happily in my lovely new plant house (best Christmas present ever :)).

So far I’ve got the perenials collection and lilly collection from GW offers last year (all growing quite nicely), a hebe which I didn’t manage to plant last year, a few aquligeia seedlings,

3 clematis (thank you Morrisons),

a flat of primroses

and a primula veris I think it is (again thank you Morrisons)

and last but certainly not least a nice little camelia I picked up for my mom to give my nan for mothers day. Some of the plants I’ll use at home but a lot of them will probably end up in my OHs front garden (if I ever manage to do something with it). OOh and the sweet peas I planted last month (can’t believe I got 100% germination – not bad for a first attempt eh)

I had a few days off last week went in search of shade loving plants at my local garden centres. I really can’t believe how little any of them stock for shade areas (I don’t think I found one plant!). What I was more disgusted with was the way a couple of the places treat their plants. The one place is more pet shop than garden centre, but they have a small plant related area. Almost all of the plants looked pretty much dead, see:

The second place I went to was a fairly big nursery. It had such amazing potential, lots and lots of little paths that wonder down to yet another hidden area. Several greenhouses scattered through the pathways and loads of cold frames. Just a big shame that again most of the plants look dead or very neglected, pathways were so jammed with very poorly looking pots you could hardly walk through, same with greenhouses. Then every so often you’d turn a corner and find a pot of dead plant upended in a flower bed. The other strange thing, is at one stage I’m pretty certain I’d walked into someone elses back garden, really odd. I really don’t understand why anyone would leave their business area looking like that. It put me off buying anything from them at all. So much so I didn’t even stop to ask if they ever stock shade plants.

Anyhow moving on lol. While I was off last week I got busy planting a few seeds. So far we have Busy Lizzies, Penstemon (collected from the plant last year), Gentian, Lobelia and Petunias. I’m really pleased I seem to have loads germianted. Busy Lizzies are one of the slower ones, I’ve only spotted 16 so far, but its early days with them yet. The Gentian haven’t done brilliantly so far, but we’ll see if anymore pop up. I can’t really complain when I got them in a pack of 5 seed types for £1 can I lol. The Lobelia have germinated really well and unfortunately proven that I’m not very good at sowing very fine seeds lol (photo taken after sowing seed – seedlings not showing in pictures very well yet):

Fingers crossed we’ll have good weather this weekend and I can finally make a start in my OHs front garden. I had planned on starting with getting rid of the 2 big connifers hopefully this weekend, but from OHs responses suspect thats not going to happen. Although he did say today he has a plan, but refuses to tell me what (the meanie) lol! I know I will struggle with the two trees on my own (particularly since they are about 20ft high) but I suspect I may end up dealing with them myself if I want to get something done with the garden. Fingers crossed for good weather and hopefully I can make a start somewhere in the garden.

On the home front theres lots going on in the garden. Lots and lots of bulbs poking their heads up, really looking forward to them comming into flower now :) Lol my mum can’t work out how when she plants bulbs nothing shows, but when I plant bulbs loads seem to show :))) I don’t think we’ve done too badly this winter. A couple of the hebes I planted last year are looking rather sorry for themselves and I’m not convinced the clematis montana has survived, but other than that I think we may be ok. Heres a couple of photos of the garden at the moment, in need of a tidy up though:
Sunny Border:

Shade Border by the Rhododendrons:

Pot planted with 5 hyacinth bulbs and around 20 chinodoxia bulbs, just starting to flower. Shame more of the chinodixia haven’t come up:

The next stage in the grand plan (other than digging up OHs garden lol) is to plant the next set of seed. I may have gone a little overboard with seed :S I just keep reminding myself that I will have two gardens to fill lol.

I’ll shut up now I’m sure I’ve bored everyone silly :)) Heres a couple of photos from last year, just a reminder of things to come :)) Roll on summer eh

More blog posts by samjp

Previous post: Planning for spring

Next post: Busy, busy, busy



Some work for you then :))) Camellias are great - last year I planted my sweet peas in a wrong place and they strangled everything - doh !! Shady ones I have ferns, vincas, Christmas boxes, mahonias and ajugas -:)))) Weather set fair this weekend :))

nice summery pics to finish :)))

Happy Gardening :)))))))))))

9 Mar, 2012


I love your plant house :o) It's probably better than those plastic covered things. And Morrisons have good quality plants too.
Yes I think it's sad that some garden centres let their plants die. I notice it mostly in places like Wilkinsons :o( I don't buy plants from there.

9 Mar, 2012


Looks as if you've cracked seed germination there!

As well as Paul's suggestions for shade: Pulmonarias, foxgloves, primroses and primulas are good, and perennial geraniums. :))

9 Mar, 2012


I have alot of shady areas too - dry shade in alot of places. Epimedium is especially useful under trees and erythronium/ dogs tooth violets are to die for. I saw some yellow ones in the GC today but the purple ones are my real faves. I could go on if you want some more suggestions PM me and I will send you some more.

10 Mar, 2012


Also Skimmia a lovely shadier plant

10 Mar, 2012


OMG, It's exhausting just reading this:- think I'll just go and have a lie-down. Good work there, Samjp, giving me far more inspiration than I can possibly handle.

10 Mar, 2012


Thanks for all the lovely comments guys.

Bilbo, I am loving Morrisons at the moment. Their plants always look well looked after (better than some GCs lol) and so cheap. I don't mind if they take a year or two to flower, its worth it. Glad to hear your Clematis have been realy nice. I'm looking forward to seeing the first flower :)

Thanks Paul :) Ooops with the sweet peas. I'll have to remember that when I come to plant mind lol. Thank you for the suggestions I'll go take a look at them, see what I think :))

Thanks Hywel, I'm really pleased with my plant house. Its got a decent aluminium frame and good thick windows (can't think of the name of the material). Absolute swine to put together (mostly because trying to use tiny little nuts and screws with frozen fingers is a really bad idea lol). I can kind of understand why someone like Wilkinsons don't take care of the plants. Chances are the staff know very little about them. But GCs should know better. Surely if the plants look well cared for your more likley to buy plants (whether planned or impulse buys). It just doesn't make good business sense. My nan once said something to someone at the pet shop/GC and they just didn't see what they were doing wrong.

Thanks Shelia I certainly hope so. Thank you for the suggestions I will certainly keep them in mind. Hhehe lots of ideas now, this could be fun :)))

Poppy wow what a list. Thank you for those suggestions, a few more to add to my list :))

Lol Gattina its no wonder I'm tired eh, and I didn't even mention stripping the little bedroom the other week (including the horrible polystyrene ceiling tiles :S)

The weekend weather was pretty good, amazingly warm on Sunday. OH surprised me in a BIG way. When I got there on Friday night he had actually started to take down one of the trees! Colour me amazed. Considering the arguments I'd had from him I really didn't think it would happen. Anyway 2 days later and bye bye trees. All that is left are a few logs waiting to go to a friend and a couple of tree stumps :)))) Can't believe how much lighter it is in the house now. Amazing difference. Next step I think is taking up the lawn, either that or removing the low wall and brick planters from round the trees we took out. May be a couple weeks, think we're going to have to strip the paper (and polystrene ceiling tiles) out of the main bedroom and remove a built in bed from the little bedroom. Lol haven't set many tasks for myself have I :)))

12 Mar, 2012

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