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The sun coaxed me out.


Over the last few days the mornings have started dull and grey but by late morning we have had sun and blue skies. The soil has been drying out nicely and that has meant it has been good for digging without being ‘clarty’.

As you come into our drive on the right there is quite a large bed that I haven’t really done much in for a few years. Last year I noticed bindweed had encroached from the neighbours garden and the Saponaria officinalis [bouncing Bet] that I did plant had bounced through the border and was now a nuisance.

Most of the ‘dead’ stuff is the Bouncing Bet but there are lots of tulips , aquilegia and Iris in there as well as roses and a few other flowers.

The result after one day.

After 2 days but 180 degrees view.

There is still lots to do but I went into a different part of the garden today as it was not as sunny and just dug out a few buttercups, sycamore seedlings and enchanter’s nightshade.

Some plants that have come back again despite the bind weed are this purple Corydalis at the base of a shrubby Lonicera along with tulips and hyacinths which are in tight bud still..

In a different border that I dug over last year to remove couch grass this Corydalis ’George Baker is coming into flower.

There is this early flowering Iris but cant for the life of me remember what it is. Its not I unguicularis though but the label has gone walkies.

A good shady lady is this Pachyphragma with lovely white simple flowers.

This lady has got into the habit of tapping on our bedroom window if we haven’t been downstairs to fill the feeders by 7am.

The forecast for the next week is dull and colder so not sure how much outside work I will get done.

as an aside. Cheltenham races are on currently but today was the day of the oldest horse race. Katie will probably know of it. The Kiplingcoates Derby is just over 500 years old. It has to be run every year or it will have to stop. Last year only 2 riders took part due to Covid.

More blog posts by seaburngirl

Previous post: Middle March and things are looking cheerful.

Next post: The last week in the garden.



I've been doing the same, Eileen....I made a promise to myself not to work for hours....a little dipping in and out went quite well today.Those dreaded wild garlic plants return again and again.
Bouncing Bet is a new one to me.

18 Mar, 2021


its a pretty semi double pale blush pink flower. if you crush the leaves and rub them in water they produce a soap. hence its scientific name.

just a bit of a thug sadly.

18 Mar, 2021


You have been busy and the hard work shows. Love the corydalis and the iris. I have read about, but not seen, the pachyphragma. It looks a neat plant.
Lucky you with your lady blackbird - they learn quickly. She wouldn't be getting me out of bed before 7am., however charming! They're devils for mealworms, I see; expensive tastes...

18 Mar, 2021


Busy lady indeed, Eileen! Lots of good clearing out, it’s quite exhilarating I’m sure!
You’ve a collection of very pretty coloured spring flowers there! Mrs. Blackbird is one lucky lady! All those juicy mealworms...
Yes, I know of the ‘unique’ horse race, Eileen. Fascinating isn’t it!!!! It’s such a pity about last year, fortunately it I’d go ahead, even though the circumstances were so unusual....thank heavens!

18 Mar, 2021


My word, what a difference you made! I do love your Corydalis. I was given a root of a pink one by a kind Goyer some years ago but sadly it isn't with me any more. I seem to do better with blue ones.
Isn't that Iris a picture? Do those little species tulips always flower so early? No sign of mine yet, I hope they haven't gone to Glory!

No wonder your Mrs Blackbird is anxious for for breakfast - such a lot quicker & easier than digging up worms. And now who needs an alarm clock...

18 Mar, 2021


The Kaufmanniana type tulips are usually out in March with the larger Darwin types in May. I find some are more long lived than others. Early Hravest is robust and I think some are less so. but I guess it depends on where they are in the garden and how damp they stay.

This blacky is 2 yrs old now and her mum, with a dropped wing [Mrs D so called by Victoria] is still with us and this is her 5th yr. As you say who needs an alarm clock.

But I do tend to wake up with the sun/dawn chorus though in the height of summer I usually manage to stay in bed until about 6.30.

I appreciate all your lovely comments, makes writing blogs more fun.

Managed to get 4 large garden sacks emptied today. Our brown bin men include one of my ex pupils and he emptied them for me in addition to my bin. Such a sweetie.

19 Mar, 2021


Lots of hard work going on there, SBG! But it's well worthwhile when you see the end result!

19 Mar, 2021


You have many interesting plants in your garden Eileen. I've been studying the history of Bouncing Betty Soapwort (Saponaria). During colonial days, it's been widely used to make shampoo & laundry detergent. That's how it got the name 'Bouncing Betty' referring to the women as they washed laundry at the creek with their washboards and this plant. Supposedly it makes a very mild & high quality shampoo that leaves your hair clean & silky smooth. It can also be made into a bodywash and combined with other herbs like mint & lavender for added benefits. This was before soap was commercialized. Fascinating huh? Have you ever used it for anything? I've been looking to get my hands on some - just as a curiosity. It's not so popular anymore. How does it perform in the garden? Is it weedy?

20 Mar, 2021


I love this time of year SBG when everything is starting to poke out and show colours. Had to laugh at Ms. Blackbird as out birds are doing the same. They let us know. Hummingbirds would hover by our face as saying that the some feeder is empty ...and it usually is.
You've progressed nicely in your clean up. The Spring finally arrived :-)

20 Mar, 2021


Yes Bathgate it has been used since Roman times apparently and it features in many medieval herbals. It is a tall plant and is a bit of a thug in the garden sadly. I used it in a module with 16yr olds on the uses of plants as well as using other plants for dyes etc. It can be very alkaline so not very good on some skins as it can be harsh.

I was told it was named Bouncing Bet as it was useful like Queen Elizabeth 1 and the flower looks a little bit like an Elizabethan ruff. But either way it is a pretty pink.

Klahanie, we have a couple of wrens that also sing very loudly when the mealworm feeders get low. They flit around all brick walls looking for spiders etc.

20 Mar, 2021


Made me tired just reading about all your hard work lol. Looks so much better. Love your Black bird. I had a bit of a blue scene going on with the Male and female Black bird in my garden the other morning 😂. They quite amorous 😂

20 Mar, 2021


Your garden has plenty of interesting plants coming into flower. Yes, always need to be on the alert for unwanted weeds invading from neighbours' properties ! 😊

25 Mar, 2021


Lovely blog Sbg, and what a difference you made to that front border! Yes the corydalis are very attractive, especially George Baker. Would it be named after the actor do you think?
Love your bossy blackbird haha! I do hope she is appreciative when her bowl is filled once more. Like you I have a wren down the garden and what a song she sings, it's wonderful :)

27 Mar, 2021


It was named George Baker in 1977 and i assume it was after the actor but i may well be wrong.

27 Mar, 2021


I nearly missed this one Seaburn, fascinating blog , I think all topics were covered in it, keep up the good work, I'm getting old, Mad March weather has stopped me in my tracks in my garden, I don't do cold windy days now..

28 Mar, 2021


Just a few days ago as I opened the curtains of our living room & looked out on to the balcony I spied a Wren on the table! I'd never seen a Wren on the balcony in all the 20 years we have lived here, so it was quite a surprise! I didn't have time to take a photo as I was watching it for at least a minute at no more than 2.5m (7ft) away! fortunately it didn't seem to see me even though it kept moving around.

30 Mar, 2021

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