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Flowers at last

Like most people, I am staying at home most of the time at the moment while we sit out Covid-19. This is giving me plenty of time in my garden, and in the next few weeks it should look better than it has for years!

The weather since the start of lockdown has been kind: a dry spell after lots of rain earlier in the month means that my clay soil is diggable. This is rare so I've been concentrating on weeding rather than some of the more exciting jobs.

Above left to right: before and after weeding

I did buy a few bedding and vegetable plants in anticipation just before the lockdown started. Some of these are sitting in my greenhouse until we're past the frosts, some are awaiting time to plant them and some have already been planted. It's a little early for bean plants so I'm having to protect them overnight when frost is expected:

Above left to right and top to bottom: plants in my greenhouse x 2, new bedding plants, saxifrage waiting to be planted, dahlia 'raspberry ripple' x 2 (the colour varies on individual flowers), Iberis sempervirens 'Appen-etz', beans (mix of broad, French and runner), beans with frost protection

And here are some of the shrubs and flowers which have been putting on a show during March:

Left to right and top to bottom: vinca minor (periwinkle), Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis, dwarf rhododendron, Rosmarinus blue cascade, plum blossom, pittosporum, laurel flowers, hellebore (no idea of type, it self-seeded)*, winter heathers, chaenomeles, forsythia, camellia, blueberry, berberis darwinii, almond blossom

* update 28th April: I have now realised that this is actually an Astrantia, it was so early I incorrectly assumed it to be a hellebore!

This is a good time to mulch shrubs with organic matter so I've also rotated my compost bins, using the content of the oldest bin as mulch. And with the grass finally firm enough to walk on without compacting it too much, I've smartened up the training structures in my mini-orchard:

I'm looking forward to moving on to some new projects when I've finally got the weeding under control!


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