A Happy Easter

hawthorn

Sloe blossom. Good to recognise if you like home brewed sloe gin.

Despite Hurricane Katie, Easter socializing and much  over-eating of chocolate,  I’ve managed to get in some garden time over the long weekend.

Weeding is therapy (for me at least). In the Stream Garden, I am uplifted  to see practically everything now is either well on its way  or showing tiny  leaves and shoots. The  replanted Peony has still done nothing, alas.  I remind myself to be patient… (an Angelica  archangelica I had given up for dead in the summer has emerged, fresh and shining this week). My daffodils are way behind the Jones’, but that’s probably because I planted them so late in Autumn. Fat flower buds are just starting to burst open. I’m always thinking of  improvements for next spring, of course: more palest yellow daffs and primroses, planted in abundance under more dusty pink and slate Hellebores.

Planning ahead, I’ve planted some seeds. My record with seeds is poor. I think I shower them with too much love in the form of water. I was quite discouraged. Then two things happened: the Cosmos planted in- situ last year flowered so brilliantly for months; and an OCG friend recommended a website called Seedaholic .  The site has a huge selection, all described in detail with lengthy growing instructions. I idly browsed and ended up with a digital basket full, the first of which to be sowed are Aquilegia atrata. Deepest purple – red doves with golden tails float over curling whorls of foliage. I have my fingers crossed for at least a few successes from the 25 planted. Secondly, I have a tray of Nicotiania alata  “Lime Green” which are fiddly to germinate, but worth a try (I have 4,500 seeds to get it right!). The fragrant, simple,  lime summer flowers will be a foil and filler of gaps in the burgundy planting of the Stream Garden.  Consequently, the sunny window ledges are filled with slightly precarious seed trays.

seeds

 http://www.seedaholic.com. Worth a look.

On a rather larger scale, I’ve planted some Gunnera manicata next to the pond. A “cutting”. Ha! Sawing more like.

gunnera

Baby Gunnera. Eeek.

This looks like the T-Rex of the plant world. Spiky, thick, stems. Furled, leathery leaves. Dangling, pendulous roots. Huge umbrella leaves. The pond  will look better for it once it’s settled in… I think.  As long as it doesn’t get too comfortable. I’d be interested to know if anyone else has grown this monster and thoughts on controlling its spread. I don’t have enough space to be able to leave it unmanaged, but if managing it needs a chainsaw, I’d rather know now!

Feeling lucky to have acquired a rather sorry looking Mountain Ash or Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia ) from a generous friend who offered it to me as I eyed up the neglected tree potted  next to her front door. The roots don’t look great at all, but it has buds so I planted it nevertheless in the newly dug and empty Drive Beds. (It will be an anchor to the fledgling winter bed forming in my mind. I’m thinking the new Rowan,  Dogwoods, a Crab Apple, Persicarias and a yet to be chosen evergreen grasses).

I used this helpful video on tree planting by the RHS as a guide as it’s not something I’ve done before. Hopefully, the Rowan will grow strong again. A resurgence that will be fitting for it’s Easter earth date.

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