End of Month February 2012

Yet again I’m going to lament about time and how it’s passing much too quickly for me… I just don’t understand where the time is going. One minute it was January and now suddenly we’re coming into March.

Again we’ll start with the front garden and little has changed since GBBD, but there is a notable increase of blooms and even the little Narcissi Tete-a-tetes are coming into bloom now.
(the weird green dots are organic slug pellets)

The border along the path continues to make me smile with the little splashes of colour, which over the coming years should naturalise to some extent and we’ll have a much more impressive show.
A job on my list is to remove the now dead Crocosmia leaves, which until the snow arrived were still providing much needed colour and interest – these definitely do not die, well. I want to thin out the clump into a couple of smaller patches and then plant either Erysimum, Salvia or Veronica amongst them to contrast with the orange blooms. I also need to divide the geraniums in the distance and cut back the Knapweed – the shady patch behind the Rose will house some taller Hellebores too.

The window border is also looking much improved on previous years, and has a similar mix of spring bulbs to the previous border. Work will begin on the two other areas that I never show; mainly because they’re so horrendously bad I don’t want people to see! I’ve some heavy work planned for them which I am hopeful will vastly improve the garden in general.

Moving onto the back garden and the right border… I did a little tidy up a couple of days ago and cut some things back… Just need to get rid of the detritus that’s messing things up! 😉
I’m hopeful that the Pennisetum has survived winter as I can see green at its heart… More work on this border too, as I need things at a mid-level because most plants are quite tall, the border being raised to waist height means that the soil is all you see and the blooms are much higher.

The Buddleja border continues to be a thorn in my side; it looks like the small forget-me-not plants I planted in autumn have all died, except a few down at the bottom of the border so I’ll have to steal some from my parents as they have borders upon borders of them. I’m also planning dry, sun lovers for the top end such as Agapanthus to provide interest at on the lawn side, and then shade lovers at the bottom… However two painted ladyferns I planted last year have gone – although I am hoping they will come back. Otherwise I might just scream because NOTHING seems to want to survive in this area.

I had a day off on Tuesday and tackled this sloping border as it was being invaded by couch grass. I’ve left the odd willowherb though and need to get back out and rip them up. Plans for this area are grasses, Rudbekia, Yarrow and maybe Coneflowers or Helenium. The slope really isn’t easy to get to, so I might keep it as simple as possible with grasses and Rudbekia and then trailing plants such as the Aubrieta.

The Aster border seems a little slow to get going this year… I’m not sure what’s wrong with it. But the Sedum seem to be happy enough at the moment!

Once again I’ve left out the upper tier, but looking at the Cherry border we can see a vast improvement; especially since I moved one of the bird feeders to a different feeding station and there’s considerably less bird droppings littering everything.
The Geraniums have had quite a growth spurt in the past week or so and I’m pleasantly surprised at the number of Snowdrops I have in here that I didn’t realise I’d planted so many.
It’s also nice to see the Pulmonaria ‘Sissinghurst white’ and Anemone in bloom now.

Oh yes, and I noticed some new blooms on the Cherry tree! Get ready for the REAL show!

Copyright 2011 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.

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20 thoughts on “End of Month February 2012

  1. Your garden reminds me of our last one when we lived near Southport, on the coast in the North West. Originally it had been a sand dune and was therefor terraced, as you say, not easy to garden on the side of a hill, when you are feeling very vulnerable 10 or 15ft off the ground, well it feels as if you are off the ground! I like the way you have given your beds different names, all your new bulbs flowering now are a sure sugn that spring is definitely on its way

    • Hi Pauline,

      A lot of it is flat… Depending on where you’re stood but then as you said sometimes it can feel like you’re going to do yourself some harm. Especially when I’m near the edge of the wall trying to dig something out. I’m not scared of heights but I definitely get vertigo in these situations and can imagine myself falling off and seriously hurting myself. But I have no other choice, unless I’m to leave areas bare.

      I decided to give the borders names for the sake of readers as I felt ‘left border’, ‘back border’ or ‘border in the front garden under the window’ were just too boring and I grew tired of calling them that so decided to name them for ease.

      I hear we’re in for another short cold spell, I just hope it doesn’t cause too much damage.

  2. Hi Liz, Your painted ferns should come back. Mine are in pots and they die right down in winter, give it another month and I’m sure you’ll see signs of life poking through. My forget-me-nots haven’t done too well this winter either. Some are fine but others look really weedy. Hopefully once the weather warms up a bit more they should perk up. It’s strange though, I spent last spring digging out loads of forget-me-nots from places i didn’t want them and then this year I need some more.

    • Hi,

      Glad to hear the ferns will come back, thanks for letting me know 🙂
      I’ve noticed my Mecanopsis is also beginning to grow again – I thought I’d lost them too so it’s a relief that I noticed them again.

      This time of year is always so exciting as we watch things appear, as well as noticing seedlings sprouting up and waiting to see what they might be! 😀
      I also had loads of F-M-N seedlings popping up everywhere except where I wanted – in most pots for example – so I waited for them to get quite large before moving them and planting them in the border, thinking they were now large enough to survive winter! Clearly not!!! I also had lots of white F-M-N seedlings which I think are all gone, so I’ll have to steal some from my parents (assuming they get any more), but I’ve sown some more white seeds as back-up and hope this time they survive.
      So here I am, struggling to get them to grow even though they like wet, heavy soil – mine is clay – and I just cannot get them to seed in the borders at all! Yet my parents have them taking over the garden and there must be thousands of plants coming up which ought to be thinned out away.

    • Hi Elaine,

      I’m looking forward to seeing everyone grow again; I don’t think I’ll ever tire of how amazing it is that plants can seemingly grow from nothing.
      My little seedlings are doing well on their windowsill and I now even have some Delphiniums sprouting – very excited.

  3. All those little spring ephemerals are so very charming! I know how you feel…every spring I sort of feel like once again I failed to have enough interest at this time of year…or the things that were here one year have disappeared. For some reason, all the Alliums I planted 2 years ago seem to have died out…the ones I planted last fall came up, but none of the ones from the year before…argh!

    • Hi Scott,

      It’s my own fault that there’s little structure or interest over winter here as I just don’t like evergreen plants! haha. I find their leaves horribly plastic, but I also appreciate that I really do need something that can integrate nicely and provide winter interest. I’m yet to learn how to combine shrubs and perennials… So far it’s an are where I have next to no idea what I’m doing!
      I had a similar issue with Alliums in one of my borders… Can you guess which one??? Oh yes, the Buddleja border!!! I had a lovely display of them in 2010, then 2011 I think one or two came up 😦 I haven’t planted any more there and think it’s likely the remaining ones will have died too.

  4. I’m sorry about your ferns, I hope they’re just a little slow to wake up from a long winter’s nap. My first garden had one of those ‘dead zones’ where nothing would grow…no weeds…no moss…nothing. It was the most frustrating part of any garden I’ve ever had the displeasure of gardening in. Otherwise though, I’d say your garden looks to be on track for spring, the crocus are gorgeous!

    • Hi CV,

      I hear that it’s likely the Ferns will come back, so I’m hopeful yet as it is still early and my other, more hardy ferns haven’t yet produced any fronds and if I remember correctly, it was quite late last year by the time they did – as I’d begun to think they hadn’t survived either!
      So far there’s one plant doing very well in the Buddleja border and that’s a Lupin, so I had aimed to add more this year, however its growth so far is well behind one in a different border so I’m now beginning to wonder whether this Lupin has also suffered! If so, that ruins my plans of adding more!

  5. You have a lot of color in your garden! Your crocus and hellebores are gorgeous! I hope your ferns come back. I have an area like that and I know what you mean when you say you want to scream!

    • Hi,

      I’ve tried so many different plants in this area now that I’m beginning to run out of ideas!!! I’m wondering whether some hardy Geraniums are the way to go and hope even they manage to survive under the Buddleja.

  6. Liz this is so wonderful to see your blooms when I have more snow yet again…I also lamented about time on Monday in my post and then today I am dreaming of spring in another post…well I can dream looking at your flowers…

    • Hi Donna,

      Oh no; not more snow! Is it typical for you still to have snow at this time of year? Usually by now here we might only have a quick covering of snow that melts quickly – I hope yours does too 🙂

  7. Liz, first of all your new header image is amazing! Your garden is going on very well and you put a lot of little nice things in there (uhm except for the slugs’ candies…).
    I think you should chop your pennisetum before it starts new growth…

    • Hi Alberto,

      Thanks 😉
      Well it was either the slug pellets or continue to leave them to munch on my muscari, pulmonaria and tete-a-tetes… I’d much rather have the blooms than the slugs tbh 😀 They’ll soon rot down, especially after rain so don’t last too long – just long enough to give the plants chance to grow and then the slugs aren’t interested any more.

      Mmmm thanks for the Pennisetum advice, it’s supposed to get cold again this week with chances of frost, so I’ll leave it another few days before chopping it back and risking killing it.

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