The Garden in 2011

After the deep snows which were the deepest I’d ever seen in January we were then hit by even deeper snow at the end of November and into the first week in December of 2010. However, it all cleared up and then 2011 it seemed Sheffield was one of the only places in the country which did not have snow well into 2011.
Spring began to arrive very early in 2011 and I had Snowdrops in January and the rest all followed in dribs and drabs over the coming months; thus making the show less impressive than the previous year. I also seemed to have lost a lot of my spring bulbs in a number of pots around the house which are usually full to bursting with Croci, Irises, Tulips and Daffodils.

In March we had new fence posts after the old concrete posts had bit the dust over winter during high winds. We also had the summer house removed at the same time and acquired more gardening space where I’ve plans to keep it relatively simple with just some screening and then space for a bench or chairs and small table.

In May things were really moving in the garden, the Lupin in the Buddleja border had its best show yet with three flushes over the year. As this Lupin is doing so well, I think I may plant more and hope it is one of the keys to finally figuring out this difficult space.
The Flat-topped Aster in the Aster border began sprouting very early, it quadrupled in size and really began to monopolise. I had to remove some of it and for 2012 I plan to remove more because its size causes problems for plants elsewhere. We had a very dry spring and summer and all my annual seeds failed, leaving the front of the border very boring.
As May moved into summer most work stopped in the garden due to a) soil resembling cement because it was so dry b) having my master’s dissertation to write. I had other things to concentrate on.

So, by the time July came around little to no work was happening in the garden other than watering. I couldn’t afford to waste any time with the dissertation deadline looming in early September. However, due to such dry conditions there wasn’t anything I could do anyway other than dead-heading.

With my Uni work finally finished and rain finally returning I was able to do some work in the borders. The Aster border was my focus as I removed the Monkshood once it had finished blooming, I then also removed the large ‘Orion’ Geranium and various other plants which immediately opened the border and I replaced them with a variety of grasses, Persicaria, Burnet, Dierama and spring bulbs.
I’m considering renaming the border to the ‘grass border’ but many of these grasses were only planted here to over winter as I have plans for them elsewhere.
The ‘right’ border continued to bloom nicely with the combination of Erysimum and Cosmos adding interest well into December!
Ferns, Foxgloves and Geraniums in the Cherry border which were knocked out by snow last year are continuing to add colour and interest. I am hoping that I have not dug up or killed too many bulbs that had been planted here last year as I moved things around. I had 100 Anemones in this area, but as their corms are dark, it’s impossible to know if I have dug any up.

Goals for 2012 are to work more on the front garden which is a ‘current project’, I also need to work with the side border and yet again try to plant the Buddleja border – this time successfully!
I’ve also decided that I’m going to deal with the sloping border against the long fence which for the past two years has been hidden by the Aster border… I want to have a bank of Rudbekia there! A lovely long swathe of Rudbekia and maybe Coneflower, then perhaps I’ll add in some Yarrow and grasses too!! Wheeee. I think I just talked myself into buying more plants (I already have the Yarrow that were reduced to £2 at Dobbies :))

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

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