In, Out & Up

April comes to try her luck, where the snow lay white and sad ~ Ralph Cheever Dunning

And it was not so long ago either when snow hid the first signs of growth (see ‘Back and Forth) and latterly bitter winds and frosts alternated with more Spring like days (March weather log). Along with many days of rain in between, much of the garden work has been on hold as a result, except for some seed sowing.

After reading a post from ‘The Biking Gardener, I did pot up a few Sweet peas in late February and kept them on a warm, light kitchen windowsill. After a month or so, they were transferred to the greenhouse along with the first of the other seedlings that had had a bottom heated start to life (see seed diary) including the one and only Castor Oil plant that germinated (I shall have to do a second sowing before long).

Gaura, Pennisetum, Sweet Pea seedlings under cloched protection – slide to view

When the very cold late March weather returned, the seedlings were given a pop up cloche for extra protection since the greenhouse is unheated. So far this looks to have been sufficient insurance.

In memoriam -D’s hydrangeas for the woodland gardens

And just leafing up are some late hydrangea cuttings taken, in memoriam, from the garden of a very dear family member. Such plant continuums help to still feel linked with loved ones. I’ve planted some Welsh daffodils too, in remembrance.

Unfortunately there do seem to be some casualties of winter in the greenhouse. The scented geraniums, some salvia cuttings, Nemesia ‘Wisley vanilla’ and the two remaining small Manuka shrubs look as though they have expired.. Partly this happened as I was away when the very cold spell hit in December and also I failed to water as frequently as is required by infrequently!

In future I shall grow less and less tender perennials. Even so I am keeping an eye on them to see if any arise, Lazarus-like, from their browned off appearance, before outing them to the compost heap.

Impervious to all that the weather has thrown up, the outdoor potted stems of Deutzia, Willow, Fuchsia M and Japanese quince are showing strong, new growth. These were propagated at the end of November (see Next Year’s line-up) and I’ll definitely try this method again.

evidently there is nothing as hardy as hardwood cuttings

Despite the rain in March. I managed to get out and wood preserve a large trellis. Ready to be hung now, it will occlude the green house from the Japanesque garden. There’s a Jasmine nudiflorum ready to plant and grow there for winter interest. I’m also considering an evergreen climber though still undecided as to which one. Meanwhile for the summer, I’ve seeds of the annual Ipomoea Nil ‘chocolate’. It’s very muted in colour and although not native to Japan, is known as the Japanese Morning Glory.

And now builder buddy is back for more roofing of the Teahouse – and weather permitting, I’ll be planting two Acers and my recently acquired plants (see ”Back and Forth‘). Watch this space!

A scrolling view through the garden in March

7 thoughts on “In, Out & Up

  1. All sounds and looks very encouraging. As for the scented pelargoniums, just cut them down very short and start watering them, you may be surprised. Some of mine looked dead, but I now have some new shoots and often they will grow new shoots from the base,

  2. I love seeing all you are planting and experimenting with. I have had less of that due to the size and circumstances here. But I feel the pain of losing plants and the joy when your efforts are rewarded. Wonderful changes that will keep coming daily now.

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