End of Month Review – January 2012

As they often say on the TV crime dramas I love “Theres nothing to see”.  Though I suppose that is really an exaggeration since if you really look there is something to see such as the daffodils with nice fat buds awaiting to open but overall there is a predominance of soil albeit nicely mulched soil.

This year I have decided to focus the End of Month View posts on two parts of the garden that I havent really focussed on before.  The first is the newly named ‘Cottage Garden Border’ – rather a grandiose title for such a humble notion.  Last autumn I moved a lot of plants around to try to make the various borders more cohesive.  The ‘plant plan’ is typical cottage garden plants: Delphinium, Rose, Hollyhocks, Foxgloves, Geraniums.  So far I haven’t bought additional plants as I want to see how the plants moved into the border look and what gaps need filling.  I have also planted a lot of tulips in the border although now they are emerging I reckon I haven’t planted enough.  As per Fergus Garrett’s instructions at the talk I went to last year I have put the tulip bulbs close to shrubs and perennials so they shouldn’t be disturbed.

As you can see the border is along the top of a wall with the patio on the other side so it doesn’t really have a front or back and this has really bugged me.  I have decided to create a back to the border but I didn’t want anything too solid so I am experimenting with step-over apples.  Three have gone in; you can’t really see them as they are only short whips at the moment but hopefully they will provide a nice light backdrop and also be attractive from the patio.  I shall under plant them with geraniums.

The other area I’m showing this year is the Patio/Spring border which runs along the patio.  In fact it is at the bottom of the wall on which the Cottage Garden Border sits.  The greenhouse which you can just see in the corner of the above photo divides the border but I am featuring only one side as they have quite different characters.

I say it’s called the Spring Border but this isn’t very appropriate at the moment.  This time last year the border went right to the far fence and the area where the bike store is was full of snowdrops and bluebells.  However, the bike store was important to make more space in the garage for my eldest’s expanding woodwork workshop so the bulbs have been relocated up the garden.  I realise now that the bulbs seem to stop half way across the border which surprises me as I would have thought I would have noticed this before.  As the size of the border has changed and I have had to relocate plants I want to watch this border as well during the year to see how it develops and what I  need to improve it.  You will see that I have also butchered the jasmine along the wall – unintentionally  – but luckily this has resulted in a more floriferous  plant and I will have to make sure I don’t let it get out of control again.

So those are the End of Month View Borders for 2012.  Please feel free to join in, you can use the meme however you like, just post a link to it in the comments box on the last day of the month.


24 Comments Add yours

  1. I will be joining in on Wed. The plants in these gardens sound lovely..can’t wait to see them and those daffs have buds…we got about 2 ft of snow overnight so all is covered again.

    1. patientgardener says:

      Hi Donna – looking forward to seeing your EMOV post with added snow:)

  2. lindasgarden says:

    lovely helen

  3. Your garden looks like it is coming on well. Its always good when you butcher a plant (your yasmin) and it responds by flowering well – you can then pretend you almost meant to do it! My EoMR is here http://ozhene.blogspot.com/2012/01/end-of-month-review-january.html

  4. hello Helen, both your borders sound interesting, I’m glad you are showing the cottage garden border as I found it interesting when you posted about starting it and moved the plants, isn’t it interesting how we think we see all in our garden then notice something that has eluded us before, I love your nicely mulched weed free borders,

    I only got some clearing done in the Alder garden I’m focusing on for EoMV, I feel happy to have got that done though, each little step helps, here’s my link

    thanks for hosting, Frances

  5. Bridget Foy says:

    It’s all looking very promising.

  6. I always put tulips in pots, Helen, because otherwise I’m always digging them up. What a simple solution Fergus Garrett has come up with. Not that I would have thought of that..
    I’m looking forward to following the progress of your cottage garden border. In site of my eclectic style of planting I have always had a hankering after a cottage garden in the style of Margery Fish.
    My EoMR is here: http://planticrunotes.blogspot.com/

  7. hillwards says:

    Your mulched soil looks much better than our bare beds, unmulched and speckled with weeds despite my best attempts. The ground’s a bit wet for weeding on clay lately.
    Look forward to watching your new borders bloom this year.
    Here’s my link: http://hillwards.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/january-review/

  8. Anna says:

    I think that I can see the apples Helen ~ well I can see some sticks with labels. They should really knit together well and provide an attractive and productive natural barrier. I have a similar irritating scenario with a border with no back which is most irritating. Perhaps when the tulips are showing more leaves they will expand to fit the space. If not you will just have to make the hard sacrifice of bulb shopping again next year.

  9. Your soil is beautifully mulched 🙂
    I am also looking forward to watching your “Cottage Garden Border” grow and develop. It is a sad thing – but however many tulips you (or me) plant, it is never enough.

    Love step-over apple trees – I have always wanted some but fear I would step on them by mistake!

  10. Holleygarden says:

    Some people may think there’s nothing to see, but to a gardener, there’s lots to see! I have never heard of step-over apples. Will have to look that up!

  11. I’m another one looking forward to watching the progress of your stepover apples! Lovely as always to take a little look around your garden – coming along nicely 😀

    here’s my EOMV – should be EOYV as I’ve compared and contrasted with 2011: http://wellylady.blogspot.com/

  12. I always admire people who plan and wish I did more of it. Of course I think you need some hellebores in the patio garden :-).

  13. I am always amazed each year at the difference in appearance of the beds in winter compared to summer…such a difference. I like the bareness of the beds for planning. Here’s my installment:


  14. Victoria says:

    I’m almost tempted to go and grow in one of those beds myself – they look so pristine and well-mulched. Fergus Garrett’s tip about the tulips is brilliant.

  15. Here is the review Helen. We didn’t have snow, then we had snow and then we had temps in the 50s and it melted. Hope you enjoy it.


  16. Christina says:

    I’m looking forward to following hte cottage garden border and I hope you’ll include the daisy border too, I think that sounds so lovely. sorry I haven’t managed a post this month. I have done nothing outside except prune the wisteria on the pergola (all the ‘Proliffic’ are done but I haven’t started on the white ones). The temperatures have fallen dramatically and we had snow this morning with lots more forecast! Christina

  17. noelmorata says:

    i’m finally motivated to doing something in the garden again….yeah
    here’s my end of month review – its scary

  18. jon says:

    Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog based upon on the same information you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

  19. stone says:

    Those poor beds!

    I just want to put the fallen leaves back to protect that delightful soil from the sun and wind… and the weeds…

  20. Lyn says:

    It will be interesting to see how your two areas develop, Helen. I’m late with my post again (not my fault, I couldn’t take any photos until it stopped raining!) but here’s the link.

  21. Beautiful garden! I too look forward to seeing how it develops over the year.

    I’m going to join in with you this year, hope you don’t mind! (and also don’t mind me being so late). I’m hoping putting my garden out there in all its scruffiness will give me a bit of a kick to sort it out…


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