My Garden This Weekend – 24th February 2013

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The cold has continued so there has been no real gardening done which is quite frustrating.  I have my fingers crossed that by next weekend, the first weekend in March and my birthday weekend that things will be warming up.

Despite the cold the weekend hasn’t been without its horticultural flavour.  Yesterday, I spent the majority of the day at my local Hardy Plant Society meeting.  This is the first time I have attended this group’s meetings mainly  because they have a day long meeting which isn’t great when you work all week and your weekends are precious.  However, this group’s meeting kept being mentioned to me and I discovered last weekend at the Galanthus event that people travel from Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire to attend the Western Counties meetings.  I was advised not to miss the discussion in the morning so ever one to follow advice, well at least once, I got there for 10:30 and left around 3:30 and I have a fab day.  I learnt lots including just how little I actually knew, bought plants, acquired free seeds and will tell you more later in the week.

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Today I wrapped up warm and spent an hour in the garden.  The main task was to sort out the step-over apple trees.  I started them off this time last year and had been tying in the branches during the spring and early summer.  The ties looked awful, like a row of damp and frozen washing hanging forlornly on a washing line.  So today I removed all the ties, which was good as some of them were rubbing the branches.  I tied the branches in again with just one tie, or two at the most, this time done better and I also cut the upright canes down to the horizontals – something which had been irritating me for weeks when I looked out the living room window.

My second job was to sow some alpine seeds which arrived this week from Alplains in the USA.  I have sown Fritillaria pudica and Allium obtusum v. obtusum and placed them on the patio so they at least benefit from the continuing cold weather.

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My eldest son meanwhile was taking out one of the branches of the inherited Prunus tree.  We inherited three trees with the garden and two of these are in the top left corner of the garden – a willow and a prunus.  Both far too large for their location and the willow has swamped the prunus over the years.  I probably should have the tree surgeons in to tackle the willow but access is awful and I suspect the cost would just be extortionate due to this.  Over the last year my son has started to tidy the trees up but taking out the branches he can reach and cutting back stumps from where our predecessors and neighbours have chopped branches off.  Of course, as a hobby wood turner, he has an alternative motive but he also cares about trees a lot and the state of ours irritates him hugely.  The branch that came out today was removed as it was out of balance with the rest of the tree and also grew over where I planted a new Sorbus last year.

So all in all some annoying task were achieved this weekend and ticked off the list and I have a lot of food for thought from the talk on Saturday,  Another good weekend.

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Patty says:

    Looks like spring is definitely on its way in your garden. Is that little iris in bloom now? What a beauty. My husband is also a wood hobbyist. We have all kinds of logs piled up for potential future use….

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Patty
      yes its a determined iris reticulata – George I think. Looks a little lonely though

  2. Bill S says:

    Have to agree that the cold has caused a bit of a setback in the garden but we look forward to warmer days in March. I do hope you won’t mind me pointing out that you should not prune Prunus until the sap is rising, April to July as the Silver Leaf disease spores are not carried on the wind in these months.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Bill
      Thanks for the advice – our thinking was that it was easier to do the work before the leaves were on the trees etc but I will tell my son to wait until April before he does any more

  3. Helen I have longed to find time to go to talks about gardening…maybe someday. Love the apple tree and it is looking lovely I think. Wishing you warm weather for your birthday!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Donna
      As I have given up my allotment (veg patch) the theory is I have more time so I am treating myself to some garden clubs as I have so much to learn and I am learning things I would never pick up from magazines or even blogs

  4. Anna says:

    The HPS meeting sounds as if it was well worth attending Helen. Hope that the weather comes good for your special day and that you are able to garden to your heart’s content next weekend.

  5. Sounds like an excellent balance, plant talk plus plant action. Vert satisfying to get a little more balance to your poor prunus. I sympathise on the tree surgeon front. I know they are skilled, but I was flabbergasted at the quote we got to get rid of our conifers. A brother-in-law and a reciprocating saw proved much cheaper! Hope you get good weather on your birthday weekend – we clearly almost share a birthday, as mine is on the 4th!

  6. Pauline says:

    So glad you enjoyed your Hardy Plant meeting, I go to the Devon one when I can, such good plants to buy or swop and the other members are so knowledgeable! Hope the weather gets a little warmer for your birthday, have a good day!

  7. Leilani says:

    You have such lovely soil! I am currently taking a Master Gardening course here in Texas–doubt the best gardeners in the program have such soil. haha Am following you now for more tips.:)

  8. I think this is the time of year I feel closest to the magic that happens in the garden. I think the winter and the anticipation brings that out of me, maybe all of us. I certainly sense that in the photos you shared.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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