I think this weekend’s gardening can be described as wet, windy, muddy with brief intervals in the greenhouse.
The big project has powered forward with the last of the turf being lifted. This last bit was used to square off the front garden lawn and also to replace a large bare path on the grass path. Whilst my son was turf lifting I had the job of rescuing and replanting the plants I wanted to keep from the left hand side of the slope. This was quite tricky as the plants on the slope are all late summer perennials and so identifying which was which aster or helianthus was a challenge. I did know that I wanted to get rid of the Helianthus Lemon Queen which dominated the slope last year, as well as a day lily which only looked good when the foliage appeared in spring, some Luzula nivea which only the cat likes and a large Achillea grandiflora which was threatening to take over. Once these were removed it was a case of working across the slope that is going and transplanting the plants I wanted into the gaps the other plants had made. The bulb leafs were just as challenging to identify with no flowers – at one point I thought I was digging up some blind daffodils only to discover that it was in fact an eremurus. I tried them on the slope two years ago and they never flowered so they are getting a second chance in the new border.
My son’s next step was to remove the dry stone wall my Dad had built some years ago to hold up the slope. We were impressed at what a good job he had done and how big the Malvern stone was once we had dragged it out from under the earth. There is now a large pile of stone which we will use to landscape around the workshop and to do a better job of edging the new steps. A substantial amount of top soil was removed and put onto the new border which after some racking and leveling will be ready for planting up next weekend. There is still lots of soil and even more clay to be removed but that is now a job for bank holiday weekend.
Our efforts were frequently interrupted by the rain so I used this time as an opportunity to dive into the greenhouse and catch up with pricking out seedlings and sowing yet more seeds. Several packets of various primulas have been sown, probably a little late, but they are in the cool greenhouse so hopefully they will get a chance to germinate before the temperatures go up. I pricked out violas, nicotiana, geraniums and Centaurea ‘Aloha Blanca’. The Dahlia tubers are sprouting well with one batch far ahead of the others. I think this is because they benefitted from some direct sunshine in the top of the coldframe whilst the others were under the greenhouse benches.
With another quick visit to the Malvern Spring show to collect plants I am feeling a little gardened out.