Despite the completely mad weather this weekend I have still managed to get my horticultural fix. Some say that a small tornado went across the country yesterday I don’t know if that is exactly what it was but my journey home from the monthly Hardy Plant Society group meeting was one of the most unpleasant journeys I have had for a while. The wind was so strong I could feel it pushing at the car, there was thunder and lighting, tree branches all over the road and at one point electricity cables flapping loose above the road. Luckily it seemed to have blown through very quickly and we were left with regular downpours of rain making the garden even more saturated than last weekend and quite frankly unworkable.
Luckily, although unsurprisingly, the HPS meeting was excellent. Amazingly, given the time of year there was plenty on the display table; my eye was particularly drawn to Fatsia ‘Spidersweb’ and I have even sussed out a potential site for one. The main talk was by Nick Macer of PanGlobal Plants – the theme was a planthunting trip to Manipur in India. Lots of wonderful hardy big leaved exotics to lust after. I was really pleased that Nick remembered a twitter conversation a few weeks back and bought with him a Grevillea victoriae and Polypodium cambricum ‘Richard Kaye’ which I was keen on. I also bought a Euphorbia pasteurii ‘Phrampton Phatty’ which although I realise can be quite thugish has wonderful foliage and will be going in the area I cleared last weekend. As ever I was tempted by the plants Bob Brown of Cotswold Garden Flowers had on offer and came away with a lovely pot of Eranthis hyemalis (see top photo) and some Narcissus romeuxii subspecies Albidus var zaianicus to add to my small but growing collection of Narcissus.
I did manage to steal 30 minutes to walk or squelch around the garden between showers to take some photographs and to see how the bulbs are progressing. My favourite border at the moment is the lower slope which runs behind what was the Bog Garden and which I planted up with epimediums, ferns and bulbs in the Autumn (above). I keep peering into the depths of the epimediums to see if there is any sign of the flowers appearing as I will be cutting back the evergreen foliage to show the flowers off.
Even if it hadn’t been so wet the ground was so sodden that any ideas of gardening would have had to be forgotten. Instead I cracked on with sowing seeds and in particular those of perennials that need the cold to help break dormancy. 20 packets of seeds from either the Hardy Plant society seed distribution scheme or from a Czech supplier I was put onto by a fellow plant nut were sown. They are predominantly woodland plants many with names that are new to me which is very exciting. I was even more excited to spot a paeonia seedling reappearing in one of the pots in the cold frame, the seed having been sown over a year ago. It seems I am rather drawn to paeonia as I have acquired 6 packets of them this year without really realising it – ho hum.