Sunday was one of the nicest gardening days I can remember for months. After weeks if not months of rain and rain the sun shone and you could see the positive effects on everyone. Apparently this caused many people to have an overwhelming urge to visit the hills we are on the side of and the roads, so I am told, have been very busy. I was meant to go to an HPS snowdrop day over at Ragley Hall but due to various personal things that I won’t bore you with and also the prospect of negotiating more floods I decided not to go. I am so glad I made this decision; spending a number of hours outside has been so good for my mental wellbeing and I am told the route I would have taken was almost stationary in places.
Colour is beginning to appear in the garden especially on the patio staging where I was greeted with these three pots – I want to call them The Three Little Maids but they are all Iris histriodies ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’ so that seems a little disrespectful.
I was also thrilled to see Iris reticulata ‘Cantab’ which I had concluded weren’t going to flower but I was wrong. I can also see now the difference between reticulata and histriodies – the recticulata have longer more grass like foliage before the flowers appear. I understand that if you struggle with reticulata then it might be worth trying histriodies but I have not idea why!
Spring has definitely arrived in the garden and I am rather chuffed at the snowdrops on the lower slope. I worked on this area in Autumn planting bulbs, ferns and epimediums with the intention that this was a spring border with the ferns and epimediums giving some foliage interest in the summer and autumn. There are small narcissus pushing their foliage up through the soil so hopefully they will follow on nicely from the snowdrops.
As the ground is still very wet I decided that working in the garden was a little foolhardy and would do more damage than good. Instead, I repotted all my pelargoniums. My resolution this year is to be a better gardener and to focus on plant care rather than big projects so this was a good start to the year. Some of the pelargoniums haven’t been properly repotted for a number of years. I have also repotted them into plastic pots really to liberate my pot collection for other things and also because I haven’t decided how I will display the pelargoniums this summer – they are also a lot lighter to move.
I had a moment of panic when I turned out the Pelargonium worcesterea. I initially thought the roots were covered in some sort of larvae or eggs but these are the roots. None of my other pelargoniums have roots like these but I understand from Fibrex Nurseries, via Twitter, that this is right and some pelargoniums have even weirder ones. One of my ivy leaved trailing pelargoniums had ridiculously long roots given the size of the plant and I wonder if this is because they might grow in crevices in their native environment so I think this plant needs a long root run so I might get a long tom pot for it.
I spent the rest of the day tidying the hanging baskets and the border along the front driveway. I pricked out some trays of seedlings which had been sown in the autumn and finally I raked the front ‘lawn’ to lift some of the moss that has got completely out of control. I’m not someone who fusses about the quality of my lawn and I quite like moss but with all the rain it has gone mad and also seems to have gone somewhat yellow probably due to the low light levels and the state of the ground. Having raked up some of the moss I then aerated the lawn with a fork to try to get some air into the soil and improve it. You could hear it unsticking in some places!
All in all a wonderful day – fresh air, exercise, a sense of achievement and promise of more gardening days ahead.