A winter’s weekend

Galanthus Ding Dong

I’ve been slowly adding special snowdrops to the garden for a number of years now.  Nothing very unusual but each year I have bought 2 or 3 special bulbs and planted them out in the garden.  So it is thrilling to see them bulking up now and reappearing year after year even if the labels which I know I put with them aren’t so reliable.  Galanthus ‘Ding Dong’ is usually one of the first to flower and is now a good size clump from just one bulb.

Galanthus ‘Selborne Green Tips’

Galanthus ‘Selborne Green Tips’ is in the same border as ‘Ding Dong’ and by a process of elimination this should be ‘Selborne Green Tips’ but there is a distinct lack of green tips so now I am befuddled.  I will have to wait and see how the flowers open out and see if there are any more clues.

Another mystery is this hellebore.  I have had it for years and I have always thought it was a helleborus niger but as the plant has grown again I’m not so convinced.  What is really strange is that it always seems to struggle to lift its flowers up, they spend all their time almost prostrate and facing the ground.  If anyone has any ideas I would love to know what it is.

I mentioned earlier that I am reviewing the garden and it is interesting how when you have ignored a space for nearly a year that you then see it with fresh eyes.  One of the areas that is top of my to sort list this year is the compost area.  I have battled with the compost bins for years but  now with my fresh approach I have  decided that enough is enough. They take up a huge amount of space in my small garden and with the best will in the world I’m awful at turning them and managing them.  About once a year I steel myself to empty them out and it nearly kills me partly because I have to move all the unrotted stuff but also because the slopes in the garden makes it exhausting to barrow the good compost around.  So I am planning to do away with them – outrageous I know.  My local council has a green waste collection service so I have bought a wheelie bin and it is collected fortnightly.  I am impressed with how much it takes; so far it has coped with my obsessive tidying up and pruning and if for some reason I create more garden waste than it can take  I will take the extra to the dump and put it in the green waste recycling there.  Then when I need a mulch I will buy some green compost back from the council.  Yes this is a more expensive approach but I buy green compost every year anyway and I doubt I will buy more so I see it as a win win because once I have cleared the current bins I will have a new area to plant up which can only be a good thing.

So that’s the first plan for the new year.

Hope you managed to spend some time in your garden this weekend.

 

 

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Composting is always a challenge. We have two bins, but they aren’t rotting down quickly enough to be topped up, so we are ignoring them for a while!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Been ignoring mine for the best part of a year!

    2. Good to know we aren’t the only ones!

  2. You need a big garden to be able to run compost bins efficiently, I tend to use mine on a bi-annual basis. I am seriously considering abandoning them as I get older and it gets more difficult to turn them and sort them out. Well done to take the step of getting rid of yours, I will be very excited to see the new planting.

  3. Lucy Corrander says:

    It all sounds very practical – and doing something new is always fun. In a few years time you may suddenly become enamoured of composting again!

    I have moved to a new blog – in Yorkshire now instead of Dorset. Somehow not all the blogs I follow moved with me. I don’t know how this has happened – or why even ones which turn up on my reading list don’t necessarily appear on the list on the blog itself . . . so I haven’t been here for ages and can’t remember if I’ve given you my new URL. Here it is.

    https://looseandleafyinhalifax.blogspot.co.uk/

  4. Anna says:

    ‘Ding-Dong’ is beginning to multiply with me too Helen and I’m quite enamoured. I’ve given up composting at home mainly because we have some uncultivated land and stream behind the garden which attracts some desirable wildlife and some undesirable wildlife. The latter was becoming too fond of visiting the compost bin. I now content myself with making leaf mould and with my can of worms. Our green bin seems most capacious, especially if I’m prepared to snip any prunings down further into small pieces.

  5. Brian Skeys says:

    I went with a brown bin two years ago Helen, one of the best things I have done. One bonus of staying put must be your snowdrop collection.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Brian
      Yes, it was proving very challenging to try and remember where my various bulbs were especially as some of the labels had gone astray.

  6. MulchMaid says:

    I also am adding more snowdrops to my garden. I’ve enjoyed having Galathus ‘Pewsey Vale’ but I can’t find more here in Portland. Hoping to pick some up when I’m in England in September! As for the compost bins – good decision. We had them for years at the last house with a bigger garden, but when we moved 11 years ago, we decided to let them go, both because of the real work involved in properly managing them, and because we begrudged them the space in our smaller garden space.

  7. Steve says:

    The only way I have found to manage compost in a domestic situation is to shred everything apart from soft material such as leaves and grass cuttings. This way it should be ready in six months but it still benefits from a turn too.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Steve
      I had come to the same conclusion but I just don’t have the space or time so am giving up!

  8. They’re beautiful aren’t they? I love snowdrops. We’ve recently moved house and it was a glorious surprise to find bulbs springing up all over the garden where they must have been planted by the previous owners!

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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