THE NORTH WIND DOTH BLOW

The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow, says the nursery rhyme.  Although the snow was just for a short while on Tuesday, that North wind has been unpleasantly cold for much of the week.  Any double narcissus with their blousy heavy heads have been bent double and I'm not sure I even want to mention the sad state of the Magnolias, so I won't.  Instead,  here are some flowers which have taken the bad weather in their stride.

1. Woodland Blooms

The woodland bulbs with their smaller flower heads are unfazed by wind and frost.  



The Erythronium Pagoda hangs its delicate yellow heads....

and Narcissus Thalia hangs its delicate white heads...

These daffodils (their name -  'Bestseller' if I remember correctly, though it seems a tad unlikely) have bulked up considerably since they were planted many years ago.  I remember planting these with the children when they were younger.  I remember it mainly because the ground was rock hard and it wasn't exactly fun.

2. Wild Flowers in the Garden

I'm encouraging a carpet of primroses and violets to cover an area under the trees.

I have to admit this does involve weeding out the unwanted plants like the wood avens.  There are two things that I would like to say about this.

1.  I'm concerned that hand weeding a woodland floor is certifiable and that the nice young men in the long white coats will be along shortly

2. Sarah Raven sells a woodland seed mix that actually contains wood avens.  Am I therefore hopelessly behind the times?


There was once one cowslip growing inconveniently in a grass path.  Each year there it would be.  A shame to remove it, yet not really wanted just there.

So now I have a whole patch of them - all not really wanted just there.  



3. Auriculas

I bought two of these from a market stall and I've split them over the years to make more.  They look so delicate and quite unreal - like they are made from cut paper.  


4. Tulips in the Knot Garden

These groups of tulips were planted in Autumn 2019, so this is their second year of flowering.  I chose varieties which were supposed to be perennial.


This is Apricot Pride. 


And these are Recreado (back) and Burgundy (foreground).



Also flowering in the Knot Garden are Erysimum Bowles' Mauve and Aubrieta 'Whitewell Gem'.


Grown from seed sown April last year.  I can't believe how large they are.  Isn't nature wonderful?





5. Potatoes

These could have gone in a little earlier, but they did get planted last weekend.  The varieties are all second earlies because that was what was left when I went to order them - Charlotte, Wilja and Desiree.




At least it looks a little less grave like this year.



6. 'Super Value Plugs'

I'm only showing you this so you can learn from my experience.  This is what mail order 'super value plugs' look like.  The pen is there to give you some scale.  They are truly miniscule. It's quite fun to pot them on but I'm rapidly running out of seed trays and greenhouse space and quite frankly does anyone need 70 alyssum? 



That's all I have space for this week I'm afraid/thank goodness (delete as appropriate).  There's plenty more to see on the Propagaor who kindly hosts Six on Saturday.

Comments

  1. I feel like Sarah Raven might be pulling a fast one. There's not really any need to put it in a seed mix anyway - I can't think of a single garden I know of where it doesn't pop up of it's own accord! Also, I don't blame you for weeding it out. I suppose it has it's charms, but it's a bit of a thug too.

    'Apricot Pride' looks fantastic. Very nice indeed!

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    1. I was a bit surprised to see it in the seed mix, as you say not something you need to go out of your way to introduce. I'm very pleased with the Apricot Pride too.

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  2. Your colours are stunning. I tend to leave cowslips, they are so pretty . I think I will plant my potatoes this week, there is something exciting about digging them up, certainly last year was a good yield from a few old potatoes.

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    1. I wouldn't want to loose the cowslips but I might try to move them somewhere less inconvenient. We had a good harvest from the potatoes last year too. It's the first time I'd planted them in any quantity.

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  3. I don't know the "Super value plugs". I don't think we are such a small things here in France. You're right, do we need 70 identical plants? Because it's necessary to have 70 pots + enough soil and when it's time to prick out, it will be necessary to have 70 places in the garden ...At least the roots don't mix and it must be easier to separate them

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    1. Quite a few summer bedding plants are sold mail order as 'plug plants' here. The original plugs were fairly large, but now they offer 'value plugs' and the even smaller 'super value plugs' as well. This is the first time I've bought them. I went for a 'pot luck' selection so didn't know what I was getting.

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  4. It has been cold of late. Lots of lovely colours and the Erythronium Pagoda is very elegant indeed. I really must try Aubrieta again as I've lost a few. Beautiful.

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    1. There are a few seeds left in the packet. If you'd like them send me your address to hortusbaileyana@protonmail.com and I'll pop them in the post. (Of course you may, like me, already have more seeds than you have time to sow!)

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  5. A lovely post as always. I love everything you grow there and have many of the same plants although you look like you're a week or two ahead of me with the tulips. I'm very glad you left the cowslips there - they're such a joyful flower.

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    1. Thanks Katharine. The tulips surprised me with how early they were as well. They really should wait until the rest of the border is starting to flower too. I'll have to have a word with them.

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  6. I have to admit that over much of my garden that violet would get oiked out along with the wood avens, both a bit overenthusiastic for my taste. I suspect it would be my nightly slug forays that would get me sectioned. Heaven knows what the neighbours think. The 'Bestseller' daff is a lot lovelier than the name would suggest.

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    1. I've got lots of space to fill in that woodland so plenty of room for the violets, for the time being anyway. I'm sure my neighbours wonder what I'm up to. 'Bill - she's crawling around among the trees again. Do you think she's alright?'

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  7. I like the primroses and violets under trees combo, and there are definitely worse crimes than weeding a woodland floor! I'm transplanting lots of primroses to put under hazels, and have violet seed, so will try it out too. Apricot Pride is a very good-looking tulip, looks like you've got a nice big group of them there. Sorry about your poor Magnolia.

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    1. I'm able to confess to the woodland weeding because I know I'm among friends. Primroses and violets under hazels sound lovely.

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  8. I was watching a machine pot up something looking like your value mini plugs at the garden centre, but there is nothing quite like getting your hands and gently potting up these little beauties.

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    1. It's been a nice job to do out of the cold wind. But there are so many of them. What was I thinking of? I should ban myself from the internet in the Winter.

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