Posts Tagged ‘Raised bed’

Some pictures from the weekend

The entire weekend was a wonderful one, sunny and warm, a perfect lead up to the spring equinox.  The picture below shows a portion of the circular bed where on Saturday I added some additional Delphiniums.  On Sunday I added more, plus some different varieties of Oriental Poppy, Salvia and Scabious.  This area now looks full and lush but with plenty of room for the foliage to expand in to. 

Things are starting to look lively!

A large chunk of Sunday was spent constructing the boards for the new raised bed, putting them in place and treating them, and finally digging in about 22 barrow loads of topsoil, very nice stuff which has a had a few years of horse manure and mushroom compost dug into it.  After this I ached…and I’m still aching!

There I am hard at work while the wife takes pictures!

I just thought I’d put in this final picture, not for the pleasantness of the view, but for the glimpse of the beast, a.k.a. Amber, trotting towards me.  No doubt this was followed by barking.  Just behind Amber there is now a very big hole, dug out for the footings of the new garage which should be up in six weeks or so.  This will present an opportunity for some new planting so watch this space!

Here comes the hound!
For those of you lucky enough to get into the garden this week, enjoy it.  I’ll be thinking of you whilst I’m sat in the office and wishing for the weekend!
Advertisements

Raised beds, borders, and green seed

As the daylight hours are getting longer I have the opportunity of doing a spot of gardening once I arrive home from work.  Today I had the added bonus of leaving work early and so was able to spend a good couple of hours tackling a job that I started at the weekend: building another raised bed. 

We have 6 large beds and 2 small beds and these are used exclusively by my wife, Katherine (some of you may know her as Florist in the Forest) to grow cut flowers.  At the moment it seems like we can’t build enough beds, or build them fast enough, to ensure that we have the necessary space to plant all of the plants that are growing in pots and seed trays but that will soon need planting out.

Building another raised bed; all the turf lifted by sundown.

Now that the turf is lifted, the next job will be to rotavate the soil, add some more topsoil and compost (this will either be mushroom compost that has been sitting around for quite some time or well rotted horse manure) then get the actual boards in place. 

I’ve also lifted some paving from an area next to the house in order to extend the size of the border that we have there.  I think that Katherine is eyeing up this area for more cut flowers but I am determined to retain this patch for purely ornamental purposes.  The earth here is very compact and is going to require plenty of work and added nutrients before it is fit for planting.

Having lifted a number of paving slabs, I'm looking forward to cultivating the soil and getting in some new plants

We have plenty of primula vulgaris in the garden, and I intend to propagate from this by sowing green seed.  As ever, Carol Klein is the lady to turn to for advice on propagation and green seed should be sown as follows: 

1 Fill a seed tray with good seed compost and firm down.

2 Take off a whole seed pod, starting with the fattest at the base of the flower stem.

3 Carefully open the seed pod from the top using fingernails or a sharp knife.

4 Peel back the capsule covering to expose the green seeds and gently scrape off the seeds on to the surface of the compost.

5 Distribute the seed evenly over the surface. This is sometimes tricky because the seed is sticky.

6 Cover the surface of the compost with sharp grit.

7 Place the tray in a container of shallow water until the surface of the grit becomes wet, then remove and put outside in a shady place.

There are accompanying images which can be viewed by accessing the article (printed way back in 2002) via the Telegraph gardening section.

For me this simple Primrose is the best of them all; I’m not a fan of the various gaudy colours available at garden centres. This Primrose, nestled against the base of a tree trunk, is beauty without ostentation; quite wonderful.

The beautiful primula vulgaris

 

Finally, and this goes out especially to Dave, Alliums. How do they compare?

Just waiting for those umbels!

So this weekend will be one of hard labour I think; but it will all be worth it come the summer.

Raking up leaves, sowing seeds, and enjoying the garden

The central bed on a February day.

I’ve had a busy day in the garden today, raking up leaves, weeding, sowing seeds, filling a raised bed with topsoil and some general tidying. The garden is starting to look more alive than it has for a couple of months and there are plenty of new young shoots coming up.

The Delphiniums seem to be doing especially well at the moment and I have a number at different stages of growth; some are in the ground, some are mature plants that were removed from a bed at the end of last autumn and kept over winter in pots, and others are small seedlings from seed that I sowed in august/september time last year.

It was also cheering to see the Pulmonaria breaking into flower. I’m not a huge fan of the foliage as it seems to very easily go brown and slimy so I tend to cut this back to the fresher green stuff which makes for a tider, more attractive plant. The flowers are dainty but the colour is intense when there is so little else around it.

I managed to get some seeds sown too today: Broad beans, Nicotiana Affinis, and Lupins.  But the most exciting part of the day was discovering the root cuttings of the poppy ‘Patty’s Plum’ that I had taken on 9th January had finally sent up shoots. I had given up hope that they were going to do anything so I was overjoyed to see the little shoots reaching for the light! 

Tiny shoot but HUGE excitement!

I know it doesn’t look like much, but trust me, this is very exciting stuff!! A successful bit of propagation.

%d bloggers like this: