Sunday, March 20

At least the birds will have missed us!

We were away in Cumbria last week so I was really hoping that none of my perennials would arrive whilst we were away. I had noted our holiday dates to suppliers but you never really know whether they will take any notice.

When we arrived home our first batch of plants were waiting at the back door – fortunately they had only just been delivered that morning. The plants were a collection of veronica from Hayloft Plants. They were supplied as bare rooted and as I expected were nothing like the size of the plants from Beth Chatto. I can’t complain as this was made clear on the website.

Even as a collection plants work out far more expensive than the larger plants sold by Beth Chatto but they didn't have the plants that I wanted.

To be honest I’d forgotten to include the veronicas on my planting plan and so had to adapt it. As soon as we had unloaded the car and had something to eat I potted them up. I’ve quite a few more plants to come from Hayloft and so I guess they will all be fairly small so maybe my dream of a mass of flowers at the front of the house won’t be fulfilled until next year!

The hellebores that I bought a couple of years ago from Hayloft have produced really good plants so I am hopeful that these plants will be the same, it's just a little more patience will be needed.
On the other hand the plants from Beth Chatto are growing well. Some are even on flower (the ones intended for the area under the crab apple tree). Once in position these should flower before the tree leafs up and then have attractive leaves that with stand out in the shade – well that’s the theory – I still haven’t found a statue for here though!
All the fruit biding time in the greenhouse is growing well including the replacement raspberries so we will now have to make a concerted effort to get them planted out. The cobnut is starting to produce female flowers.
They look a bit like sea anemones – being wind pollinated they don’t have any petals - they just stretch out the stigma and hope to catch some passing pollen grains! They’re not going to have much chance of that in the greenhouse so if I find any catkins on a nearby hazel bush I’ll steal some of its pollen top try and artificially pollinate them. If not it will be no nuts this year.
As a homecoming treat we picked our first lot of salad leaves grown in our indoor garden.
The plants may not have missed us but the birds have – the goldfinches (maybe with a bit of help form a few other species) had emptied the fairly large sunflower hearts feeder – it’s now full again and soon the birds were homing back in. We couldn't leave the bird cam running so have no idea of what went on in our absence but no-one has yet moved in.
 More March garden photos are shown in a photo album here

If you enjoy looking at other people's holiday photos Martyn has posted one or two on his blog here


  1. The new plants all seem to have big healthy roots. The should establish fairly quickly. What a picture it will be!

  2. As a gardener, going away from home, be it on business or on holiday, is always a bit nerve-wracking, and you always have a few anxious moments don't you? I have bought some plants recently from Duchy of Cornwall nurseries and I have to give them full marks for efficiency, courtesy, quality of product, value for money - and above all staying in touch - like contacting me in advance to agree when to deliver, which is very unusual.

  3. Wow, you do have many plants ready to be transplanted when the weather warm up! You are giving us some glimps what you planning to grow in the front area. Sue, I feel very lucky,got some flower bulbs so will be growing flower bulbs for the first time this year. I got daffodil and jonqails, do you think either of them can tolerate a bit of partial shade?

  4. Welcome home, hope you had a good trip. I'm sure the veronica will be lovely once they put on a bit of growth. Your garden is going to be a riot of colour with all the new plants you've bought this year.

  5. They do look healthy VH and have some shoots which is always comforting.

    I'll have to take a look at their site Mark thanks - I really shouldn't buy any more plants though! As for holidays we try to arrange them at low level gardening times these days!

    I think your jonquils are what I would call narcissus and both should be fine in partial shade Diana.

    I'm hoping it will be colourful Jo if not this year then next.

  6. Glad to see they didn't all arrive as soon as you left home!

  7. Lovely, sweet looking lettuce leaves you have there!

  8. So am I Damo - there'd have been some emails of complaint being dashed off if that had happened but now I can't wait for the rest to come!

    It was good to start picking fresh leaves again matron.

  9. Glad you had a nice break away and that your plants delivery didn't happen until the day you arrived home!!

    The flowers are all looking very healthy....I bet you can't wait to get them planted up!! was your indoor grown salad leaves?? Any comparison to those grown outside?

  10. I can't Tanya but I don't want to start until they have all arrived.

    No difference in taste of the salad leaves but they were clean and unnibbled.

  11. Welcome back Sue - interesting how different nurseries charge the same for such differently sized plants. Your collection looks lovely - my Beth Chatto collection is thriving too, I even planted the Phlox out last week.

  12. It pays to shop around doesn't it Janet?


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