Thursday, February 5

Seeing the light of day

I've posted about our small front garden several times since we planted it up with perennials back in 2011.


It has been one of our success stories providing interest during most months of the year. There have been some plants that have done really well (in some ways too well) and some that have done less well.

The penstemons are in danger of taking over and really could do with splitting but I'm not sure how I can do this without damaging the other plants. Maybe soon we'll have to dig all the plants out and replant the whole bed.
We leave the perennials alone over winter and only cut back the foliage when we notice that the bulbs are coming through.
Usually February is the time to get out the secateurs so we were waiting for a mild day as this isn't a job to undertake when a bitterly cold wind is blowing.



Tuesday was just the right sort of day. Now the bed looks like this ...
Shooting up amongst the perennials are dwarf narcissi, crocuses, dwarf tulip, Dutch iris and Katherine Hodgkin dwarf irises.
Being hidden under the perennial foliage has caused some of the shoots to be a little pale but now that they can see the light they will soon darken up. Katherine Hodgkins will be the first to flower and I had intended adding more of these, maybe some darker blue dwarf irises and some more Dutch irises to the bed but I forgot the dwarfs and couldn't find any Dutch irises at the garden centre.  I must try harder for next year.

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

24 comments:

  1. It will soon be a riot of colour again with all the bulbs you have coming up. Iris reticulata Gordon is a lovely variety, darker and more pronounced than Katharine Hodgkin.

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  2. I leave my perennials over winter too & cut them down in Spring, helps the bugs also even if people do tell me I have a scruffy garden.

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    1. I think that it also protects the roots, Jo.

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  3. We have had a couple of snow-showers recently, and the light levels have been generally low, so nothing in my garden is growing very enthusiastically. The sooner we have an array of Daffodils to brighten things up, the better!

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    1. The bulbs are beginning to kick their heels, Mark. Last year the first daffodils flowered in February

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  4. I'm sure the bulbs are very appreciative of your efforts this week Sue! Try B&Q (if there's one near) - they always have I. Katharine Hodgkins for sale up here at this time of the year.
    Can I ask what the blue colour perennial is in the top left of the first picture please?

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  5. We do have a B&Q Angie but it was the Dutch iris bulbs that I couldn't find.
    The plant is campanula lactiflora prichard's variety

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  6. It's so nice to see a lot of bulbs are shooting up. Some of my collections have dormancy period during the dry season, and will shoot up on the. beginning of rainy season. Waiting to see the beauty is really so much pleasure.

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    1. It is Endah and once the flowers open we know that winter us on its way out

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  7. Lovely and neat now, how nice to see those new green shoots.

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    1. It is a good sign that spring is just around the corner CJ

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  8. Oh yes, I'm a great believer in leaving the perennials alone. You have a great combination there - perennials cut back to reveal bulbs, then the dying bulb foliage gets hidden by perennials.

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    1. It works, Sarah and the bulbs are miniatures so their foliage isn't too much trouble,

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  9. Hi Sue, Of course you can divide your pentstemons if they are getting too big without replanting the whole border, they even like it!
    You kindly remarked on my blog recently that I should lift my potatoes with a fork :) I am suggesting you can easily lift your pentstemons with a fork or a spade! Either completely lift them and replant a few healthy divisions or even easier just loosen them with a little wiggle with your fork, grab a little bundle of old stem bases and just yank out until you are down to size. All the pieces will easily transplant elsewhere. Best done in March or early April?

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    1. It's just that I'm concerned about damaging the bulbs and plants growing close to them Roger. It's such a small space.

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  10. That border really is a little jewel garden now! Yes....I'd worry about smashing the bulbs too, maybe wait until they have flowered then divide them.xxx

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  11. We are redoing our front bed this year. And I've messed up our spring bulbs in the process. I'm going to have to dig them out and replant after they die back in late spring. They can't stay where they are as their bunches are split by some cobblestones now. Hopefully it will all work out though.

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    1. I'm wondering whether to lift the bulbs in clumps when they have flowered and pop into pots before splitting any perennials, Daphne but maybe next year as we have plenty lined up for this year.

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  12. Some lovely colour in your perennial plants. Looks like you have lots of bulbs coming up so will have more colour soon. Suppose you're right, some dividing of plants will need to be done at some stage, a job I always enjoy (making more plants).

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    1. I always end up wondering where to put them, Kelli

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  13. Oh it's so exciting to see all the early bulbs slowly emerging Sue. I've still got to cut my perennials down but am waiting for it to get a tad warmer, wimp that I am. I can understand your predicament about the penstemons. Could well be that you have to lift all the occupants and then replant.

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    1. One or two may be safe Anna - it's the bulbs that are the problem really as they are planted up close,

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