How quickly the weather can change from one day to the next. The last few days have been mild, sunny and positively spring like, I worked happily in the garden for a few hours on monday and tuesday, it really was like spring. Then bang! today is dull, cold and with a really raw wind. A few mild days and I was suckered in, I know it is only February and spring is a good month away, but for a few hours I really felt that spring was tantalisingly close. The Helebores also think that spring is just around the corner, their lovely red, pink and white blooms are blossoming by the day.
Anyway the preparations for the 2013 garden season carry on. Lots more seeds in and out of the propagator, with more flowers going in now the toms and peppers are through. I have some perennial flower seeds of Hollyhocks and Verbena to sow, both of these are short lived and need renewing every 3 years or so. I will also be starting to sow hardy annuals, especially bee friendly ones like Cerinthe, Scabius and Mallows, with half hardy Cosmos, Cleome and Ammi Major to follow shortly after. * Why not check out the great range of bee friendly flower seeds in the Seedparade seed shop. Lots of other annuals can be sown direct as soon as you can work the soil, try Calendula, Cornflowers or Linaria. I sprinkle seed of these thinly in my lily pots for another layer of colour. I was suprised to see bumble bees loving the lobelia last year, the flowers might be small, but the bees loved them. I shall be planting lots of lobelia everywhere this year!
One of the jobs I was doing yesterday, was sorting out my pots of strawberries. I grow all my strawberries in pots and containers and it was time for their spring clean. I removed all brown and damaged leaves and removed any weeds that had invaded the pots. I then mixed up a top dressing of compost mixed with some blood, fish and bone and added about a 1 inch layer to all pots. This will give them a flying start when they burst into growth next month. I also did the same to my pots of lilies. The strawberries and lilies will be fed regularly throughout the spring and summer with a high potash feed, as will all my potted plants.
The Lautrec Wight garlic that I planted in October is looking really healthy, more shoots of elephant garlic are pushing through and at last I have seen a couple of Solent Wight shoots emerging. They were all planted at the same time but the Lautrec is way out ahead by a mile. Will it show in the finished bulbs? only time will tell.
I have 3 Tree Peonies in pots on the patio, one flowered last year so I hope to have flowers this year. The flowers are scented and quite stunning with the petals looking like they are made of delicate silk or tissue paper. They are in fact very hardy, but can take an age to start flowering.
Right I’m off to sow more seeds as the propagator is only half full and we can have that, can we!