Coming Along Nicely

IMG_4222The crocus in the streamside grass area always take me by surprise because until they start showing purple spears they just look like…well…grass. From the number of purple spears visible they are definitely multiplying nicely and will open up and look a real picture on the next sunny day that has any real warmth in it. They are also popping up on the other side of the path, now the shrub border, and will be systematically eased out and replanted in the grass. Similar adjustments need to be made in the extension to the bold border, where snowdrops are appearing in both singles and clumps, having been overlooked when this new area was dug over. They will be moved back into the woodland edge border where I divide clumps on a regular basis, almost always while they are still in flower, whisking them out and straight back into a new hole.

coming.alongIMG_4223As well as snowdrops and crocuses there is new life in the Tête-a-Tête narcissi planted under the apple trees and in the streamside grass, many quite close too flowering, which seems much earlier than some years – I am sure they are usually several weeks behind the former two, but if I check back in the blog I might find it’s nothing like that at all! The ones in the little raised bed outside the front door are even more advanced, getting the benefit of any morning sun because of the easterly aspect.

IMG_4220IMG_4225Also coming along nicely is the raised bed for the special snowdrops, as I was able to take advantage of warmer and sunnier days on Tuesday and Wednesday to get the brickwork completed. Still undecided about a row of bricks at the back of the border, this changed once I realised I had already built a brick edging here some years ago, now partially covered by ferns and ivy, but which would give a good solid base to another course. As there were bricks left over from the main construction this afterthought was quickly added  today, another dry day, just requiring a few more bricks to complete the task. In yesterday’s more inclement weather some of the non-snowdrop occupants were temporarily removed from the border, but the snowdrops will be removed, the soil dug and the raised bed filled in small sections at a time, disturbing the preciouses as little as possible. Hopefully this will be completed over the weekend, weather permitting of course!

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33 Responses to Coming Along Nicely

  1. Christina says:

    This is such a clever idea Cathy, a raised bed in front of the rest of the border. I’m sure the snowdrops will be very happy there; what will you plant for the rest of the year that won’t interfere with the snowdrops?

    • Cathy says:

      I have been trying to introduce plants that are predominantly white or green and which can withstand some shade – currently there are various geranium, hellebores, vinca, white flowered honesty, epimedium, scilla, etc but there is room for improvement. I need to make sure they don’t overpower the snowdrops. Some white hardy annuals would be good – need to think about that…

  2. This is such a favorite time of year for me…The moment you know for sure it’s spring. Love your photos, you are going to have such a great garden this year.

  3. Garden coming along nicely! I like your idea of the raised bed too. I planted bulbs like crazy last year and it’s a real joy to see them coming up.

  4. hoehoegrow says:

    Loving your brick path/ edging too , as well as your raised bed. It should all be ready to go by the time the new season really kicks off. Bulbs always take me by surprise too – they seem to appear overnight. And how welcome they are …

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – these paths are block paviors but have been down for about 14 years now so look more rustic now. The bricks are all recycled so make an instantly aged wall. I distturbed various bulbs when I was digging through the raised bed today – scilla, muscari, allium. Hopefully they will still flower despite being lifted and replanted.

  5. Looking good, Cathy! Can’t wait to see the finished border!

  6. rusty duck says:

    I’m thinking of moving some snowdrops whilst they are in flower, only the ordinary ones. If you do it quickly like this do they pick up again and stay looking good this year?

  7. Jennifer says:

    I love the way the wall goes in and out – a bit like those little indents on bridges that you can run into if traffic is coming, or like battlement walls. It is making quite a feature.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jennifer – I just followed the line of the border, but the ins and outs are more pronounced with the wall and it certainly makes it look more interesting than a straight wall would

  8. Wonderful to see spring coming to your garden 😉 Great job on the new brickwork! How exciting 😉 WG

  9. rickii says:

    I’m lovin’ your brickwork.

  10. bittster says:

    The bricks give such a nice clean edge to the bed and the walkway, and the ins and outs really break the wall up and make it seem much larger an area. Great job so far and I think it’s going to look great when it’s all done!
    Funny how you forgot about the brick edging further into the bed 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Frank – I had a vague idea there was a brick edging at the back, but when I investigated at one end I couldn’t find it. No wonder, as it was buried by about 6″ of soil and covered elsewhere by ivy 🙂

  11. Annette says:

    wow, that raised bed is looking great, Cathy! I had already started to wonder what you’d do with them. Did you make a proper concrete base for it? I’m also thrilled with my crocuses although I find Crocus tommasinianus is taking its time but I read in a book recently that it’s take a couple of years before they seriously start to spread. C. sieberi is even giddier. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      The wall was built on what was previously the edge of the path so had a reasonably solid base and didn’t really need any concrete footings, particularly as it was only 3 courses high. I hadn’t heard that about Crocus tomm. but that would seem to be the case here as they are definitely beginning to spread now. I don’t know C sieberi. Have a good w/e yourself

  12. sally says:

    It’s nice to see greenery and color. It looks like your yard will be full of blooms momentarily! HappyGardening!

  13. I really love that new raised bed for the snowdrops…

  14. Pauline says:

    You have been so busy again, love the result, your “specials” are going to look wonderful in it ! My Crocus tommasinianus are spreading nicely in the woodland, making more and more each year. So far they are not a nuisance, some seed into the bark chipping path so I must move those elsewhere. I’m looking forward to seeing your bed planted up.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline – the bed was replanted yesterday and it is surprising how much better they look elevated that little bit. The crocus in the shrub border are going to be quite deep as that is where the soil from our neighbour’s skip was put, so it won’t be easy to get to them – your bark paths will be much easier!

  15. Helen says:

    Your brickwork is so impressive, well done. I would never think to give it a go.

    • Cathy says:

      Aw, thanks Helen – it honestly isn’t difficult at all and quickly makes an impact. With bags of mortar mix it makes it even easier so don’t be put off giving it a go if you need some brickwork in your garden….

  16. Anna says:

    Oh the snowdrop raised bed is going to look even better than it already does Cathy and the ‘drops will appreciate having their beauty further enhanced. Hope that you have had some chance over this weekend to finish the job. I planted lots of tommies in the lawn during the autumn but not one to show for all the grovelling about I did. Those dratted squirrels again!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna. Luckily I was able to do the filling and replanting on Saturday, although I intended leaving the snowdrops just ‘placed’ in their lattice pots until I had divided some of them, but as temps dropped and frost was forecast I went back out and quickly sunk them into the soil. They looked perky today, unlike how I felt when i ventured out in the cold!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh – and those pesky squirrels and your poor crocus…! I planted more in my hedge border but I think only one survived the squirrel onslaught here ….. 😦

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