Not Time for Beds Yet

cuttingbedsI noticed Julie of Peonies and Posies has posted a February update on her cutting beds today – I would like to do the same but to be honest they are very much the same as at the end of January. The only difference is that the corner bed now has tulips coming through as well as allium – these tulips are ones that were grown in pots last year, so may or may not have built up enough reserves to flower again but there was nothing to lose by replanting them. This bed has the poorest soil of the four beds here, containing some second rate topsoil, probably the only occasion we have bought in topsoil – and as you can see it’s still quite pebbly, despite removing bucketloads of them over the years.

IMG_4267Waiting in the wings, though, I do have more trays of hardy annuals to add those planted out in late autumn – poppy, centaurea and Sweet William – and I can be assured of early flowers on these, particularly when you see buds already showing colour, like this Sweet William. These three were the earliest sown of the hardy annuals and their success is a huge encouragement to me; researching what else can be sown in late summer now becomes a must.

Unlike the cutting beds, the special snowdrop border has been a hive of activity all week, the new raised bed being filled on Saturday and the snowdrops replanted in their old spots over the course of the week. After a lot of thought I decided to keep them in lattice pots but moved up to a slightly larger 11 x 11 x 11 cm size; even more thought (my brain has had busy time!) saw the new snowdrops purchased this year planted out too, after a short period in pots in the greenhouse. I have every intention of keeping them well watered and fed while they are still in leaf, then maintaining the watering in dry spells if necessary. It makes such a difference having them raised up like this – it’s far easier to admire them in close up and the lack of slope to the bed means less soil being washed onto the path when it rains. One unexpected aspect is that the troughs which nestled into the shape of the bed don’t look right now the bed is higher and seem to detract from the insets – so are in want of new home…!

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18 Responses to Not Time for Beds Yet

  1. Christina says:

    I do like this new raised bed and from your photographs I would agree that it looks better without the planters but maybe in summer you might want to replace them there with something tall in them? I also think planting early is good but September was too soon here, I’ll try some in October or even November next year. Gardening is all about learning from experience and what works for you isn’t it. From the shadows you’ve had some nice sunshine today, we have too.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, Friday was the pleasantest day of the year so far – patchy since then, with sunshine this morning and rain and hail this afternoon! That’s a thought about the troughs in summer – at the moment they have violas in which you wouldn’t notice from a distance. The seed sowing learning experience has been most enjoyable (even the failures!) and sharing experiences has been invaluable

  2. Pauline says:

    Your raised bed with your “specials” is looking really good Cathy. I’m impressed with your seed sowing for your cutting beds, I’m still trying to get rid of last years detritus!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline – brickwork always makes such an impact so it’s a win-win situation for viewing the snowdrops πŸ™‚

  3. mossfighter says:

    The raised bed is looking great and you’re so far on. I’ve a new greenhouse but, due to work, have yet to use it – though I’m hopeful for this weekend.

    • Cathy says:

      How exciting! After not using a greenhouse to its advantage for many years, now I have more time I really am taking advantage of them. Enjoy yours πŸ™‚

  4. johnvic8 says:

    Your brick border is quite nice…it adds so much to the character of your garden.

  5. rusty duck says:

    The new snowdrop bed looks brilliant Cathy!! I relocated some today, following your advice.. so far, so good.

    • Cathy says:

      And because it’s been mild and damp my specials, which have been in and out of the border during the revamp, have perked up almost immediately too

  6. bittster says:

    Very nice, too bad it’s already filled! I wonder if raising the troughs slightly will bring them back to being focal points…. similar to what Christina suggested, but raising the planters rather than the plants.
    The snowdrops are really multiplying- and not just with new purchases, they seem to really enjoy the attention they’ve been getting these last few springs. Good job!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Frank – but I am sure I can fit more snowdrops in, although not till next year now…. πŸ™‚ I fully intend to feed them all whilst still in growth – they deserve it, for the pleasure they bring

  7. Your new beds look really good, Cathy. Definitely a much better way to display all your special snowdrops. My cutting plot seems to have stalled – I missed the boat with late summer sowing, so I envy you your Sweet Williams! 😦

    • Cathy says:

      You wouldn’t think that raising the bed only about 12″ would make such a difference, but it does. I would never have considered late summer sowing before and even last year it could have been a bit earlier than it was although these have done really well – I need to remember to sow another batch of them for later flowering too.

  8. Anna says:

    Job well done Cathy – the ‘drops will look even more glamorous than usual.

  9. Julie says:

    Thanks for joining in again Cathy – even though there is not much to show in February!! Things can only get better in the Cutting Garden from now on & hopefully we will have some tulips to share in March. Your snowdrop bed looks great – what a good idea to keep all your specials in one place.

    • Cathy says:

      Raising the bed this way was something that just came to me when I was standing gazing out at the bed from the kitchen window….. It’s definitely an asset – to the garden and the snowdrops too πŸ™‚

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