I 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.
Waiting 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…!