I knew the month of May was rushing up pretty quickly, but hadn’t registered the fact that this meant it was less than eight weeks until we opened our garden again for the National Garden Scheme (NGS). Good Grief! That does not sound long at all and briefly I wondered if we would be ready in time.
I know of course that we WILL be ready and that there is less to do than might appear. The garden, of course, is helping us by filling in its own gaps with burgeoning perennials reappearing after their winter rest, whilst seedlings in the greenhouse are rapidly filling their trays and demanding to be potted on and, no doubt, planted out in two or three weeks. I am keeping on top of this pricking out and potting on process, evicting as many plants as possible from the greenhouse to allow room for this ongoing process. The cutting beds are currently covered in pots, mostly cuttings or offsets grown for sale or those annuals nearly big enough to plant out, but these beds will soon be needed in their own right so the pots will be moving on again. Still in the greenhouse, the potted dahlias are in various stages of growth with some still not sprouting, but again I hope to have got them all planted out in the next few weeks, clearing the decks for tomatoes – and so it goes on!
Keeping on top of these tasks, utilising wet days for all that pricking and potting, is a must and on drier days I have continued working my round the garden weeding each bed in turn – but it is so easy to get sidetracked by other things! We have rather put off the job of laying the little patch of artificial grass in front of the sitooterie (having bought the ‘turf’ in December), but with the new greenhouse project complete there was no reason not to knuckle down and I worked through a wet afternoon and stripped the existing mossy turf which will be going to a neighbour to grass a new embankment (I love this reciprocal upcycling!). Hopefully the fake stuff will be laid this week but I shan’t do it until its predecessor has been relocated.
The area behind the new greenhouse is still waiting to be planted up, but some spare plants and a discounted purchase of a few bits and bits and bobs at our local garden centre are still awaiting an order from Crocus to be delivered so they can be arranged and planted up at the same time; the order, however, arrived unannounced (courtesy of my email junk box) today so at least the planting can be progressed once the forecasted wet weather has moved on. Don’t ask what the plants are as they were purchased more than three weeks ago and I can barely remember!
The new greenhouse was not originally planned to happen quite yet and I am trying to avoid conjuring up any more new tasks before the openings. A necessary non-plant based task is repainting the internal fences, but it is hard to ignore other possibilities that crop up, like another tempting pile of bricks from our neighbour or the brief consideration given to cutting down the variegated holly tree which was gradually engulfing the shed. The latter saw a compromise with the lower branches being removed, allowing more light both to the shed and to the area below the tree which, not surprisingly, is very dry.
No doubt the ensuing weeks will be equally filled with the mundane routine keeping-on-top-of-it tasks and the temptation of new ideas – and then the last-minute cake-making and poster-putting-up will begin… Bring it on!