The Clock is Ticking

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!

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32 Responses to The Clock is Ticking

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Whew, it wears me out just reading all that you are accomplishing and what all you have in the works. Carry on…

    • Cathy says:

      It is easy to get sidetracked when there is so much to do, Lisa – that’s why a list becomes increasingly useful, although I really ought to make sure I carry a list with me so I can add to it as I ramble round the garden!

  2. tonytomeo says:

    That is way too much non-gardening on top of what the garden will want.

  3. Heyjude says:

    Never a dull moment in your garden!

    • Cathy says:

      No, definitely no dull moments, Jude, although there have been tedious ones in the past (like clearing mortar of a stack of bricks or cobbles for another project!)

      • Heyjude says:

        That definitely sounds boring and hard work. I wish I was half as fit and capable at the hard landscape stuff as you are.

        • Cathy says:

          Satisfying when it was all done though! I do try not to take my health and fitness for granted, Jude, and I am fortunate that ‘age’ has not (yet?) got in the way of anything I do

          • Heyjude says:

            I’m rather cross that I spent 10 years without a garden when I was much fitter, but no point crying over spilt milk, It is what it is and I just have to get on with what I can do.

          • Cathy says:

            Well done for being philosophical about it, Jude. And we learn from all our experiences, including your 10 years without a garden…

          • Heyjude says:

            I was good at container plants!!

  4. How wonderful it must be to have space to build a your garden.
    Have a wonderful day.

  5. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Sitooterie- what a wonderful word. I had to ask Mr Google want it meant, although it’s self explanatory, really.

  6. cavershamjj says:

    Encouraging to hear that not all your dahlias have sprouted. Two out of about 10 of mine have started new growth. No sign on the others yet. Hoping they are merely resting…

    • Cathy says:

      I potted mine up at the end of January so they have been resting for a long time – but I am still hopeful as the days get warmer for those that are still not sprouting, although I can see myself tipping them out of the pots and having a closer look soon…! πŸ˜‰ Hope yours don’t disappoint

  7. Ali says:

    That sounds so exciting, Cathy! And I love a delivery of new plants. Look forward to see it all planted up and ready for the opening!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ali – no time today for planting with all these IAVOM comments to answer and vases to visit, so I shall have a busy day tomorrow. I have just picked up all my plug plants from a local nursery today which all need potting on too…hey ho, all good fun!! πŸ™‚

  8. I admire all your hard work and can’t wait to see the results….I wish it were in person!

  9. Wow! You’ve been super productive. Everything looks so green. I love that your grass is going to a new home. Good for you (and them). Enjoy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you – I do enjoy a project but there is so much else that needs to be kept up with that I daren’t start anything new although there are some ideas brewing πŸ˜‰ This same neighbour had some of our spare soil from around the new greenhouse – and a few years ago it was soil from another neighbour (him with the bricks!) that created our shrub border πŸ™‚

      • We gave away some roses to a neighbor one year. They dug them up and took them to a rental property. It made me happy to see them go to a good home. I also had an unfortunate experience with a dirt and soil yard accidentally delivering top soil instead of planting mix. It was a dump truck full. My garden just wasn’t thriving and the soil seemed heavy. Once I put two and two together, they offered to bring the right stuff, but they would not collect the top soil. I ended up listing it on Freecycle. It went to six different homes!

        I’ve just finished my 30-day outdoor challenge so I’m feeling quite relieved. That said, I’ve fallen behind with email and blogging, so it’s good to finally catch up.

        • Cathy says:

          Yes, I feel better about ousting plants I don’t want if they are going to a new home! Our worst experience was when we were building our extension and we over-ordered the ready mixed concrete!! Good to hear you have successfully completed your challenge

  10. Christina says:

    I feel exhausted just reading your post Cathy; well done is all I can say. I’m aching all over after planting vegetables all day yesterday!

    • Cathy says:

      Sorry to tire you out even more, Christina – have you got more planting out to do? I suppose it is very rare for me to have a full day of just gardening because of all the other things I do – and with having a granddaughter one day a week now there will always be a day when I can’t do anything – two days this week because I have Polling Duty on Thursday so I shall be desperate to get out in the garden again by the w/e! Before I go out this morning I aim to prick out some teeny tiny plug plants to make the best use of the time I do have, and then hopefully I will get a few hours in this afternoon. We had a frost last night!!

      • Christina says:

        FROST! We had soft rain for most of day so I was dodging the showers to plant more. I am noticing that plants that have been in the cold frame for a while have much better roots and are stronger plants so I’m pleased about that.

        • Cathy says:

          That’s good to know – with my temporary cold frame I made the mistake of not thinking about watering and some plants have suffered 😐 It’s empty now and ready to be dismantled for the time being

  11. Cathy has a lot of work ahead of her to do. I would not be able to do everything. I am glad that your lawn has gone to your neighbor and has been recycled. I wish you good luck. Greetings from margarita.

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