Temperatures have barely made it above freezing this week although, at -5°C, our lowest temperature was not as cold as in some areas and we only had a sprinkling of snow – but the little we had has lingered on borders and pots. We were due to open our garden for the NGS tomorrow and although cancelled for COVID reasons it would have been a sorry sight for visitors, with snowdrops (above) and hellebores (below) lying prone and other foliage looking crinkled and brittle. For most plants, the first sign of positive temperatures will see them perk up instantly, and I shall remain optimistic until fatalities prove me wrong. I was going to record a video tomorrow to show what visitors would have been able to see, but delaying it for a couple of days would certainly produce a more interesting result!
It must have been slightly milder at the beginning of the week, as I happily spent an hour or so digging out bluebell and wild garlic bulbs where they had spread into the paths through the woodland – I had been hoping to retain the bluebell bulbs and replant them elsewhere in the woodland but when it came to it I couldn’t differentiate between them, as they were only just beginning to shoot and the smell wasn’t as obvious as you might think, and I certainly didn’t want any more of the latter. The Golfer was surprised to hear I was disposing of them in our green waste bin and not offering them to others – not sure if I would offer wild garlic to my worst enemies, but if anyone does want a bluebell/wild garlic mix our green waste won’t be emptied for at least a couple of weeks… 😉
The rest of my six are not any more inspiring than this inauspicious start, and continue with my dahlia tubers, overwintered for the first time in dry soil in the greenhouse instead of under the bed in the house, wrapped in newspaper. They have certainly overwintered better this way, with no shrivelling and negligible rotting, and I will stick with this in future. They were retrieved from the boxes of soil last Sunday and potted up in mostly the same soil with some fresh soil where needed, but shall leave them till temperatures pick up before I start watering them.
Whilst in the greenhouse I noticed some of the overwintering lilies were beginning to shoot, so made the effort to refresh the top few inches of soil before regular watering started again:
As growth in the greenhouse begins, it is clear a good tidy-up is in order, with seedlings now vying with cuttings for space – sadly, it is still too early to tell whether some cuttings are dead or just slumbering. It may be a squeeze, but I have managed other years, so guess I shall manage this season too!
Emerging from the shelter of the greenhouse, the snow and cold this week highlighted something I might have otherwise missed – that there are tulip shoots emerging. I suspect they were camouflaged by foliage of the overplanted bellis, but the snow covering shows the shoots poking above this, providing a further indicator that spring is on the horizon – which the optimistic amongst us already know of course!
So, there you have my not-very-interesting Six on Saturday – perhaps if you visit our host Jon the Propagator you might find some more inspiring contributions!