Other Clematis alpina are budding up now and the one above is C ‘Frankie’, a smaller flower and lighter shade than ‘Pamela Jackman’ who featured on Wordless Wednesday recently; elsewhere, the viticella clematis are putting on new growth and I look forward to seeing how they all far under their new feeding regime.
Also coming into flower is seed-sown Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Purple Bi-colour’, so far a bit of a damp squib, at a height of only a few inches. They only grow to 12 inches anyway, I now realise, so even then will not be as useful in vases as I thought they might. They were sown in September, and planted out in February.
More colourful are some of the over-wintered leaves of Geranium palmatum, a handsome plant that has remained fully clothed throughout the winter. So far it shows no sign of dying off, as they can be short-lived, and although they have a tendency to seed themselves around I have only once found a seedling, which was potted up and later replanted elsewhere.
A fortnight ago I mentioned that there was no sign of shoots on the overwintered dahlia tubers in the working greenhouse, but no sooner were the words out of my mouth than the first sprouts appeared and are now evident in more than half the pots, thank goodness. Today I have taken some cuttings from the strongest shoots.
You can see from the photo that the greenhouse is still bubble wrapped, but with no more frosts (after tonight) forecast in the next week I shall remove it tomorrow, and unplug and put away the heater there and in the Coop. It always surprises me how much of a difference it makes to the light levels once the bubble wrap is removed. Despite the recent frosty nights and cold days we have had lots of sunshine and, catching the morning sun, temperatures have reached over 30°C and the vents have opened. The Winter Sunshine sweet peas continued with their growth spurt although didn’t quite manage to produce their first open bloom in March – but with more sunny days, even when cold outside, it won’t be long.
My 5 year Garden Diary informs me that it was this time last year that I completed revamping the part of the hedge border that is located just outside the back door, rebuilding the wall to retain soil better, planting it with plants moved from elsewhere and screening the scraggy hedge behind it. It was an inspired move to pull up pieces of comfrey, the dwarf variety which I think is Symphytum ibericum, because despite the less than hospitable conditions they, along with primroses, have established really well, suggesting the border has been around for much longer than it has.
Jon the Propagator kindly hosts this Saturday meme, so do consider popping over to his blog to see the other varied Sixes linked to his post.