With the Garden party for Christina’s 60th in view we had had a good incentive to cultivate and stock up the garden. On the one hand we have decided to let this year’s growing season progress and the previous owners’ plantings unfold. But on the other hand there are plenty of gaps to fill.
With the coming of spring it was clear that there had been no bulbs lurking beneath. I emptied a few pots of Tete-a-Tete daffodils into the border and allowed other bulbs, including hyacinths, to flower in the pots they had overwintered in. All those hyacinths will find their way into the walled garden round the garage.
We came back from Scotland at the end of April to find that new garden finished and filled with soil. A first task was to lift the shrubs we had removed and heeled in temporarily, and replace them at the front. I also lifted one or two wrongly sited shrubs from the back garden to plant there, and added shade-lovers brought from 88, as well as the potted Wisteria which has been waiting in the wings and the Helleborus niger plants I kept in pots in the winter. The only plant which showed signs of stress was the Photinia but frequent watering seemed to arrest the rate of leaf drop.
My sowings of Tom Thumb tomatoes and Morning Glory germinated and were duly potted on. The Morning Glory went into large pots with a bushy white daisy and possibly went outdoors too soon, but they seem to be holding their own. The tomatoes went out in mid-May in assorted containers with French marigolds. A sowing of mixed salad leaves has provided several pickings and dwarf peas and dwarf beans have been planted out.
Our neighbour gave us a couple of pickings from her asparagus bed. This seems a sensible, low-maintenance crop for us to add to our small potagerie so we ordered some crowns from Suttons which went in, possibly a bit late, but they will be ready to harvest in 2013; you should not harvest in the first year.
I tidied round the small pond, yanking out grass clumps and filling the pond margin ground with suitable plants – sedge, Iris, Water avens, Water mint. In the two weeks leading up to our departure for St Vaast the weather in Dorset was very dry, prompting some watering of new plantings.
When we arrived at 104 we found our overgrown garden awaiting attention. And the identity of the mystery plants we found growing in our lawn in March was finally revealed……