Friday, 7 February 2014

The winter health check

There has not been a lot of plant talk here lately. The works on the house dominates things at the moment, plus I have been in my winter disinterested period. Over the last couple of weeks things have started to change, and the greenhouse has been calling.

Today was a rare sunny day. After months of rain and storms, it was a change to be able to go outside and look at things in the sun.  So an ideal opportunity to do a quick check up on how the plants are coping with this strange winter.

The main cold frame was a sign of things to come, the plants currently look great, I can't remember seeing them look so undamaged at this point in Feb. The biggest problem seems to be that with the lack of cold, the snails are not totally gone and there is the odd bit of snail damage.

It is always good to see the echeverias doing so well.   Normally they suffer a fair amount of damage and take the first part of summer to recover. Hopefully this year they can start from a better point.

Then it was time to try and get to the greenhouse. The builders have totally blocked the front, so I had to squeeze through the side and then try and prize the door open.  With a little re-arranging I managed to open it just enough to get inside and again was thrilled to see everything looking very healthy.

I had left a few plants in here by accident and the fact that so far they show no damage is a bit of luck.

While it has been a stormy, wet winter, we have had almost no cold at all so far. The forecasts show no let up in the storms, but also no real drop in the temperatures.  I very much doubt we will get away without any real cold; one of the things that sets the UK apart from the rest of Europe and other parts of the world is the degree to which winter can go on. Hopefully the last part of the winter will be as mild as the rest, it will make a nice change.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Back in the garden

The garden remodel continues, the builders heard I was planning a rock garden and decided to help out.

It makes me smile when I look out and see the cycad as the only visible plant.  It looks very lonely out there on its own.

I am starting to wake up again having lost interest in plants a bit over the shortest days of winter.  There is a still long way to go, but the days are getting longer and I am starting to want to see what the plants are up to.  Sadly the builders have blocked the entrance to the green house, so I can not get in there at all. At the moment, I am reduced to peering through the window to check everything is ok.  As I can't get to the plants I am having to take solace in thinking about what I will do once the builders leave. There are two whole gardens to plan and no end of possibilities.

The builders are also doing their bit to help with some interesting planter opportunities, when they took down the chimney they kept the top for me in case I wanted to plant it.  Those holes have a lot of potential. Mind you it is kind of pretty the other way up as well.

It is good to be thinking about the garden again.