End of Month View: February 2013

This will be my third year for a February End of Month View, and looking back at the past posts,  the progress towards Spring this year is about on par with previous years.  Everything is roughly at the same stage, although a few plants maybe possibly be a fraction behind.   In my February 2012 EOMV post I showed photos of the Kerria in bloom, this year there are only a few buds that are showing yellow petals.

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However, the Peony is slightly advanced.  I made a mistake last year by mulching the buds for fear of frost damage, and the plant repaid me by producing no flowers.  So this year I am leaving it to its own devices with the hope it will flower without sulking.

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The Elder (Sambucus Nigra) is beginning to burst out all over with tiny dark maroon buds.  Although I thinned out some of the older branches, I have left the height this year as it gives some good structure to the garden.

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The most exciting change in the garden in February was cutting down the ivy at the bottom of the garden.  We filled, two large brown garden sacks, one enormous garden waste wheelie bin, took a trip to the dump and what was left after that filled the wheelie bin again ready for the next bin collection.   The light into the garden now is fantastic.  It is still heavy and thick against the wall, but at least we have reduced the height down to wall level.    Removing the rest of it is going to take some care so that the wall is not damaged.

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All we need to do now is tackle the left-hand side of the garden.  Unfortunately, this is growing from next door’s garden, and whilst they are quite happy for me to cut it down but are not going to make any effort themselves to remove it or even help me.

There is still very little colour in the garden, but all the bulbs are coming up and hopefully by the time the March EOMV arrives, I will be able to include photos of daffodils, tulips and fritillaria.  Meanwhile, I can include a photo of my favourite Erysimum which seems to have flowered continually throughout the year.  Even the hardest frost hasn’t put it off.

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It maybe because of the newly found light in the garden but I noticed today how lush, green and shiny the ferns are looking.

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Looking around for other signs of Spring beginning to take a hold, I saw that the Eurphorbia are being to come to life.   I have a dark green evergreen plant on one side of the garden, but can’t remember what it is called.

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The other Euphorbia Griffithii Fireglow, dies down every year and I am always pleased to see the little yellow/red shoots arrive in the Spring.  It is such a very pretty variety, but I don’t think it is in the right place in the garden and may try and move it this year, when undertaking the revamp.

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I planted some foxgloves last year, but after their flowering time.  They are looking very healthy so I am hoping that they will produce some splendid flowers this time.  It is wonderful to have some thick green leaved plants that would appear to repel slugs and snails – yeah!

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Apparently the first day of Spring is 20 March 2013, so with a little bit of luck there will be an exciting EMOV at the end of March.

Thank you Helen at Patient Gardener for hosting this great meme.   Please take time to visit her blog and take a look at the other contributions for this month’s End of Month View.

© Hurtlingtowards60 and Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond ©AarTeePhotography;Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Seven Signs of Spring

Miracle of miracles, we have had a few mild days, it hasn’t rained or snowed and the sun has been shining!   There are signs of Spring bursting through which makes the world seem a whole heap better.

There are so many plants in bud and once I started it was actually quite difficult to single out just seven signs of Spring on this Sunday but here they are:-

Hellebore

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Ribes (Flowering Currant)

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Spirea

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Wallflowers

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Tulips

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Forsythia

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Peony

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Oh dear, this is where I came across a problem with limiting myself just to seven.  How can I do a post about signs of Spring without daffodils so I am going to add an  8th photo to my Seven Signs.  These are Tete-a-Tete and grow by the front door – such a cheery sight.

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The weather forecast is for another cold snap with possibly more snow.  Fingers crossed that it doesn’t put back the move towards what will be a very welcome Spring.

© Hurtlingtowards60 and Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond ©AarTeePhotography;Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

End of Month View – January 2013

I have found a review of January a bit difficult to report. As you all know the weather has been appalling, if it has not been constant rain, we have had snow. It is all becoming a bit depressing, and I think I can count sunny days since the start of 2013 on one hand. The photos in this report were taken last Sunday, one of the few sunny days and I have been busy with one thing and another so this report is a few days late.

I have hardly been out in the garden it is so very boggy and the flowerbeds have standing water at the edges. By the time I had finished doing a few necessary jobs last weekend and walked around trying to find something interesting to photograph, the lawn was quite a mess. Thank goodness lawns recover without too much ado.

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There are hopeful signs of spring around, the hellebore are flowering in abundance and the snowdrops have made a splendid appearance in the front garden. It’s so lovely to open the lounge curtains in the morning to see them.

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In a recent post I set out my 2013 project turning the garden into an original Cottage Garden with vegetables growing with flowers in the same beds. The next few weeks are being taken up with planning but before then I still need to find a simple computer program for garden design. I have looked at quite a few and like the one on the Shoot Gardening website but if anyone can recommend one I would love to hear from you.

I have taken some photos of the flower beds so that I can decide what to remove, move and leave in situ. The first job is to sort out the general “garden stuff” area. The shed is a definate to replace, I have put it off for far too long because of the beautiful Clematis Montanta growing over it, but it was not so good last year and there are no signs of any buds so I am wondering if it has had its day.

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The one part of the garden that is going to give me a bit of a headache is the north facing wall. It is full of plants that love damp conditions, such as the hydrangea, astilbe, hostas and ferns. You can see looking at the bottom of the wall how very damp is has been lately. There is a large Ribes, which although is lovely in the spring does the garden no favours for the rest of the year so that may be a shrub to go – finding something in its place is another thing. This may be a bed without vegetables because I am not sure what likes boggy clay.

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That brings me to ideas for planting. I have come across a blog by Rosalind Creasy all about edible landscaping. It has given me some fabulous ideas. Rosalind has written a number of books about the subject and her book called “Edible Landscaping” has some beautiful photos, plans and planting suggestions.

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Excited by her ideas, I emailed Ros Creasy to ask if I could use some of her photos on my blog so that I can post about the progress of the garden revamp. Ros very kindly came back and agreed, suggesting that I scanned photos from her book and asked me to just add a copyright, which I have duly done. Below is what I will use as the basis to work around for the garden. I love the colours and the pots and the whole layout which may not be for everyone. There are those who like everything in its place and a place for everything, all neat and tidy. I like the slightly crowded overgrown look.

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This End of Month Review for January 2013, doesn’t really report much about what has happened in the garden but at least you know what I have to work with and will be a good reference when reviewing the garden in January 2014.

Please take time to visit the other blogs that contribute to this so very useful monthly meme, hosted by Helen at Patient Gardener.

© Hurtlingtowards60 and Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond ©AarTeePhotography;Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.