Saturday, 28 February 2015

End of Month View – February

It’s been nice and spring like the last week here in London, a bit cold at night but really good at 10-12 degrees C (53 F) during the day. And we have had some good sunshine too, I always long for some sun when we get to this time of year. Still no snow in my garden, last time I had snow was February 2013 so I really hope Mr Winter doesn’t bite back with some silliness like a snowfall in March. It has happened before, and although snow and frost in March is rare and never long-lived, it is detrimental to my lovely huge camellia so thanks, but no thanks. No snow this year either please.

I have been concentrating on working on my new rose bed lately, the two Dregea sinensis were dug up earlier this month, and all the spring bulbs were dug up – a huge job! And I have been filling the bed again, plenty of plants waiting to get a space in the ground – too many actually, there is not room for all the roses I would like to plant there.

Here is my garden last September, and as you can see, the Dregeas became too big for the arch over the years. Even when cut down almost completely every winter they still managed to get to this size over the summer and I could hardly get through this tunnel of leaves. The flowerbed to the right was filled with too many tall plants and I wanted something nicer to look at from my seating area. I also wanted to get as many fragrant plants as I could in this bed.

So out they went, all of them! I kept the large rose ‘Crimson Cascade’ on the fence and also the Sarcococca up against the fence, everything else were dug up.

I bought 2 new roses to go on each side of the arch, 'Gertrude Jekyll' and 'The Generous Gardener' and they will look lovely when in flower. The roses 'Wildeve' and 'Scepter'd Isle' have also been moved from other parts of the garden and are now in this bed and so is ‘Ingrid Bergman’. My cat was absolutely enjoying himself while this work was going on, he loves freshly dug, bare soil and would go straight to this bed and walk around and dig every time he came outside. I normally have bark mulch in all the flowerbeds so he doesn’t get the chance to dig like this. I had muddy paw prints all over the house for 2 weeks!

Good to get a fresh layer of bark mulch back on the soil again! Most of the snowdrops and irises are back in the middle of the bed, at the front will be a row of daylilies but they are just emerging and won’t show for a while.

I have also planted a dark red peony at this end of the bed, next to the penstemons, it has been growing in a pot for a couple of years and will probably not flower for another couple of years.

And here are the new daylilies I am now awaiting delivery of from the nursery, they are going in the bed together with some I had from before.

The new bed will need some time to get established, but I hope all the roses will flower nicely this year and just get better and better. There is space for some smaller plants in between these plants, I have some more spring bulbs to put in, and some heucheras and hardy geraniums still in pots. I also would like to find room for some hellebores here as I have none growing in a sunny position, only in the shade at the bottom of my garden – but that might be pushing it a bit too much. By the time all these plants have come up there might not be much space left, not even for a few hellebores.

I have made a movie from my garden this month too, and although other parts of the country use the astronomical seasons to determine spring, here in London it is more appropriate to use the meteorological seasons, so from the 1st of March we are officially having spring! I hope my movie is getting you into spring mode, whatever weather you are having right now, watch out for the bee in the middle of the movie, having a meal on one of my Sarcococcas :-)

As always, my movies are best viewed in HD in full screen, change the settings using the icons in the bottom right corner.




The music this time was Vivaldi, The Four Seasons: Winter – Largo, and Celebration by Secret Garden from the album White Stones.

I am linking this post to Helen at The Patient Gardener’s Weblog. Please visit her blog for many more February gardens.
Until next time, take care.

44 comments:

  1. Will you leave the snowdrop in the cups or plant them out Also do you repot all the plants in pots each year or just freshen with a top dressing of fresh compost?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It varies Sue, the plants I put in the teacups get changed twice a year as the cups are very shallow. I will plant out the snowdrops when they are finished flowering. Many of the pots are cuttings and seedling from last year and still small, I have just re-potted 10 hellebores into larger pots and they will be fine for another two years in those. Some of the other plants will get into the ground this year I hope and other will go permanently into containers. Some will get a root prune and a top dressing as I simply have no space in the ground for everything!

      Delete
  2. Så fint det ser ut i hagen din nå! 10-12 grader høres deilig ut. Dagliljene du har bestilt var virkelig nydelige! Jeg liker så godt de som har krøllete kant rundt blomsten. Filmen var vakker å se på. Skal si du har mange flotte helleborus!

    God helg!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Takk Marit, dette er den tiden jeg setter mest pris på å bo i London og ikke på Gol hvor jeg bodde sist før jeg flyttet til London – deilig med vår så tidlig og ingen snø denne vinteren heller! Jeg skulle gjerne hatt mange flere dagliljer, har sett så mange fine, men de blir for store for potter etter noen år så det er det evige problemer med plass da :-)
      Ha en fin uke!

      Delete
  3. Oh Helene I love how spring has started already with those early blooms I long to see soon here. We are still in the grip of frigid temps so no way for weeks it seems.

    And I love the color palette of the new bed with the peony, roses and those daylilies....I can't wait to see it in bloom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Donna, the colour palette in my new bed will be white, dark red and all sorts of pink, I think it will work well together but time will tell. I hope spring will arrive for you soon, it has been lovely here today.
      Have a good week!

      Delete
  4. Oh Helene...how I love your movies. It is so wonderful to see spring starting in your gardens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lee, I enjoy making the movies too, now that I have had my new camcorder for a while I am slowly getting to grips with the settings too and feel I can get more from it. I am still using the free Windows Moviemaker for editing though, haven’t ventured into any professional editing program as they all seem so incredibly difficult to get started with. I have too much to do in my garden to sit at my computer learning new programs :-)

      Delete
  5. Your garden is going to look so different this year! It will be great to see how it all develops with all the work you've put into it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I can’t wait for my new roses to start blooming, I have wanted 'Gertrude Jekyll' for many years and finally I got a space for it.

      Delete
  6. The first impression I thought the photo showed your garden at this time of the year.
    But it is a wonderfull vieuw. I can't wait untill the garden is green again. My compliments for working at the garden. You don't have snow, but I know how cold it is outside. Your film is beautiful!! Have a lovely sunday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Marijke, it is slowly warming up here in London but we have had very windy weather the last couple of days which makes it feel much colder than it is. I still work in the garden though, if I can get a few hours outside most days I feel much better :-)
      Have a good gardening week!

      Delete
  7. Helene I enjoyed watching your garden film on full screen so much and your lovely cat...... You did already lots of work with emptying one of your borders and when I see all those pots filled with plants along the borders I think you can start a plantshop. I'm looking forward to see your new roses flowering, but first spring is definitely there.
    Wish you happy gardening!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Janneke, I am glad you enjoyed the movie. I have too many pots, I know….I actually have tried to give away some but somehow I just keep getting more….and I still haven’t sowed any seed so there will be lots more pots when I have done that. I am enjoying the spring, being outside with all the spring bulbs in full flower – happy gardening to you too!

      Delete
  8. Seeing your garden gives me hope that spring will surely arrive here, too--one day. We are getting another blanket of snow, and the temps are going to plunge again, so it will be awhile before I even see a crocus here. From your snowdrops in their cute teacups to the budding rhododendrons to the bee, your garden is a delight, Helene!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rose, all in good time I guess, spring will arrive for you too, and by the time we get to June your garden will have caught up with mine :-)

      Delete
  9. You have been busy Helene, love those Hellebores. I am just about to start removing the remaining grass from the back garden. To be quite honest, I like to see some grass, but Winter and early Spring is a bit of a quagmire here, so up its coming. Always enjoy your movies set with atmospheric music to suit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alistair, glad you enjoyed the movie. I must admit getting rid of the grass in my garden was the best thing I have ever done in my garden. I also enjoy looking at other people’s perfect lawn but in my garden the grass was either growing like mad and needed cutting twice a week which I found very demanding, or brown, bone dry and not looking good at all. By removing the grass I could make the borders much bigger and just have a path in the middle – that way I have room for more plants than before. I never regretted my decision and don’t really miss the grass - or the mowing!

      Delete
  10. As usual your garden is ever so neat and tidy, a credit to your hard work, I'm sure.
    Loved the video - the plants wafting in the gentle breeze only adds to the feeling of what seems like very warm days compared to here.
    I am really looking forward to seeing all your plans come to fruition - everything sounds wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Angie, glad you liked the video. The weather has been very up and down the last couple of weeks and today we have had all sorts. I have just been outside putting a lot of smaller pots on the ground as they probably would have blown away from my nursery shelves in the strong winds we have right now.

      Delete
  11. Spring has most definitely arrived in your garden. I envy you your gorgeous hellebores. I've got just 2 (and have ordered more) but they just don't shine like yours. And you've tempted me once again with that Garrya - I'm going to have to explore mail order there as I just can't find the plant locally, even though it's a west coast native. The bee footage was wonderful, as were the shots of your beautiful cat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bottom of my garden is perfect for hellebores, plenty of moisture in the summer and part shade, although I know hellebores can do well in full sunshine too which is why I would have liked to have some in my new bed. That way I could have them flowering for even longer. There are so many beautiful varieties, I will try to make room for a few more! I hope you find your Garrya, mail order should do it.

      Delete
  12. As always, your garden is full of buds and blooms. I am looking forward to seeing your new roses bloom. Your cat has such attitude; I believe he thinks he owns the garden! (Does he?) Here, we also think of March 1 as the beginning of spring, though we do have another winter storm headed our way this week that could give us snow or ice. The largest snow I have ever known here was in early March, so it could happen, but I hope not!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My cat definitely regards the garden as his, he is usually outside with me every day and observe my work from his post in the garden chair. He is not very hostile against trespassers though, and is sadly letting squirrels just walk right past him! Birds and other cats are let in peace too, as long as they are just walking through and not stopping for too long. I hope you will see the end of snow soon, I have certainly not ordered any snow for March for my garden!

      Delete
  13. It would seem that a small garden once filled would not leave much to do and now you have pulled it up and started over. I will enjoy seeing all your changes filling up the space again. Your movie shows how pretty spring bulbs are. I don't plant enough of them.

    I think a small Meyer Lemon would work for you in a sunny spot. They bear lots of fruit early on and will recover from all but the deepest freeze.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A garden is never finished….not mine at least! Especially in such a small garden as mine the never-ending issue is always that plants get too big for their space over time.
      I have looked into Meyer’s lemon trees, and I have already sent off emails to a couple of nurseries asking some questions about growing them outdoors as none of those selling lemon trees over here advice to grow them outdoors. That doesn’t mean you can’t though, I have other plants in my garden not meant for outdoors. I didn’t know these lemons were a cross between lemon and tangerine, they sound delicious! I will follow up on this as I have wanted a lemon tree for ages and I think you will find I will have one in my garden in a few weeks’ time. Thanks for the tip :-)

      Delete
  14. Your Daylilies are gorgeous. I know what you mean about the sun. Even on brutal cold days, sometimes the bright sun is so powerful, it warms up the house. Lucky you to have Hellebores blooming! I'm looking forward to that when I get home!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Beth, we are having really windy weather right now, with a biting, cold wind like you only get here in London. Give me minus 20 C in Norway any day rather than this moist, bone chilling London wind! But the week-end weather is for nice, sunny, calm weather and 15 degrees C. That will be nice :-)
      Looking forward to seeing your hellebores too!

      Delete
  15. Beautiful snowdrops! The daylilies are so fascinating! I miss your fuchsia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Endah, I miss my fuchsias too, and since I cut them all down it will be a long time until I get any flowers, probably July – long wait!

      Delete
  16. Such a beautiful post! And a lovely blog; I love everything starting from your header photo!
    Your climate does look gardener-friendly when compared to ours. :)
    Have a lovely March and see you soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sara, and welcome to my blog. I can work in my garden every week of the year, and as long as it is not raining too much I am outside, pottering about :-)
      Have a good week!

      Delete
  17. That bee was certainly having a feast Helene. Showing that Sarcococca aren't just about fragrance, they are also about early pollen for bees.

    You've done so much work, it's really impressive. The new border is coming along and already looks quite smart, and those daylillies look gorgeous and will be a great addition.

    I enjoyed the video and of course the kitty and I love how much you have going on in your garden, it was a pleasure to visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, it has been a lot of work but I do a bit every day that I manage to get out in the garden. I try not to think about redesigning that flowerbed as ONE big jog, but rather split it down to smaller jobs I can finish one by one before moving on to the next. Or else it gets too overwhelming and I would probably not even start!

      Delete
  18. So wonderful to see your garden waking up already Helene! I just love the variety of primroses you have in your long pots. And what a pretty cat. He looks quite large! Beautiful pattern on his fur. He seems to enjoy your garden almost as much as you do :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My cat is outside with me most of the time when I am in the garden, usually found snoozing in a chair. He is a Brown Classic Tabby and as a male cat he is not particularly large, pretty average I would think. And yes, his coat and patterns are beautiful :-)

      Delete
  19. Helene, lovely vernal garden! Your potted snowdrops, irises, crocuses bloom very cheerful, and I was surprised the bee that is 'working' so early in February.
    I liked your video but I thought how you could to take it from the far corner of your garden, as I remember there was a deep hole... Take care!
    Vivaldi goes well to the pictures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nadezda, the hole I had in the corner is now filled in, every time I dug out some soil to plant a new plant somewhere in the garden I tipped in the excess soil into that hole and it is now completely filled in and safe to walk on :-) It is lovely spring feeling in London right now, the bees are busy so am I too!

      Delete
  20. Excellent video Helene, I do enjoy them. Can't wait to see the results of all your hard work developing over the year, it looks as if your garden will be even more colourful than usual if that's possible :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rick, I look forward to seeing all the new plants I have bought lately in full flower. They might however not flower in this garden, have a look at my GBBD post for March – big changes looming!

      Delete
  21. Leave it to the cat to discover the fresh dirt right away. My cats are like that too. They love a fresh spot to dig up and roll around in. I'm quite partial to that red daylily you've chosen. What a striking colour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Marguerite, I can see collecting daylilies might be my new obsession, there are sooooo many lovely I just have to have!

      Delete
  22. Wow, that Burgundy Love daylily is a showstopper. I hope everything you're planning does very well this summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rosemary, the daylilies have arrived and are planted in pots, can’t wait to see them all in flower :-)

      Delete