greentapestry : January 2022

Sunday 30 January 2022

Diary Update - Late January 2021

January is all but over so a diary update is called for. I can't say that I've done that much in the way of actual gardening. A combination of days of grey grim weather and other matters have been responsible but there has been some behind the scenes activity. A January birthday called for a garden centre visit. Here unlike most of the other customers I resisted the compulsion to make a beeline for the bargain price festive paraphernalia. We headed straight for the outside and plants and it was so sad to see that just after 11.00am we were the only people out there for a while. Still it was pleasant to be able to browse comfortably. I came home with the above helleborus 'Lily' which in fact was not the one I intended to purchase. I was guilty of not checking the label as it was a flowering helleborus 'Tutu' which had grabbed my attention. I was guilty of just seeing colour and not looking carefully enough. Still it's a pleasant enough plant. A couple of witch hazels also landed in my trolley - 'Ruby Glow' and 'Jelena' thanks to a garden gift voucher from my dear sister. I also bought a modest amount of half price seeds. In the last couple of weeks or so more packets of seeds have arrived in the post mainly of sweet peas. I think that I'm more or less done now on the seed purchasing front but I've said that before. Shallots 'Red Sun' and seed potatoes in the shape of the salad potato 'Charlotte' have also arrived. 

The greatest source of pleasure this month for me this month has been my collection of special snowdrops both those grown in pots under cover as well as in the garden. Below are a couple of newcomers. The first is 'Hans Guck' In die luft (which translates as 'Johnny-Head-In -The-Air') - new arrival this year whilst the second' Green Of Hearts' is a 2021 arrival.

During the  past week we had a couple of blissful hours when it almost seemed like spring and the greenhouse temperature warmed up encourage a couple of pots of iris reticulata 'Pauline' and a 
pot of crocus 'Firefly' to show colour. Magical! 

Saturday 22 January 2022

January Musing - A Posy On The Kitchen Table

"Every day of the year there would be a posy to greet you on the kitchen table. Pushed at random into a little pot to suitable utensil, the posy would be there come rain or shine, and it was the reward of adventure, the fruit of labour or the chance happening of something one of her many birds had brought to the garden. In this posy were mapped the weeks of the year. A spring of Hamamelis and Galanthus in January, or a tuft of old man's beard and rosehips come autumn. Her posies were the garden distilled in a jam jar, and often she would pick a spring that you might admire from the assemblage and push into your hand as the making of a cutting. She shared her garden well, and to this day I try to keep a posy from my own garden"

Illustration - Winifred Nicholson

Monday 10 January 2022

In A Vase On Monday ~ Just Dropping In

Picked on a bright, blowy and cold Sunday afternoon, these few stems of galanthus elwesii 'Fieldgate Prelude' only fully opened to reveal their markings when I bought the vase into a cosy warm kitchen. It rained overnight but it is now possible to see their full colours. 

 What you are not able to see though in this photo though is just how small this vase is - about the same height as my middle finger. The few stems dropped in most snuggly indeed.

Thanks as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for the encouragement to pick a few stems of flowers or foliage to share each Monday, whatever the weather whatever the season.

Saturday 1 January 2022

Garden Diary ~ New Year's Day 2021

Illustration by Lena Anderson.

What a pleasure it has been to spend time in New Year's Day in the garden. The temperature was warm enough to venture out without a coat! Yesterday was perhaps slightly warmer and sunnier but both days provided unexpected bonuses. The first gardening task of 2022 was to snip off the old hellebore foliage and bin it. It was interesting to see that there was evidence of aphids on the back of a few leaves. I than disposed of some soggy tat. Tomorrow the weather is predicted to be cooler but still warm enough I think to get out again and mulch the hellebore plants with some well rotted leaf mould. In the garden there are signs of activity with bulbs beginning to emerge. The first snowdrops are opening which is such a heartwarming event. Some clumps are now quite sizeable but others are taking time to establish. 

Time soon to plan next year's vegetable garden. There are seed potatoes to order. I think that I will stick with my favourite 'Charlotte' which is a great salad potato. Without the allotment I grew potatoes in bags last year for the very first time. It proved successful and I think that a further bag might be purchased. This year's sowing definites include the usual suspects of salad leaves, shallots, French beans, beetroot, courgettes and chard but I will have to consider carefully whether to add on top of this list. It was good to notice yesterday that the garlic cloves of 'Purple Early Wight' planted on the 17th November have started to come through.

After my outside pottering an inspection of the greenhouse and my potted special snowdrops followed. One big change since last year is that I've bought a smaller number of pots in to overwinter. A good number will take their chance in pots outside. A lot of them are now planted in the garden so a few casualties in event of a tough winter will not be the end of the world. In the greenhouse are my favourites and newest additions will I can gaze at a close quarters during the winter months. If necessary I can put a heater on overnight to fend off the worst of any bitterly cold snaps. There are three trays which each hold two dozen bulbs and some dozen or so loose pots too.Some bulbs are duplicates. My two newest purchases are showing mixed promise - galanthus nivalis 'Prague Spring' which was a small bulb on planting will not flower this year whereas galanthus plicatus 'Sophie North' is thriving. Both were bought as dormant bulbs in the summer.

In flower today are the following galanthus elwesii ' Fenstead End', galanthus plicatus 'The Pearl', galanthus plicatus 'Trimmer', 'galanthus Sutton Courtney' and galanthus 'Betty Hansell' and galanthus 'Ding Dong'. Sadly the also early flowering 'Three Ships' has decided not to flower this year. Other 'drops are nearly there but not quite so I shall check again next weekend. 

Also in the greenhouse I was pleased to spot that the first anemone 'Mr Fokker' is sprouting. I planted six in November in dry compost which has been watered yet.

My gardening day is not yet complete as tonight I plan to order some dahlia tubers. some difficult decisions ensue! On this and my new seed packet storage container more to come hopefully next weekend. Happy New Year and happy gardening to all my blogging friends - I hope that 2022 treats you, your loved ones and your gardens most kindly. Thank you for all your kind comments and encouragement last year.