Monday, 29 April 2013

It's About Time

Yes, spring has finally arrived.
We have flowers !

In case you're thinking that I've been busy in the garden, nope, planted these last September. They've been outside all through the winter, and have just burst into full bloom.

And these were also planted in September. If you decide to give it a try this autumn, make sure you plant large established plants. In previous years, I've used small plug plants in September, and they just don't survive the winter.

Did you know that we are about seven growing weeks behind in the UK at the moment ?  And it's only about eight weeks to Midsummer's Day, after which the nights start drawing in. Just saying.

And on that happy note, how about a topical tip: I got a free garlic bulb with my groceries the other day. Now I like garlic, but alas, garlic does not like me. However, all is not lost. You see, roses absolutely adore garlic. It protects them against aphids, mildew and blackspot. And, as far as I know, it doesn't give them indigestion either. So I will be dividing the garlic bulb into individual cloves, and planting them close to each rose.

Totally off topic, I thought I'd share a little more Sheffield news with you. Don Valley Stadium, an athletics stadium built over 20 years ago, on an old steelworks site where my father used to work, is to be demolished. Very sad, I know, but it's yet another casualty of austerity cuts. Apparently, the local council can't afford to maintain it anymore. And what will they build in it's place, you may ask ? Why, a sports stadium, of course. Obviously made of self-maintaining materials that haven't been invented yet. Can't fault forward planning.

We've been having a lot of April showers recently, resulting in one of my favourite weather phenomenons; love rainbows.

And finally, following on from my last "guess the plant" post. By the way, the last one was a Tree Peony. Here's another one for all you plantaholics:

Now come on, easy peasy.
Give you a clue, this is a summer flowering shrub. Now that narrows it down, doesn't it ?

Monday, 15 April 2013

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - April 2013

Still not much in bloom
The garden is almost suspended in time.

Galanthus Sam Arnott, I know snowdrops should have finished flowering long ago, but they haven't.

Crocus tommasinianus, these shouldn't be around either.

Daffodils, but these flower in April don't they ?  Erm, well no actually, because these are the dwarf varieties that usually flower at the same time as the crocus.

Helleborus orientalis, okay these did start flowering on time, but they also spent a lot of last month buried under snow.

And finally, a couple of baskets of violas. At least some plants know what time of year it is.

If you want to see what's in bloom around the world today, why not pop over to May Dreams Gardens where Carol is hosting this meme.

Monday, 1 April 2013

British Summertime Begins

Really ?
I know the clocks went forward at the weekend but.......

I still seem to be having problems matching my photos with the post title. This Paeony is very brave, poking it's nose through the snow, especially with severe frosts still forecast.

And this Corydalis is determined to flower, no matter what.

Snowdrops are still blooming, and yes, that is more snow in the background. We have just had the coldest March for fifty years. That goes right back to the swinging sixties, the decade of flower power. But flower power is definitely lacking here at the moment. Shrubs that should be in full bloom now are still in tight bud. Crocus have appeared through the snow, but are very reluctant to open.

So, a topical tip, which I really shouldn't be giving in "summer", but anyway, here goes. If your bin lid is frozen in the mornings, put a garden cane or similar stick across the rim of the bin, to hold the lid open just a fraction. Hey presto, no problem opening the bin on frosty mornings. Well, apart from the weight of snow on the bin lid.

Mother Nature is really building up quite a debt this spring. Can't wait for payback time. Heading for a heatwave !

So, how about a little competition for all you plantaholics out there ?  Can anyone identify this plant ?  It usually blooms in May in the UK. Might be a bit late this year. Please feel free to consult the internet if you're stuck. Although, somehow, I don't think it will be much help:

I never said it would be easy.