Saturday, 25 February 2012

Foxgloves (25 FEB 2012)

After I published my last post, I noticed in the "You might also like" section that I had written another entitled "Crocus" almost a year to the day before. It also pictured the first yellow crocus of the season, probably from the same bulb. It made me think about how I'd passed the time since the first crocus flower died and while the bulb stored up energy to prepare for its second. If only I had been as productive.

I had so many plans :

To spend a little time in the garden every day so I don't miss anything ...

Time is short


To plant a tree for future generations to enjoy ...


Old Father Time


To plant more bulbs than last year ...

   
Time out                                                             Time heals





... and to create a habitat for foxgloves. As they are biennials, requiring overwintering to prompt them to flower, the foxgloves took much longer to bloom than the other flowers but they were worth the wait. Here are some memories from last year ...

  
Time will tell                                                     Time is precious
 




 


  
Time flies                                                              Time wont wait






 

A major obstacle hindering my plans for the garden is that most of it is paved. I've tried growing in pots, but it's not my preferred option as they need careful watering and protection from animals. Moreover, plants seem to grow much better in the garden soil.

Time for Change ?

So I was wondering what to do with my suspended foxgloves whose development I had arrested since last year, searching around for a patch of soil which didn't have something potentially growing under it, when I came across some paving which had lifted near the woodland. It was an omen of sorts, as I had toyed with the idea of extending the woodland into the patio. 

  
   Time stands still                                                  Time lapse


I've suffered from analysis paralysis all my life. Even as a child I remember weighing up the odds while my playmates just jumped right in; as an adult, people refer to me politely as a late-starter. In this case, my practical persona estimates that it costs thousands of pounds to commission a patio to be relaid. My dutiful persona nags that the unknown gardener must have had a good reason for laying it in the first place and I owe him some respect, while my creative persona announces that it's time to move on and make this garden the best it can be while I'm still fit and healthy. To appease all three of myselves, I compromised and removed just 16 paving stones around the edge of the woodland. This was arduous work as the hardcore beneath contained more slabs of material which were not aligned so I had to chisel them at intervals along the new paving edge till they cracked.

 
Time for a Cuppa


I relished finally being able to pull out the elusive dandelions and anemones. The roots of the latter penetrated through and under the hardcore. Mixing the sandy remains of the hardcore with spent compost seemed to produce soil with a suitable texture.

  
Time's Up

On the left are foxglove seedlings that I sowed last year and transplanted into a nursery.
On the right is a new patch of soil containing more seedlings sowed at the same time but overwintered in the seedtray till today, so that they mature and flower later than the ones on the left, hopefully.

 
   
Just a Matter of Time
Today I'm joining Donna's meme Word4Wednesday : TIME

©Copyright 2012 b-a-g. All rights reserved. Content created by b-a-g for http://experiments-with-plants.blogspot.com/2012/02/foxgloves-25-feb-2012.html

18 comments:

Bridget said...

Love your Old Father Time pic...and purple Crocuses are just my fave. As for Foxgloves...they are well worth waiting for. The wild ones are my faves despite all the new colours available now.

Stacy said...

I haven't had so much fun thinking about time in a long...time. I like your compromise with the patio stones--it really does sound like a great solution on all fronts.

Andrea said...

Hi b-a-g, I enjoyed your manner of introducing a part of yourself to us, I am smiling till the end. But I am also curious of some things, just like those black spots on the foxgloves! Another one, where i might not have got it right, when you said the yellow crocus posted last year might also be from the same bulb,but you posted purple and yellow today! I thought a bulb will produce the same color all its life!

Donna@GWGT said...

I have been 'short on time' and sorry I did not get here sooner. You covered so many time phrases and pictured them so well. Time flies is so sad.

Jenny said...

Hello! I want you to know that I've nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award. You keep up a marvelous blog, and I know that this year will bring in many more entries about the joys and tribulations of gardening. Thanks for writing! http://tinyurl.com/7455xhs

Janet said...

What a lovely take on time. Glad you're getting rid of some of these slabs. More room for plants!

b-a-g said...

Thanks Bridget - Old Father Time is my favourite tree in my local park at the beginning of February.

Glad you approve Stacy & Janet!

Andrea & Donna - Time flies was just a b-a-g joke. The black dots were aphids, the females develop wings. When the foxgloves flowered last year it was like a dream come true, then the aphids appeared. I'm sure there's a life lesson in there somewhere.

Andrea - Sorry for the confusion, the comment about crocuses was referring to the previous two posts not the photos below. I'm pretty sure that bulbs can only produce flowers of the same colour.

Thanks for the nomination Jenny. Looking forward to seeing how your project develops : http://spokesandpetals.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/the-fenway-garden-chronicles-part-one/

patientgardener said...

despite being a bid physical job I suspect that having finally embraced it you will find that more and more paving slabs disappear

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Oh I really enjoyed this post about TIME. And I love how you unsquared (probably not a word) the patio...I love fluid lines and tend to plant along square edges to soften them or pull up slabs to make the look more irregular....it looks marvelous and in time we will see all those gorgeous plants blooming.

HolleyGarden said...

Oh, more planting area! I think you're going to love having more soil to work with. I predict you'll be pulling up more blocks in the future. Just a little at a time sounds like the perfect plan for all three of you!

Alistair said...

Yes b-a-g, I was also thinking lifting of the slabs is only a beginning. I agree most plants are so much happier in the ground than in pots, except perhaps, Agapanthus.

Malar said...

You have done a lot of work in your garden! I love to see crocus!

Alberto said...

I'd vote for the 'get rid of the patio' persona! You did the right thing anyway, you have this growing passion for gardening, a narrow stream of flowers is pointless now, you need to expand!
You will spend more time outside even with a smaller patio then, you'll see!

b-a-g said...

Thanks Helen - I was literally embracing the slabs to save my back.

Thanks Donna - After deciding that I was going to do it, I then had the problem of which ones to remove. Glad you noticed how I "unsquared" (it's a word now!).

Thanks for the tip Alistair - I'm going to try growing some of my non-flowering agapanthus in pots.

Thanks Holley - we 3 will probably argue about what to plant now. The creative one wants gardenia, the practical one says it's probably really expensive and not hardy enough and the dutiful one points out that it's not native.

Thanks Malar - there's a beautiful photo of crocuses in this post :
http://microcosm-in-the-q.blogspot.com/2012/02/of-crocuses-and-cranes.html

Thanks for your vote Alberto - but that persona is verging on out-of-control - you may have just tipped it over the edge ... I'm still trying to work out how real gardeners have flower-beds which are full of plants. My flower-beds look virtually empty but there are bulbs and roots underneath that I don't want to disturb.

debsgarden said...

I like what you have done! I hope your foxgloves do well. I am still struggling to find the perfect spot for foxgloves. I think surely in all my gardens there must be a place where they will grow! They are so beautiful!

The Sage Butterfly said...

Foxgloves are one of my favorite blooms. I simply love the way they spike upwards and stand out in the perennial bed. I, too, seem to always have so many plans in many areas of my life. I do get quite a bit done but never as much as I would like. Patience is one of the things I am always reminding myself I need to learn. I am hoping to stop now and then, like you, and savor it all, watch it all.

linniew said...

Well done b-a-g! No small undertaking to lift out concrete. You deserve the added space. I hope I have some volunteer foxgloves this year since I forgot to gather seed. I always enjoy your thoughtful gardening.

b-a-g said...

Thanks Deb - It's unfortunate to have woodlands with no foxgloves ...

Thanks SB - sometimes I think I spend too long savouring ...

Thanks Linnie - I may be wasting my time planting foxgloves because I've got volunteers too. It's my belt and braces approach.

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