Thursday, 29 March 2012

Back In My Garden (29 MAR 2012)

While sitting on my back door-step during the second week of March, I realised that there was enough happening to write a proper, grown-up post about gardening with no need to crawl about on the internet, weave in other subjects to pad it out, without being distracted by navel-gazing or seeking inspiration elsewhere. However, somehow I didn't relish the idea, Garden Blogger's Bloom Day came and went and here we are at the End of the Month.  


Starting from the beginning of March ...
The crocuses were more sparsely distributed than my planting the year before last.  Maybe I mowed the lawn too soon after they flowered last year; maybe the snow and icy temperatures deterred some. The brave ones remaining bloomed unspontaneously and wilted quickly; the fantasy of a carpet of crocuses wasn't realised. I'm left debating if I should join in with the chorus of lawn mowers straining as they attempt the first cut of the year or allow the crocus leaves more time to store energy in the bulbs.

Crocuses ....   the fantasy                                       the reality                                                     the memory    

Actually, I'm not too upset that my drift of crocuses wasn't a patch on the ones in the local park. Planting and anticipating them was like arranging my own surprise party, not half as magical as walking in on them on my way into town.


I don't like daffodils, honestly, but they don't look so bad in pairs ...
A few buds emerged as early as the new year celebrations and opened in early February just before it snowed but they're almost over now, hardly overlapping with the tulips as they did last year. Originally, I spaced the bulbs that I had bought equally around the garden (a common mistake made by beginners according to blogs I've read), which resulted in quite an odd-looking display. I meant to rectify the situation by uprooting and replanting them in groups, but didn't get round to it and I hadn't labelled them anyway. Not to worry, because this year each daffodil has a sibling. Even the tall gawky ones don't look so ugly now that they have look-alikes.

Daffodils in their second year of  flowering


Last weekend, one of my visitors, a non-gardener, exclaimed : "That's the best rose bush I've ever seen!". This was quite a compliment, because I usually have to hold up the net curtain and stare out into the garden before she gets the hint that it's time to make a comment about my pride and joy. I have to admit though that all the camellia bushes that I've seen in my neighbourhood look like this. Apart from pruning it into the shape of a lollipop, I haven't applied any treatments or even watered it.


Camelia


The first wild flowers have made their appearance ....
Lamium in my nominally plantless front car-parking space, a daisy in the lawn, a dandelion in the woodland, and violets between the paving stones. I score many hits from people seeking solutions for deweeding their patios after they spot some of my photos which look like "before" shots of an advertisement.

Lamium, Daisy, Dandelion, Violets

Until this spring, I never went into the garden early in the morning to observe that tulips close at night time. Their petals look so delicate that it doesn't seem possible that they have a hinge mechanism incorporated. The top row were photographed on Saturday afternoon and the bottom row on Sunday morning.


Greenflies seem to like white tulips.

The first siting of bluebell buds in the woodland is an indicator that the next phase of spring is about to begin - the joys of cherry blossoms, bleeding hearts and foxgloves are yet to come. Giving birth the second time is reported to be a smoother experience, that's the most fitting way to describe how I'm feeling now.


        hyacinth                                          hyacinth pretending to be a bluebell                      first bluebell sighting

I'll be linking this post to Helen's End of Month meme at The Patient Gardener
There are more plants In My Pots, but I'm saving those for Katarina's meme at Roses & Stuff.

Finally I would like to thank Jenny @ spokes&petals for nominating me for a Versatile Blogger Award. She's a writer, gardener & cyclist (in that order, I think). Her blog feed isn't being picked up by Blotanical so please click on the link and pay her a visit - hope you like the post that I selected.

©Copyright 2012 b-a-g. All rights reserved. Content created by b-a-g for http://experiments-with-plants.blogspot.com/2012/03/back-in-my-garden-29-mar-2012.html

24 comments:

Andi Rivarola said...

Like your post. Thanks for sharing the pictures and funny information about (don't think you had to clarify) the non-gardener's commentary on your Camelias. Ha.

patientgardener said...

Eek greenfly already how annoying. I have had active whitefly on my cabbages all winter. Ho hum I suppose thats the 'fun' of gardening.

I do like your camellia - very impressive.

Pleased to see you will be joining in the end of month view - themore the merrier

HolleyGarden said...

This post made me laugh out loud. The best rose! Well, really, it IS beautiful, even if it isn't a rose. And your sentence about the "before" shots of an advertisement had me cracking up! Actually, I think they all look very pretty - especially the violets. I wish something besides crab grass would grow in between my stones. Even the "hinge mechanism" had me laughing - and wondering, too, just how they do that!

Donna@GWGT said...

You have quite a bit in bloom. I like your comparison images of the crocus. Mine went the same direction, but I blame the squirrels.

Stacy said...

Reading blogs is so amazingly educational--now I know how to get visitors to comment on the garden. (Net curtain and stare. Net curtain and stare. OK--I think I've got it now.) I begin to suspect crocuses of being fuss-budgets. A few of them among the dozens one might plant will be happy and begin to naturalize, and the rest will just fizzle away.

Mark and Gaz said...

Your net curtain comment made me laugh! Great looking blooms and that rose does look special. The white tulip covered in greenfly is quite an image (that made me shudder!). I must start keeping an eye for any pests and diseases that may be in our garden now.

linniew said...

That rose compliment still counts you know.

Your garden looks like spring b-a-g.

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Your early spring blooms are beautiful. I love bluebells but they do not alway loving me or my garden..we shall see this year...love seeing them in drifts. My violets have not bloomed nor have the tulips except one...of course it is too early for mine but there were 3 until the deer ate 2. April is coming and my garden despite the cold is still racing with warmer plants sprouting...we are in for more freezes and those that are too early are suffering some...

b-a-g said...

Thanks Andi, Linnie & Stacy - I used to categorise people as family, friends and aquaintances. Now there are just gardeners and non-gardeners. (I did appreciate the compliment though.)

Thanks Helen, Mark & Gaz - The green flies reminded me that this year I need to take precautions and spray the foxgloves with soapy water before the buds appear.

Thanks Holly - I was delighted when I discovered that someone had Pinned a picture of my weedy patio.

Thanks Donna GWGT - There are squirrels in my garden, but I've never seen them digging up the lawn.

Thanks Donna GEV - Hope your weather warms up soon. I love blubells too - until their leaves turn slimy.

Christine @ The Gardening Blog said...

You give me hope that my daffodils will do the same - I too planted as you did, dotted around a bed. Yours look really nice now.

But the Camellia? That is really, really beautiful! How do you get it to flower so profusely? Mine do, but not like that. What am I doing wrong?

Your tulips are lovely too. I was underwhelmed by mine last year, but had fun photographing the individual blooms - they made lovely photo subjects. And I know I said I wouldn't plabnt again, but am having serious second thoughts now that I see yours ...

Very lovely Spring blooms!

PatioPatch said...

Doing very nicely, at your second birth b-a-g. Your hints to visitors made me smile b-a-g so without further ado I do so admire your camellias (your soil must be more acid North of London?!)Parks cheat with 100s of bulbs - we mere gardeneres have to wait for nature to fill out at her own pace.

Karin / Southern Meadows said...

You do have a lot blooming in your garden. I think the weeds are even lovely! I remember your dislike of daffodils and your comment in one of your posts last year describing daffodils like large noses. It made me laugh and I always think of that when I look at certain daffodils. Funny how certain things stay with us. I get such a kick out of non-gardeners comments sometimes. Your camellia or should I say rose story is priceless!

Ronnie@hurtledto60 said...

Thank you for sharing your garden through the EMOV. I had one solitary crocus this year and none of my daffodils flowered and I have no idea why. Your tulips are lovely, a spring flower my garden is without and not for want of trying - whether in pots or direct in the flowerbed they just don't like where I put them. Your Camelia is gorgeous, I bet you keep looking at it, I know I would!

The Sage Butterfly said...

I think your garden is having a lovely spring...so many blooms, so much color. I keep trying to see the positive aspects of this strange weather...and one is that there is this burst of color everywhere.

Alistair said...

Hello b-a-g, I did enjoy your take on a grown up post, you mastered it a long time ago. Much as I love them, Crocus on the lawn would get on my nerves. I have been thinking about your feelings for the daffodil, and came to the conclusion I also have a dislike for the large plain yellow ones. One which you must try a group of in a pot or in the border is Jack Snipe, this is our first year of it, what a beauty. Your fully evergreen early Spring flowering Rose looks fabulous.

debsgarden said...

Your camellia really is special! I love tulips, although here they are very expensive annuals. I think it is amazing how they open and close!

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

Your camellia is gorgeous. All mine seem to be doing especially well this year.

David Marsden said...

Yes, I'm afraid crocuses and daffs in the lawn do need to be left. All my crocuses though are on banks or lawn-ish type ground that can be left until the foliage has died down. And the daffs are in 'islands' in the lawns and I mow them in June. These 'islands' work quite well as wild flowers appear in them too. The tip re nets is very funny. I must get some! Dave

easygardener said...

Interesting pictures of the Tulips - I had not realised they closed overnight.
I also find that gardening is full of fantasies clashing with reality :-)

b-a-g said...

Thanks Christine - I honestly haven't given the camellia any special treatment at all, but as Laura suggests it might be that I have naturally acidic soil. You could try amending the soil around your camellia with ericaceous compost.

Thanks Laura - I'm not totally beyond cheating!

Thanks Karin - I'll always remember your chicken factory!

Thanks Ronnie - Strange about your tulips because we're not that far apart. I do gaze at my camellia - mostly with disbelief.

Thanks Michelle - We've got a drought coming so I'll enjoy the colour while I can.

Thanks for the tip Alistair - I look forward to seeing Jack Snipes in your blog.

b-a-g said...

Thanks Deb - in their second year, most of the tulips were half-chewed as they emerged - it didn't stop them flowering though.

Thanks Carolyn - that's certainly a compliment coming from you.

Thanks Dave - Funnily enough I tried to mow yesterday but my lawnmower gave up part-way through. Maybe the crocuses will win after all!

Thanks Easygardener for looking under my net curtain today.

Lyn said...

I really love your idea of gardening as 'Experiments with Plants'. That's become my approach too, and it's always fascinating to see how the experiment turns out, even when it's not as hoped. I agree, daffodils look best in pairs - even better, I think, than in large groups, where they can be a bit overwhelming in their screaming yellowness.

Malar said...

Very funny post!
Tulips close at night?
The photos are stunning!

b-a-g said...

Thanks Lyn & Welcome - I guess you have to be even more experimental than me in your Australian garden.

Thanks Malar - Yes, tulips close at night, I have proof!

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