Wednesday, 13 May 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow? // Alliums and Plumlings

This is a bit of a mammoth post, so buckle in and apologies in advance!

It's almost halfway through May already and things are looking much lovelier in our garden. It's still very much a work in progress but I feel myself daydreaming about how it'll look this time next year, when everything is a little bit more mature. There are also lots of other things I would like to add, but for now I will concentrate on getting some of the poor, impulse-buy plants I bought a couple of weeks ago into pots or into the ground so they don't wither away any more than they already have!

Last week I was given thyme, rosemary and lavender plants by my boss as a congratulations for passing my NVQ. I thought that was so lovely and thoughtful, I just hope I can keep them alive!! She has since given me four different types of chilli plant too, I am hoping to make use of my new plastic greenhouse thingy and put them in there but it needs securing first. It either blew over or was knocked over by cats two days in a row last week and I sadly lost two hanging baskets that I was trying to get to sprout. Compost everywhere!

<pic of herbs to follow>

The pots I planted last year need a bit of work. I didn't know I was supposed to fill them with compost right to the top so the plants look very awkward and a bit messy with all the leaves struggling to spill over the edge like they should. I also planted a mix in each - grape hyacinths, alliums, crocuses and baby daffs - in hindsight I should've put each in their own pot so I could at least tidy them up a bit once they'd been and gone. Not to wish them away but I am looking forward to getting stuck in once the alliums have gone.

In fact the alliums have been a really exciting flower to watch grow. They're so tall and the buds have been really fat and tinged with lilac for the last couple of weeks. This weekend they finally popped and they're looking lovely. We had gale-force winds here last week which explains the unusual angle of my tallest flower! I am going to be checking these every day, I really hope they bloom to that lovely ball-shape that attracted me to them.

The big news is my husband brought some pallets home from work and made us this awesome bench! I would like to stain it and seal it, and perhaps make a seat pad or some cushions for it. I like the idea of using old coffee sacks to make them, I think the colours might go well with the wood of the pallets. What do you think? It's really comfy!

I have still not got round to planting any fruit or veg seeds. Well except some seed potatoes that are sprouting nicely! I'll cover them over again in the next day or two. I had the foresight to plant 10 seed potatoes so I can tell whether any more grow or not. It's not like me to be so forward-thinking!

As you know, the ones I planted in October last year were all dug up by the cats but strangely one little lambs lettuce head is thriving in the ruined window box, and it has little flowers on it now. I certainly won't be picking cat poo lettuce to eat though! Nick put some shelves up on the fence for the window boxes to sit on (again out of pallets!) to keep them out of the way. It is nice to know something will grow in there, in that part of the garden, if it can go undisturbed by naughty paws. 

I did plant some 'rhubarb and custard' coloured ranunculus bulbs in one of the window boxes, then sprinkled the top with a wildflower mix I bought in Aldi for £2.99. I was also pretty liberal with the mix on our flower bed, so hopefully we'll get some blooms this year, or next. There are a couple of little shoots emerging now, I didn't think I'd be so excited! Hopefully the ranunculus will make an appearance soon. If nothing else, gardening is teaching me patience!

The flower bed is coming along nicely, the shrubs we were given by Nick's parents seem to be doing well... even if I don't know the names of them! Do you? I've tried to put a close up after the whole plant.

We call this one 'the yellow pom-pom' !!

This one has been pruned back because it was spreading
out to the front, like it wanted to crawl along the ground.


We also have a new pale pink clematis in the bed, which seems to have withered away a bit, and I have bought a hybrid clematis with purple flowers to go along side it. I hope they'll intertwine. Nick said he'll hang another couple of trellis panels underneath the ones we have so they can reach. I wonder if I'm a bit too late for them to grow much more now? Hopefully they haven't been abused too much and will bounce back?!

<I'll add a pic of the clematis when I get home tonight, I forgot to take one!>

We've got another climbing plant too, it's a bit wild and seems to want to latch on to its neighbours. I wonder if I need to cable it together a bit so it doesn't take over everything? We try to tuck its arms into the trellis when they get long enough.

Our plum tree is doing pretty well too. I was amazed this morning when I went to have a closer look and - am I right in thinking - we have tiny plums growing?! *snigger* I am the wrong person for buying a plum tree because 'plum' makes me laugh every time.
Even better is Nick's dubbed these 'plumlings'... hahaha!

Finally, I wanted to share these lovely snaps from April because I was too busy to share then but they're too good not to. See if you can spot who came to visit. A proud moment for this wannabe gardener. Also some rather nice ones of my grape hyacinths and baby daffs, too. Until next time!

How Does Your Garden Grow? Mammasaurus
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Huge thanks to Mammasaurus for this lovely linky.

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