Well, it is the Vernal Equinox today. Day and night are the same length … and so we can look forward to increasingly lovely, long days and outside living. I’ve been clearing up the patio in preparation. Moving bird feeders off the edge of the pergola, moving the olive trees out from beneath the shelter of the wisteria, uncovering the wooden table and moving the accompanying chairs back outside. I may not expect to have a BBQ any time soon, but I am ready and we can now take tea breaks out there any time.
Apart from all that, of course, it is time for Six on Saturday with Mr Propagator: Sharing six gardening related things:
1 Wild Daffodils
Every autumn I plant a few more bulbs in the wild meadow patch at the end of the garden. Sometimes it’s camassias, sometimes crocuses and scillas, sometimes it’s snakes-head fritillaries, but whatever I choose I always add another 50 bulbs of narcissus pseudonarcissus, wild daffodils. They can be a bit slow to show in their first year and 50 isn’t exactly a huge number over the area, but since there is now an established population pool they are showing up nicely from the house this year.
2 First Peacock Butterfly
It was cheering to see the first Peacock butterfly of the year yesterday when the sun was out:
Yes, you’ve probably noticed the moss in the lawn. It is a good year for that too, but in my defense, this is the same rough grass area that the wild daffodils were planted in! We will completely gloss over the state of the rest of the lawn.
3 Castor Oil Seedlings
Ready, steady, take off:
That’s zero to >10cm in a week. These seeds were positively bursting to germinate. Sown on the 8th March, the photos show the progress on 13th and 15th March. To think that I was worried that I hadn’t soak them at all! Last time I tried them, they were reluctant growers for me. Now, the challenge is that I just have to keep them in pots till the frosts have passed.
Our grape hyacinths are in various stages of bud/flower. The gorgeous, scented ones: Muscari muscarimi (top left) and Muscari macrocarpum ‘Golden Fragrance’ (bottom right) are wafting tantalising perfume in the mini greenhouse. The stripey one (Muscari azureum I think, top right) has been a little nibbled by slugs and the Muscari armeniacum ‘Valerie Finnis’ (bottom left) are just emerging from their munched off leaves (Muntjac – who ate all the crocuses on the edge too 😦 )
You may remember that I started a miscellaneous ‘exotic’ seed mix (Mac’s mix XIV from Chiltern Seeds) in January and that I had an instant response into growth from what looked like convolvulus seedlings. Well, I can now report that at least some of them are already in flower … in the bedroom.
They look like Ipomoea Cardinal Climber, with fern-like leaves. The heart-shaped leaved ones have not started into flower yet, but are so far looking like the trumpet kind, such as ‘Grandpa Otts’ or ‘Heavenly blue’.
6 Chasmanthe ‘Saturnus’
Oh dear, I’ve discovered the plant retailer ‘Farmer Gracy‘. Big mistake. I now get tempting emails every few days. Last month I purchased a dozen delicious dahlias. This month it was persicaria ‘Fat Domino’, as I am always admiring it in Cathy’s vases (e.g. here) … plus these Cobra lilies (Chamanthe floribunda ‘Saturnus’, a crocosmia relative). I thought that it would be fun to compare how they get on along side the ‘Lucifer’ crocosmia stand. They may take a year to settle down though.
I’ll report back in the summer, so long as they flower.
That’s it for today. You can check out other Sixer’s Spring posts via the comment section on Jonathon’s post.