This weekend I have been flitting about from job to job in the garden. I have:
- Potted on some Monarda which were looking a bit sad in modules that were being overrun by moss. They had impressive root systems nonetheless.
- Pricked out numerous seedlings, moving them on to half seed trays. In some cases there are zillions of tiny seedlings so I decided life is too short to fiddle about pricking them out individually. I grabbed clumps of them and effectively turned them into station sowings. I think they’ll fight it out, with the strongest seedling in each bunch surviving the scrap.
- Performed some greenhouse juggling to make some space on the heated bench. The dormant dahlia tubers, potted up just last weekend, have been shunted out onto normal, unheated staging. Some verbena bonariensis that I’d been nursing through traumas incurred when I accidently dug them up last year have gone into the cold frame where they will be fine. There is thus room in the heated bench for all the trays of pricked out seedlings, bit of room to spare even.
- Freegled spare seedlings. I’ve decided to just prick out two or three times what I need, leaving the rest to give away. How restrained of me!
- Read some of my new addition to the garden library. Bought it 2nd hand, £2.28. Proper bargain and very informative. Now that I am the owner of a multitude of clematis I need all the help I can get…
- Sowed some veg. Broad beans, carrots, tomatoes, leeks, parsley. Except for the tomatoes, I had plenty of seeds for a second sowing later in the month. I want to construct a watering reservoir system for the tomatoes this year. More on that later in the spring.
- Fitted the thermostat to the heated bench. The warming cable has been on 24×7 since I commissioned the bench and now it’s less cold it’s probably working harder than it should. The thermostat should keep it steady at 20 degrees and save me a few bob in the process.
- Checked out the anemone root cuttings for root growth. To my surprise, despite the impressive top growth, there were no new roots at all. None! All that new growth is being supported by whatever juice is left in the bit of root I used to make the cuttings.
- Made a list of all the plants I should have at my disposal and their characteristics for border planning purposes. There’s quite a lot of varieties, never mind plants. It’s actually a laughably ridiculous amount. Friends and family watch out, inbound plants! Worth a separate post at some point by way of an inventory.
- Pruned the dogwood back to the framework. Medieval pruning, but it has not been done for a few years and the stem colour has faded to a reddy brown. I am expecting it to throw out lots of new, bright red growth. As a fringe benefit, there will be less shading on the lawn for a while so I have a chance of beating the moss into submission this year.
- Potted up a solitary clematis tangutica seedling, sown back in July last year.Not sure if any more will make it through the substantial layer of moss, but will leave it to it for now, they can take an age to germinate.
- Pruned my several clematis plants to 6 to 12 inches from ground level, back to a nice strong set of buds. These are the plants I have had for a while, pre-dating my clematis binge of a few weeks back.I do love clematis at this time of year. They are revving their engines on the starting grid, ready to speed off.
So, quite a busy weekend garden-wise. I still have a bunch of clematis to plant out, that’ll have to wait. Didn’t get around to any border planning either, but I do at least have the list of available plants to make a start.