The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Monday, August 16, 2010

LBE Marches On

A couple of good afternoon's work have been done in the LBE.

Saturday saw the violas and hibiscuses make it into LB9.

I followed that up with weeding (yet again) the bottom foot or so of LB10, 11 and 12. LB10 has now also been planted up with alternating patches of the black and then pink ajugas, sourced from LB12 where they are now 2 years+old. These themselves were sourced from two plants that I actually bought and planted in LB1 the first summer we moved up here and are still going strong. They are garden thugs but are doing a fine job of edging the LBE, with very few other than the fiercely determined weeds now getting through in LB12. Not bad for an initial outlay of three quid!

I found this growing amongst the weeds in LB10. Not sure what it is but it doesn't look like a weed so I have transplanted and will await its development with interest.

The primroses that I transplanted in the spring seem to like their new environs and are now large enough that I am contemplating dividing them again. One is even flowering! I did divide one of the primulas that I bought from Edrom nursery earlier this year into three healthy looking plants.

I have also been experimenting with the sedum/saxifrage/antennaria that I bought in the spring. When I first got them I pulled of a rosette from each and just popped then into the ground. Similarly with an old house leek that I had brought up in a pot from Sandhurst. They all seem to have taken - indeed the house leek rosette is now a good two inches across.

The sedum now has three rosettes. So spurred on I have pulled off a few more and popped them into the dirt path, hoping they will spread and keep the weeds down. I just have to be careful to avoid stomping on them.

All the parents are doing well and if I am successful will hopefully provide me with a lot more plants - if not they should be big enough for me to divide next spring anyway.

Yesterday I got out there again after lunch - the sun came out after an unpromising morning.

More weeding of the middle section of LB9 and 10, and I then planted the salvia and the penstemons.

One of the penstemons had a stem snapped off as I got it out of the packaging, so I decided to take some cuttings from it. Now I have never done this before so I was not too hopeful. But I could see four reasonable shoots so I cut them off below a leaf joint at a length of somewhere between two and three inches, removed the lower leaves and popped them into a pot filled with a mix of compost and grit. Then I gave them a good watering and they flopped over looking very sad. I placed the pot in my little propagator on the utility room windowsill. This morning when I checked on them they were all looking quite perky. Having looked in one of my gardening books it appears I have done almost text book stem tip cuttings without knowing it - the example they showed was even a penstemon. Hopefully they should root in two to three weeks time, and then I need to pot them on and plant out next spring. This could open a whole new source of plants to me if it works :)

I then moved on to the trellis bed to divide the iris that Anne gave me a couple of years back. Armed with a fork and spade I eventually managed to remove a good sized clump of it which has yielded ten new plants. Back to the LB9 and they are now in. Penny arrived whilst I was replanting them. It still looks pretty bare in places but give it a year or two to see where I do need more planting. The narrow bed along the bottom of the wall, however, is filling in very nicely.

I had been planning on making a start on the bottom of LB8 but it was actually too hot to do anything too strenuous. So after taking the dogs out and having a coffee we relocated to LB1 to finish weeding there - discovery of a wasp nest had scuppered us the last time but a copious dusting of ant/wasp powder at the dead of night a while back seemed to do the trick.

And finally the joys of gardening

coming across this self-sown cyclamen flowering away - parent in pot long since disappeared. It obviously likes it more there than where I have unsuccessfully tried to grow them.

and to think I almost pulled this out in the spring thinking it was dead and it was getting in the way of my weeding

and the discovery of a new shoot on one of the ceanothuses that never made it in to the garden last year, and has looked to all intents and purposes dead since the winter.

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