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Spring Cleaning The Garden

Posted Jan 29 2013 12:00am
  The weather was calm this afternoon to start with.I had cleaned the greenhouse out yesterday,and felt inspired to start clearing some winter debris away from the garden.The dead sweet peas were taken off the spiral poles,and the base of the barrel planters cleared.I think that the left hand pot has some self seeded Petunias growing away.It is obviously sheltered under the houses red bricks.I moved the metal Peacock to under the fence to try to stop the wind knocking him over.
 I cleared all the mud,seeds,and leaves that had fallen between the pots and over the path.The Hostas were cleaned up,the black Bamboo tied to the canes to support their strong growth.I trimmed off all the dead Rose branches,and finally pruned Lady Emma Hamilton.Her growth has been impressive but she was over grown and twisted branches growing into each other.I hope that this causes more fresh growth,and more flowers.

 The Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys Nigra) is lovely blowing in the wind.The leaves and stems make a nice noise as the wind blows through them.I have three pots growing with them in.I hope eventually to split them to make more Bamboo pots to go along the path.
 The Wildflower area behind the pond has been cleared,and the big perennial clumps dug out.I hope that all the dormant seeds in the soil can benefit from the light and exposed soil. Wild Things (the channel four plant program) showed seeds growing after lying underground for up to eighty years on Salisbury Plains where the British Army train with military exercises.No herbicide has been sprayed there for over fifty years.
  The wild flowers have self seeded,and should grow strongly i hope.I have added no manure or fertiliser.It is the same building soil that was here before.
 I also cleaned up some of the pond plants and tried netting the little green pond weed that has gone crazy.The plants are all thriving.The Horsetail grasses had a little resident sleeping in the muddy roots who i caught to have his photo taken.The Norfolk Reed,Moses Reed,Water Lily,and Flag Iris were all replanted in the water.
 A baby Frog leaped from the Horsetail grass.He posed for some photos before I put him back into the pond.I don't know if we had tadpoles in the pond,or whether he has migrated from another pond to climb into ours.I am pleased that the freezing ice did not put him off.The water was full of microscopic life swimming around.
I moved the cold frame back against the fence.I will grow some Leeks,and early Cabbages in here whilst the greenhouse is awaiting its new cover.
  I just watched the One Show and saw Monty Don.He has a new series starting on Friday night about French gardens.He says that Long meadow (his own garden and where they film Gardeners World) is a mud bath.He says its too early to start panicking about the weather.We need to wait and see what the weather brings this year.
  I want to clear the sunken border tomorrow of Teasels,and weeds to see whats growing.I want to split my Echinops and clear the debris of bird seed under the static feeder.The big job will be to trim the Ceanothus back into a lollipop shape that is under control.It is much too big for its allotted space.The Buddleja will also be trimmed back.I think that the Sambuca Nigra needs to be moved because the Dicentra is looking vigorous already at its base.I might get some Winter Primulas tomorrow to start dotting colour around the garden.January is a lean time for colour.My Primulas are flowering away but only in two colours.They seem to be able to survive year after year,despite being swamped in the summer by other plants.They wait under the dead plants,snow and ice,before flowering in December/January.The gardens torch bearers of a new growing season and early signs that winter will end soon.
   I get a feeling every year that makes me go outside into the garden to start preparing again for a new growing season.Maybe its something to do with the light,warmer day,or an internal gardener alarm.
  The poor year last year has made me more determined that this year will be a great one.Seeing the Baby Frog was a real buzz.I love seeing wildlife so close the the house,in an urban housing estate.
 It started pouring down with heavy rain at about four pm,and the wind is blowing the rain against the conservatory as i write this.
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