Thursday, 12 February 2015

In Need of my Spring Fix

The weather seems to have subtly changed here in East Lancashire. It is still cold, but finally all the snow is melted and there have been no frosts for a few days now. When this happens I find my mind turning towards Spring time and all that joy to come. I love seeing the first snowdrops, which are nodding their white heads in my garden now.

My small narcissus are  growing nicely too although my daffodils are yet to appear.

At this point I would usually be reaching for the compost and seed packets, desperate to get growing things, but I am forcing myself to wait this year as I am always too early. I have decided that the first week of March will be my first planting, desperate though I am. For someone who isn't interested in gardening this itching to start planting must seem like a strange desire, but anyone who has grown plants from seeds knows that this is one of the most exciting times of the gardening year.

I have given into my planting fix by buying an azalea which is going to go in a pot. One afternoon I was sitting in my arbour with a cuppa looking at the garden from a different angle and I realised I was misssing a trick. At one end of my deck is a lovely azalea that has rich purple flowers when they come and on the other side of the deck was nothing. I thought a pair would look nice at opposite ends. I am not usually one for symmetry but this appealed to my gardening eye. The other factor was that it is in a very pretty pot that I got for free from freecycle and I had another one exactly the same with nothing in it currently so they really will be symmetrical. Just to mix it up I got one with pink flowers though instead. It is currently residing in my greenhouse awaiting potting up - this afternoons job so photos will follow.

Has anyone else given in to the planting temptation?

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Any ideas anyone?

I have a gardening dilemma.
I have a planter with trellis attached that I have had for 2 years. It is a cheap and nasty thing but if I could get something to climb up it then it could look really nice over Summer.
Here is a photo of it:

The problem with it is that it only fits a window box planter in so I can't use it to grow anything that needs lots of space for deep roots, so I am looking for annual climbers that don't need lots of root space. So far over the last two years I have had zero success with it - first year I planted sweet peas and because they grow deep they did absolutely nothing, second year I planted morning glory and black eyed susan and these were both also a complete non starter.

So it is time to ask the people who follow my blog if they have any good ideas, I do want to grow annuals in it and am planning growing from seed.
Here are some ideas I got off the internet:

Spanish Flag
Cup and Saucer Plant
Twining snap dragon
Purple bell vine.

I have never grown any off these before so rather than make a mistake for a third year running and end up with nothing has anyone any experience of growing these or any other annuals in fairly shallow planters?

All ideas welcome.