Friday, 7 March 2014

Life in the garden

We've had quite a few days of good weather here in the Highlands and despite todays snow shower I do believe the good weather is set to continue over the next few days. Dare I let myself believe that spring really is on its way!

I now have a polytunnel packed to the roof with perennial plants in temporary pots needing new homes. I had a half hearted attempt at counting them all while I was making a list of them but I gave up after 60 or so. I will be renovating the second half of the garden this spring but I still have no idea where I'll put all the plants especially as some of them will need winter protection.
I don't know about you guys but I never buy plants according to a planting scheme, I just have no interest in paying ridiculous amounts of money for plants I cannot guarantee will survive this harsh climate. Pretty much all my plants are either from cuttings, plants I have been gifted or those my daughter gets me free from work. I don't mind paying for them if they are ridiculously cheap but I'll still be anxious about it for days afterwards.
One problem I have is that I am no good at working out planting schemes, this is probably due to the fact that I have to use what plants I have but I do not have the 'eye' when it comes to where things should go and as a result of that I'm going to be doing alot of re-positioning of last years attempt.

One success this year has been the Rose cuttings I took in the autumn. It really was a half hearted attempt as I never believed they would work but as well as the ones in the raised beds being 99% taken I'm also finding cuttings in my borders that I don't remember doing.
It's such a 'me' thing to do - not recording where I put them - but I'm finding these little cuttings sprouting all over my garden borders

Golden showers rose cutting

On 26th Feb I sowed sweetpea for the garden and the polytunnel and I think this year it has sprouted in record time

Sweetpea cuttings.

The blossom on the Plum tree seemed to appear overnight. I've seen absolutely no pollinating insects around just now so I'm having to hand pollinate in the hope that I can improve on last years lack lustre result of one fruit. This is one of the down sides to a polytunnel here in the Highlands - plants such as the fruit trees have to stay in it over winter for the protection (the ones outside have karked it) but the sheltered warmer atmosphere in there encourages blossom way too early.
I now have to make the decision do I keep them in year after year and hand pollinate or plant them out in the most sheltered spot I can find and use them as structure only in the garden - they won't flower and set fruit outside up here.
As large as my polytunnel is the numerous fruit trees are dwarfing it and they're quite awkward to work around. Decisions!

Plum tree blossom

The hens have not stopped producing eggs all winter which is most unusual for them, we normally get a couple of months when they stop but this year has been the exception, could this be a sign of a good summer????
Anyway they've finally been able to get out of their runs over the last few days and despite one end of their run being very dry dirt they all literally fought over this dirt area outside the coal shed. They look amazingly scruffy here but they were loving every minute of the dirt!

Hens in dustbath


  1. I was wondering how come your plum tree was flowering and ours wasn't - then you mentioned polytunnel. Our apricot tree is beginning to flower outdoors so I'm hoping next week will be a good one

  2. I share your planting skills. I'll be moving the big ones to the back, small ones to the front etc and I will keep a record of what is where.(said that last year but you know.....)


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