11 December 2016

Dorset Garden Diary - A Pleasant Week for Pottering and Planting

Evening everyone,

I've managed to get out in the garden this week which felt good and put a smile on my face.

Monday - incredible start to the day. There was a light mist which muted the early morning colours making it look like the world had been airbrushed with soft pastels and there was just a dusting of frost. Magical. The garden was full of blackbirds and sparrows and the blue tit gave its nesting box an inspection. In the front garden the heather Erica carnea is in flower
I haven't noticed the cottage garden heathers in flower yet. I noticed this blackbird sat on the cotoneaster outside the lounge window

Tuesday -this morning was the total opposite of yesterday, dark, damp and dismal although much milder. There was a pair of blackbirds on the workshop roof flirting and playing hard to get. Some of the fish had come up to the surface and ate all the food I put in. Now, although I think of things to do, I'm actually not much of a planner especially when it comes to exactly where in the garden plants are going to go. I'm more of a wing-it, intuitive gardener. But...I have 48 plants to put in. Some are sun and shade, some sun only and some perfect for shade only. So, I sat down this afternoon and made a plan of where all the plants are going - I was impressed.

Wednesday - roll over winter, spring is here! 13C 55F late morning to be precise. The fish were waiting for their breakfast and lunch and ate it all. I was out in the garden all morning and had to take my coat off it was so warm. The blackbirds were still flirting and a robin watched for a while as I sorted out the plants. I heard a woodpecker, that's the first time I've heard one here. And...mid morning I could hear a faint honking noise that grew louder and louder and squadrons of geese flew over, there were hundreds of them (honestly, no exaggeration) all headed for the RSPB reserve. I moved the olive and viburnum Kilimanjaro out of the greenhouse so they can enjoy the balmy weather and I cleared the fallen leaves out of the pond. Then I started on putting all the plants in.
I filled a couple of pots with festucca grass and hechera ivy.

When I emptied one of the pots I was going to use for the grass and ivy I found it was full of bulbs
I have no idea what they are so I've re-potted them - we'll find out early next year.

I planted more festucca grasses by the cauldron pond so hopefully next year they'll provide shelter for frogs that rest in the pond

I planted the gaultheria (partridge berry) in the back bed - excellent ground cover and the birds like the berries

The prunella grandiflora (excellent ground cover), pennisetum redhead (red grass), meconopsis (blue poppy) and fragrant monarda are not photogenic at the moment as they are in their dormant stage.
Thursday - rainy and warm this morning, perfect for my newly planted additions to the garden. Most of the fish were at the surface this morning enjoying the balmy morning...and hungry! By early afternoon a thick fog had descended reducing visibility to no more than a hundred yards or so (no idea what that is in metres but it's not very far!).
Friday - brighter today and still warm. The fish were up for more food and I topped up the small bird feeders although I'm sure the pigeons are managing to balance on them somehow.
Saturday - warm, foggy and damp this morning. The fish were congregated in the pond's 'dining area' waiting for breakfast. I checked the cottage garden but no sign of the heathers in flower yet. There are more small burrowed holes in parts of the garden. The patio blackcurrant has new buds
 An unknown, as the label has faded, (might be a blueberry) is coming into leaf (middle left of pic)
and the double-headed daffodils are pushing through (on right)
Sunday - colder overnight and there were pockets of mist hanging along the hedgerows. I fed the fish, checked the greenhouse then planted out more of the plant delivery. I put one asclepias to the right of the cauldron garden, one in the new flower bed by the side of the greenhouse and left one in its pot to go in the cottage garden once I've tidied it. The tradescantia went into the cauldron garden and the greenhouse beds. I have only planted out some of the tricyrtis mixed (cauldron and greenhouse beds) as a couple are for the cottage garden and a couple for out the front. One of the roots broke off as I was planting so I've put it in some soil and hopefully it will grow. I haven't quite stuck to my plan as more plants were supposed to go in the front garden but never mind, I'll take cuttings and do it next year.
So...not a bad week's gardening even though I only managed one out of the two things on my to-do list - dealing with the celeriac and the cottage garden will have to roll over on to next week's agenda. I went to the local pantomime this afternoon, Jack and the Beanstalk. Great fun...my beans don't grow like that! The weather forecast for the week ahead is mild, cloudy and rain at times so could be another good pottering week for completing my agenda. Oh, and add to that I need to plan the rockery.
Have a good week and hope you find time for gardening amongst the upcoming festive preparations. Catch up next week,
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