I feel like I have to take advantage of every second I can to get out in the garden at the moment before it gets so cold that I can’t bear to step away from the warmth of the house. I hate being cold, but I also know that I need to keep on top of the garden through the winter as well as the warmer months so I’m going to have to take a deep breath and get on with it. I may have to summon my inner snowman.
Yet again I forgot to do my online shopping yesterday so I had to pop up to Tesco first thing today (bought crisps, cheese and other delectables and not one piece of fruit or veg! This is why I normally do it online, so we don’t get scurvy – that and I can’t deal with the general public when they’re in charge of a trolley) but I whizzed round so I could get back to my beloved garden.
I’m so in love with my new planter that my Dad made and I really wanted to keep my gardening momentum going so I roped in hubby to assist and we headed out to the planter. First I wanted to turn the planter around so we could see all the tiers from our kitchen and back bedroom windows. It’s surprisingly heavy but we managed between us.
Our garden unfortunately slopes upwards pretty much all the way from the end of the patio to the back fence, so we decided to dig down slightly so that the planter sits flat. This had the added advantage of giving us some soil to fill the planter with. Our soil is pretty good, so I like to use it when I can.
Whilst hubby was doing the digging, I set to making holes in the rubber which lines the planter to make sure it has adequate drainage.
So here’s the empty planter, levelled and with drainage holes installed.
We then added some polystyrene to the deeper sections of the planter. This allows for more drainage, but also helps to fill up some space so we needed less soil to fill it.
We then started to fill the planter with the displaced soil from underneath. There was actually a fair bit because there really is quite a slope, but it wasn’t enough to fill it so we headed up to Homebase (which, incidentally is opposite Tesco – I do sometimes spend my day going in circles!)
My new birthday wheelbarrow came in handy when we got home with three 100 litre bags of all-purpose compost (and a bath plug because ours has gone missing. I know! No idea!)
We judged it perfectly, 300 litres was exactly what was needed.
Time for the fun stuff to start! What’s going in it? said hubby. I gestured towards the front of the garden where all my new birthday grasses were swaying in the breeze next to the plant hospital where all my sale table plants spend some recuperation time before going to their forever homes. How to decide! The only one I knew was definitely going in there was my Cordyline. After a bit of trial and error, I decided on these.
There’s a mixture of sale table and birthday plants in there. The Cordyline is back left and moving clockwise we have Pink Damask, Carex Testacea, Ivy, Juncus Spiralis, Helleborus Christmas Carol, Carex Milk Chocolate, two Cyclamen and Calluna Vulgaris. Calluna Vulgaris always seems to me to be an awful name for such a pretty pretty plant, but despite the horrible nomenclature, it translates literally as common heather.
Here is the completed article (for now, I may always decide that it needs to be fuller!) Drumroll …….
The eagle eyed amongst you will notice that the soil in front of the planter looks like it has been tilled, and you would be right. In that soil are approximately seventy bulbs. Immediately next to the front of the planter is a row of daffodils interspaced with alliums and in front of that are five clusters of crocuses. The daffodils and crocuses were a birthday present, and the alliums were free with any purchase at Notcutts. I had a few left over so I put them behind the ivy in the planter. Keep your fingers crossed that none of our resident squirrels decide they’d make a good supper!
I need to find some patience now because the shrubs planted around the planter all have a long way to go until they reach their full size. There’s a Hydrangea, an Acer, a Leptospurmum, a Coprosma and of course, my beautiful Eupatorium. I think the area will look slightly unfinished until they all grow somewhat more. It’s a work in progress, but for now I’m very happy with it.
One final note on my Eupatorium which you can see in the background. Any excuse to show photos of this plant because I really love it and it’s growing so well. It was probably about a foot and a half tall when I brought it home, and only a few inches wide, but now it’s really big and willowy, and today I noticed that it’s growing some flowers. This makes me happy happy happy.
Hope everyone’s had a lovely weekend. Feel free to comment and let me know what you’ve been up to – I’d love to know.
Until next time.