Tulips, Pots and Saucers.

The beginning of November saw the planting of pots with, crocus, iris, narcissus and species rock tulips.

Old hanging baskets used to keep the squirrels away.

Two large pots either side of the banana bench were planted with Tulip ‘Abu Hassan’, Siberian Wallflowers and Forget-me-Nots.

When the rain finally eased I managed to complete planting my remaining tulip bulbs.

Those of you who regularly follow my blog will know that I rotate dahlias with tulips in the raised beds edging the patio. Last year I used three bulb saucers for the tulips as an experiment to see if it was any easier, when it came to lifting them in the spring.

I was suitably impressed to use them for all the tulips in these beds this year. I purchased extra ones to have four 30cm ones for each bed. One hundred flaming spring green tulip bulbs were shared out between the eight saucers, four pots of Camassia leichtlinii ‘Blue Heaven’ saved from last year, Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ planted around the edge with Wallflower ‘Vulcan’, grow from seed planted in July, in between the bulbs. Forget-me-Not’s will be added in the spring from self-sown ones from around the garden.

Hopefully they will all be putting on a show for our opening on the 2nd and 3rd of May, in aid of the village church, when we will have a plant stall to raise funds for St Richards Hospice, based in Worcester.

Here’s looking forward to Spring.

Top Ten for March.

Weather lore says: “March, in like a lion out like a lamb.”

March is a month of transition, a much used word of late. In a gardening context I think emergence is a more suitable label. The garden and plants are emerging from winter into spring.

It was traditionally the month for planting spring crops, mainly spring barley, when the  March winds would help to dry out the soil as it was cultivated in preparation for the drill. Warm April showers would follow to help germinate the seed.

Joining in with Chloris at the Blooming Garden  and the other bloggers posting their top ten flowers of the month, I decided to post pictures of emerging flower buds and leaves,( There is a theme emerging here!)

These pictures were taken during the month – we haven’t recently had snow.

Forever the optimist, here are my ten ‘potential’ flowers to brighten the spring garden.

 

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Tulip ‘Red Riding Hood’.
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Allium Kartaviense
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Fritillaria ‘William Rex’, already producing its distinctive smell!
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Hyachinth ‘Blue Pearl’.
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Camassia leichtlinii ‘Sacajawea’
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Camellia
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Magnolia ‘Stella’
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Paeonia Lactiflora ‘Duchesse de Nemours’.
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Rhododendron Yakushimanum ‘Grumpy’
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Hydrangea.
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Even the Head Gardener emerges occasionally!

Please visit Chloris and see what she and all the other bloggers have posted as their Top Ten.

What is emerging in your garden?

Chris, Camassia & Chaos.

Our gardening club, The Black Pear Gardening Club, meets monthly, with speakers during the winter months and garden visits during the summer.

For the February meeting we welcomed Stella Exley from Hare Spring Cottage Plants, York.

The Title of her talk was ‘Chris, Camassia and Chaos’.

Stella regaled us with accounts of the trials and tribulations she went through to provide camassia to Chris Beardshaw for his RHS Chelsea gold medal winning garden in 2015.

It started with a chance meeting at Arley Hall show, following which Chris contacted Stella, to arrange a visit to her nursery.  She holds the national collection of camassia and grows other hardy perennials.

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He showed Stella his plans for the show garden and she agreed to grow 2000 camassia, individually in pots, to provide the 1000 that he needed.
In order to do this she decided to actually grow 4000, this was on top of the 10,000 that she normally grew, nearly all single handed!

All her plants are grown outside on the floor with only a small poly tunnel and greenhouse to work in. That winter they were ‘blessed’ with two periods of snow which held back the development of the camassia. With her experience of growing them she knew they could not be forced on under cover, even if she had the facilities to do so.
The decision was made to rotate them in and out of the poly tunnel, for only two hours during the day and four hours at night, which she did wearing a head torch. She then started to feed them carefully with liquid feed so as not to scorch the leaves.

Chris visited the nursery to see the camassia in flower for the first time just before the show.camassia-gallery-about-gallery-07

Delighted with what he saw he asked Stella to choose the ones that would go on to the lorry for the garden. To make it more difficult they had to be transported trailer at a time down the narrow track to the waiting artic lorry.

Stella ended by showing us pictures of the gold medal winning garden.

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Following a question and answer session, she was busy selling some of the many pots of camassia she had brought with her all the way from North Yorkshire.
There was general agreement that this was one of the most interesting talks we have had.

Stella and the pots of Camassia she brought for sale at the meeting.

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I succumbed to the ‘Charms’ of Camassia leichtlinii ‘Sacajawea’ for our Green and white garden. It has ivory white flowers with variegated foliage.

You can visit Stella’s website: Hare Spring Cottage Plants.

The website for the Black Pear gardening Club: BPGC

Do you grow camassia?

Unless indicated otherwise all pictures are published with Stella Exley’s permission.