Finding help in the garden
After reading themiddlesizedgarden.com blog about how to find a gardener, I used Gardeners Guild listing and found someone whom I shall call JR. She has been once so far and very helpfully tackled the front garden.
She showed me that taking a shrub out of its pot and popping it in a hole is no good at all. The roots won’t bother to leave the rootball shape and the plant will probably die. It benefits from shredding the outside of the rootball with a sharp knife to completely alter the shape it was in the pot. JR dug up everything I had recently planted and replanted them again properly.
Shrubs for screening
My idea to create an instant screen to break the eye between the sitting room and the road is working well. I wrote in November that when I took out some big shrubs in the front garden I left myself with a view of our front bumper and the cars across the road. Not great.
All my honeysuckles are a complete tangled mess. As they flower in summer and not spring I know I should shear them right back to maybe chest height or lower and they will flower on new growth. That takes courage and I think “Mmmmm not today.” A perfect job for JR who will be more confident than me.
Sarcococca shrubs for scent
I love this close-up of two sarcococca shrubs, two different varieties with different leaves and flower colours but both highly scented all winter. Once they have finished flowering, I can prune them to keep them in proportion to other shrubs. These plants send a shoot along the ground and pop up making a new plant a few feet away – called suckering. Really useful if you want them to spread. They do it themselves.
Lovely pots doing well
I planted up these pots in October with advice from Harriet Rycroft’s online course on container gardening. They have looked this good all winter even after a covering of snow. I have great hopes that they will fill out and look fabulous, the greens of the grasses contrasting so well with the golden yellow of the pots. I imagine I can inject a little jewel colour in the summer by popping in some nasturtium seeds or squeezing in a bit of summer bedding.
Chelsea Physic Garden
Every Thursday I volunteer in the office at Chelsea Physic Garden welcoming visitors, answering the phone and stuffing envelopes. It is such a joyful place to be all year round and as we have a great cafe there, the place is always buzzing with friends meeting up. Dear Readers, do please come and visit and if you come on a Thursday, let me know and we can say hello.
This Six on Saturday is part of a meme hosted by the Propagator on whose blog today you will find other people’s Six blog posts. Huge Thankyou to him for making it all happen.
8 comments on "London cottage garden in February"
I think your garden, back and front! is looking good. Very good advice as well about planting shrubs to. Very envious to about your lovely Thursday job!,,, Have been there once before and thought it was lovely. Look forward to seeing your posts to see how Spring progressives Can’t wait for Spring, can you.
Thankyou Patricia. By the way, the Garden always welcomes people who have time to volunteer in the office so maybe you or your friends would like to think about doing that. Best wishes, Julie
Nice reminders about taking plants out of pots & to go look at my own honeysuckle. I’m surprised your sarcoccoca sends out suckers – to me, that would be wonderful news. I’ve never had one do that before. Is this common to all sarcs or are yours a type prone to spreading?
Thankyou Lora, well I don’t know if all sarcococcas do that but I need to look that up. Mine are just the common ones and produce little ones all over the place which I too think is great! I don’t try to dig them up or move them, just leave them. They grow very slowly. Best wishes Julie
I think your garden looks great at this time of year Julie, love the Sarcococca as well one of my favourite shrubs the physic garden is on my list of must visit sometime this year!
Thanks so much Thomas and do do please come to CPG. Please come on a Thursday so we can meet (and I can usher you in free on my membership card). Just let me know when you are coming. best wishes, Julie
That’s a lovely six! I share with you the hesitation to chop down the honeysuckle, with the result that now it is a monster pouf on one corner of the pergola! Maybe this year..
I intend to tackle that honeysuckle and will post pictures of the trimmed plant when it’s done. Thankyou for your comment and good luck with yours.