Saturday 8th March and no frost!
The weather forecast for the last couple of days has been predicting a heavy frost and very cold temperatures for today. I finally stirred myself and decided to give some of my shrubs some winter protection. So far we have had the mildest winter I can remember and I haven’t bothered to wrap anything up. I really only have two shrubs that get badly damaged by frost : my Acer ‘Little Princess’….and my Photinia ‘Red Robin’. As last year was their first winter I did the right thing and wrapped them both up – didn’t look very pretty but it kept them warm. Unfortunately, I then took off the wrapping far too early. In my defence we did have the longest winter ever last year – everything was about a month behind up here. So both plants suffered bad frost damage to their new leaves and shoots.
So yesterday I finally used the new fleece wrapping I had bought last Autumn and wrapped up the Photinia. It is quite difficult as it is also in a very windy area – the wind just whips around both sides of my house from the West.
The Acer, in our tiny Japanese garden, was easier. This plant is now actually smaller than when we bought it – but I am expecting great things of it this year – if I can protect it from any late frosts. I know it isn’t really how you should treat a princess but this plant just got a bucket over its head together with some very useful padding that I have been saving for several years.
I can’t even remember where the padding came from now, but I remember clearly how it came with instructions about how useful it could be after it had finished packing whatever it was packing. I was glad to finally prove them right.
Today I woke up hoping to take some lovely photos of the frost on the garden…………but nothing. It is cold and windy, but no frost.
I will probably keep the wrapping on the plants for a couple of days anyway as the wind is rather nasty, but we are due some lovely mild weather next week. Don’t worry I will let my Little Princess see the light during the day.
A nice surprise. . .
I can report that my little plum tree is really alive! It has made it through the winter without so much as a bubble let alone a froth. I have suspected the buds were growing for about a week now and yesterday I confirmed they were really getting bigger.
Now, I am pretty expert at pruning large shrubs; you know the ones where you just chop back indiscriminately until the shrub is about the right size, but I have no idea where to start on fan-trained fruit trees. I had a thought, as I looked at the new buds, that it would be a lot easier to just rub off some of the buds that were growing in the wrong place rather than wait for the tree to grow the branch, make leaves and then have it all cut off. I don’t think I would dare at this stage, but does anyone have any thoughts on this?
I am very pleased, at the moment, with a little border on the South side of the house. (see top picture) This border used to be filled with very poor soil which was only about four inches deep. It is South facing, but shaded by next door’s house. It is also very windy. It has always been rather a challenge to grow anything here. For several years I did get some lovely nasturtiums in the summer; they even used to self seed and come up again as good as ever. Then for some reason they stopped doing very much. I persisted with nasturtiums for several years trying different seeds and although they seemed to grow well in different parts of the garden they didn’t do much in this border.
So now I have dug out the border, made it deeper and filled it with better soil. I have planted lavender which is a first for me. I can never really get over the fact that lavender reminds me of being old. I don’t really like the smell either. However, I am rather stuck for plants that will grow in such a narrow windy border. When I saw some French lavender being sold off in the garden centre I decided to give it a try. I have planted some little narcissus in between. It is so nice to see something growing here instead of a barren waste every time I walk up my path. And who knows I might finally get over my aversion to lavender.
The other side of the path is filled with pale purple Primula Denticulata, which are just about to flower. I have planted some white dwarf narcissus between them, although not many signs of flower buds developing there. We shall see.
Elsewhere in the garden spring continues to move forward with tulips and daffodils growing, herbaceous perennials getting larger and the spring flowering shrubs showing promise of blossom. About now I start looking anxiously at my purple lilac tree to see if it is going to flower this year. It is quite an old tree now and sometimes just feels like a year off (who can blame it!). It takes a while before you can tell whether the little buds contain just leaves or little blossoms. The tree didn’t have a single flower last year, but the year before it was magnificent. Here’s hoping. . . . .
Next Garden Post: Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day: March in Aberdeen