Wednesday, 29 April 2009

An End of April Update

Hey guys,

Im sorry its been nearly 3 weeks since my last post- sorry about that!

Well whats been happening?

Hermione is still broody- I gave up dunking the chicken in the pond to cure her after about 3 days as it didn't seem to be working! And plus the neighbours were giving me funny looks. She gets turfed out of the nest box twice a day to feed and drink. And now just as Hermione might be coming out of it Flo has decided to get broody aswell! But they both like the same nest box so it's a bit of a squeeze in there for them! So that means no one is laying at the moment- we might have to start buying eggs again!

The under planting along the shady borders is almost finished with the addition of more ferns, Geranium phaeum, a saxifrage, Arisaemas, Rodgersias, Astillboides, Astilbe, Persicaria Red Dragon, Lamium, Sweet Woodruff and some Arisarum europaeum.

The tender plants have now been brought up out of the cellar and out from the kitchen and lounge where they spent the winter. Of the plants that spent the winter in the cellar in total darkness- the green Ensete ventricosum looks dead, and sadly my Passion Flower ‘Sunburst’ only bought last year at Hampton Court doesn't look like its made it. But on the plus side the Ensete Maurellii and Montbelliardii seem to be fine are pushing out new leaves already. Another Passion Flower and the variegated Brugmansia are also fine with this period of darkenss and no water!
Above are my new Agave parryii which i bought from a garden centre back in January which had the most extraordinary large collection of agaves and aloes. The larger Agave on the right is Agave macroacantha Blue - which i bought from a nursery in Germany many years ago.

The beds have been mulched with some well rotted manure which has made the garden look very smart and neat with all the fresh foliage coming through. My new Thyme's are now potted up in matching pots to give the bees some food when they all flower.

The Musa basjoo seem to have mostly come through the winter fine even those unprotected- however those left to fend for themselves ive found ive had to cut more off the top of the stems to find new growth- the Musa sikkimensis haven’t done quite so well. The pups are all dead (not surprising as I didn't protect them) and had to cut off 3ft from the main trunk which was protected with fleece.

The tadpoles have hatched and have become fat black wiggly commas in the wildlife pond.

Most of the large plants have begun to sprout including the Robinia, Fig, Albizias- but my Manihot has not sprouted yet- much to my dismay! Fingers crossed it is just late this year! And the Marsh Marigolds are flowering in the pond. Below is a photo of my Schleffera impressa cool hand like new shoots.

The early purple tulips looked fantastic on the front porch but sadly are over now- with some pale pink ones taking their place with some late Muscari. (see top photo)

The cats seem to be enjoying the sunshine anyhow!

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