Friday 4 February 2011

A flowering Spring Meadow or The Lawn must go!

What a difference a day makes! Glorious sunshine yesterday and warmth on my back. Set out  an outdoor potting station as I couldn't resist the feel of the sun on my face.  Caught up with the last of my bulb planting( I know very late!) and then whilst furking around amongst my old terracotta pots stumbled upon the pots full of snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis that I had hastily planted last year.  Whoops! Nearly forgot these little beauties...

As the 'Galanthophile' season approaches I was feverishly kicked into action by my little pots of joy. Carol Klein's atmospheric new gardening programme, Life in a Cottage Garden, was also freshly imprinted on my mind.  I've lusted after great swathes of snowdrops for eternity and have been slowly, slowly dividing and re-planting just as Carol demonstrated so enthusiastically.  This year I ordered 500 bulbs to hasten my painfully slow process. So, quick change of gardening strategy for the day ( ever thus!) and I was off to plant these little rays of pure white hope.

I have decided that the large green expanse at the front of my house needs attention.  It is far too boring.  To the left, under the big old sycamores I have a great wildflower scene developing but the right hand side has remained that sterile bastion of masculine pride and joy, a lawn!  What better way than to start with some bulbs and create an early flowering mead.

 I had also potted up some later flowering Snowflakes, Leucojum aestivum  which I also admire for their clear fresh foliage and taller, nodding bells of pure white.  Scattered around my borders I have some random plantings of primroses too.  I decided to lift and divide these, planting them en masse through the turf at my gate will make more of a statement than the isolated groupings at present.  Division was easily done and the ground was superb for this job, soft and wet, easy to just split the grass and literally poke the plants in, folding the lifted turf around them.

In my small nursery area I remembered that I had some left-over pots of sweet woodruff, Galium odoratum.  How can you not love a plant that is also known as 'Sweet Baby's breath'? Once destined for my front door, but now relocating to my flowery mead were some terracotta pots of  Naricissi Hawera and then I spotted the fantastic marbled leaves of a rescued Cyclamen hederifolium. All ideal plants for naturalising in this area too.

I was really getting in my stride now and decided to plunder the colony of wild violets that also grow at my hedge bottom, dividing those also and inserting them into the turf.  I know I have a mixture of white and purple violets so will have to wait with anticipation to see what colours I have introduced.

Wish now that I had ordered some crocuses to complete the scene but that will have to wait for next year unless I can source some in flower in pots.  Living close to an Orchard I have had big problems with mice taking crocus bulbs in another bulb planting initiative of mine several years ago. So, at least I will have time to see if this planting will work.

I  was feeling very empowered  reducing my patch of sterile verge. As I gathered my tools into the wheelbarrow my gaze extended down the road . There at the junction  of the two roads is  a fairly large triangular patch of grass ( a small allotment size!). One of those sterile, no-mans land areas that occasionally gets slashed by a strimmer-welding neighbour. It is in my sights now......


At 6 February 2011 at 15:06 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Chris, I just discovered your blog, and I have become an instant fan. I have a monthly "Garden Blogs of the Month" feature on my blog, Jean's Garden (, where I highlight newly discovered garden blogs and recommend them to my readers. Your blog is one of two I am highlighting for the month of February. A post reviewing your blog went up this morning, and your blog will be featured on my sidebar throughout the month. -Jean

At 6 February 2011 at 16:58 , Blogger Chris said...

Hi Jean, What a compliment! I am getting a lot of encouragement from the blog writing which is great. Thank you for such a great review - I am touched!

Seeing you in Maine reminds me of a road trip many years ago...I also have a college friend in Pennyslvania, so must do another gardening road trip next time. Chris

At 6 February 2011 at 22:31 , Blogger Shyrlene said...

Chris - I had the opportunity to see your garden blog featured on Jean's "Garden Blog of the Month". I've only started reading your posts and am enthralled. I'm looking forward to reading further. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge! --Best regards, Shyrlene

At 7 February 2011 at 10:54 , Anonymous Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

Ooooh, I so want a flowery mead. Perhaps I will take the plunge this spring as well.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home