After several weeks of ‘winter work’ it was a joy to spend some time these past two days putting plants in the ground. Somehow one longs to grow things as the days lengthen and the weather warms (albeit only slightly).
At The Farm I spent some time digging up Sedum spectabile from in among shrubs and hedges. Why it was put there in the first place is anyone’s guess, but it certainly no longer belonged. The plants – a good dozen of them – were healthy and of a good size, so I took them into the Walled Garden and put them into the long border. In addition, I put in some Anemone hybrida (removed from another garden I look after), and Solidago rugosa (surplus to requirements in my own garden). These are all fairly tough cookies, so even though the ground is still chilly, they’ll have a chance to get established as spring warms up. I fed them with some Vitax Q4+ which contains mycorrhizal fungi to aid root development in newly planted plants, and is very good for bare-roots and divided plants in my experience; and added a bit of compost from the heaps as a mulch.
This morning I was planting-up a ‘shade garden’ at The Almshouses. This is a square area in the north-facing lee of a high brick wall and an outbuilding – with a mighty Yew tree directly to its north, so direct sunlight is fairly non-existent. It had been used as a vegetable plot in the past, perhaps when the Yew was smaller, but really needed replanting. The only plant to be kept was a large Ficus (I think ‘Brown Turkey’) trained against the wall, which seems perfectly happy. The planting scheme is predominantly blues and whites, and includes Asplenium and Polystichum setiforum ferns, Anemone nemerosa, Convallaria, Liriope muscari ‘Monroe White’, and a variegated Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’. Against the outbuilding wall I put in a large Hydrangea petiolaris which should cling to the brick without need of supports, and provide decorative cover. A few Digitalis alba were also moved in, and I hope they will colonise the corners to provide foliage and flower in the dark.There are some Hostas still to be added, some in planters along the edge of the border where there is a paved area, and some in the border itself.
I realise I should have taken some photographs, and will add that to the ‘to do’ list for next week.