Sunday, 7 June 2015

Weeding, Herbs, Flowers and Foliage

It's not always about the flowers, Artemisia 'Powis Castle' and Salvia officinalis 'Purpurescens'
looking great together at the back door 

It has felt more like February or March this week with the strong , chilly winds, cold temperatures and rain, brrrrrrrr, I am almost back to winter layers when working outside. Unfortunately the nursery sale didn't go through as planned this Monday but we went along anyway. We've been given permission to do bits and pieces but nothing major until it is ours and we reckon the more weeding we do now the further ahead we'll be and the plants will have more chance of surviving, not being choked by a thick carpet of weeds. 

This is part of the big border at the entrance of the nursery, you can see what we are up against,
so far I have weeded about 15 feet, still another six or so to go, it is clay stony soil,
but looks great once weeded and we can see the plants

The long border at the entrance that I am gradually clearing and
finding the plants already there, this photo is taken at one end, 
looking to the far end of it at the tall ferns. The plan is to put
bark down once weeded to keep the weeds at bay!

Friends who had planned to come and help on our first day came along anyway and were a great help. The men worked on building sales tables, working with David's idea of recycling the hundreds of pallets the farm have let us use and using some new wood to finish them off. We reckon each table will cost £12! A bargain, recycling and very sturdy tables all rolled into one, perfect. On Tuesday David and I went back ourselves and carried on, me weeding, him building, we achieved a lot again and had another chat with the owners of the farm where the nursery is based which was very positive. We are so keen to get started and they are keen for us to be there.

My big greenhouse tidied and watered 

On Wednesday after a long lie (it was needed after two intense days weeding) I spent some time catching up in my greenhouses. I moved out a lot of the plants that live on the patio for summer then tidied, dead headed and watered the rest of the plants left. I spread out my Pelargonium collection to give them more space for summer. There is nothing I enjoy more than pottering about in my greenhouses, especially when the weather is cold.

My succulents and cacti are looking great at the moment, lots of flowers too

This is a great wee plant, Polygonatum hookeri, quite enthusiastic, but lovely all the same,
it is gradually taking over one of my alpine troughs, so I will need to thin it out again this year

New foliage is also worth a look, this is Rodgersia 'Cally Salmon'

One thing I love about gardening is producing food from the garden. Fresh fruit and veg and eggs are hard to beat. It's still early for veg and fruit up here, especially as it's been so cold but the herbs are usable now and feature a lot in my garden, especially the edible ones. Some are planted in a large wooden trough and in large pots  around the back door. Here they are handy for cutting for use in the kitchen and for running a hand through as I go in and out the house.

It would be wonderful to get some fruit on the fig tree

Variegated Apple mint at the back door
There are chives, thyme, rosemary, parsley, tarragon, sage and oregano in one of the big wooden troughs on the patio, nice and handy for nipping out from the kitchen. At the back door in big buckets the mints lurk, contained to stop them escaping and invading the rest of the garden as they are want to do. There is also bronze fennel, horseraddish, purple and variegated sages and golden oregano in pots, giving a glorious display of coloured foliage through the summer and scents that waft on the breeze (more like a gale here often!)

Apple mint is great for strawberry puddings and salads

Salvia 'officinalis 'Tricolor', grown more for its colourful leaves than cooking

On Thursday the weather was dry so we took the chance of another free day and headed back to the nursery. David carried on building tables and I carried on weeding the big entrance bed, getting another 10 feet of so done and almost to the end. I also weeded and top dressed some sales plants that are coming into flower, making them look more sell-able. Lots of Aquilegia and Polemoniums, Potentilla and Geums. We treated ourself to a mocha, hmmm, I said we weren't going to didn't I? Well only until we take ownership then, then I'll have a kettle in the office and no excuses.

On Friday I had a catch up day, food shopping, other errands and then Granny up for dinner before she took Daniel away for the weekend. The weather was mixed and still cold. It's been a really busy week but a really good week too, which is great and we've really enjoyed getting to work at the nursery, it helps with the frustration of hold ups. 


  1. My goodness you have been busy. Weeding seems so tiresome, and yet once I get going I could weed all day!! If I lived nearer, I'd give you a hand. I love the sound of the tables too. I wouldn't mind on myself.
    Leanne xx

  2. Hi Leanne, thanks, I love a big project and challenge and this certainly is one, never mind making the business work! I'll be posting lots more pics once it really is ours, which fingers crossed should be this Friday, woo hooo :)