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1st ever real gardening!


mrmorable day 140303! dry warm day, so I thought I’d do some gardening. I’d bought yet another pack of seeds at the Pound Shop – I’d passed over the “shake and sow” packs of White Garden, the Red Garden and the Yellow Garden, but couldn’t resist the Blue Garden.

So I thoght I’d have a go today, as it was dry and bright and 10 am. Then I thought, why not underplant it with bulbs? I had plenty to spare, even if the planting dates were given as “Sept-Dec”.

First I finally decided where to put the composter where it’d be handy but not obvious: I dug up the whole bed, apart from a bit around the shrub against the shed, and forked the ground where the composter would be.

Sorted out the bulbs, deciding to put various narcissi there; when I opened one of the boxes, I was surprised to see that they’d started to sprout. If they wanted to grow, it was up to me to give them the chance! so I mixed four packs and got half of that in, about 20 bulbs, then sowed Blue Garden over

Still had loads of bulbs to go, so moved to the space behind the raised bed. There were a couple of plants that might have been plants rather than weeds, so I replanted them elsewhere, and dug this bed, putting the other 20 bulbs in, again sowing Blue Garden over.

Then on to the right-hand side. There were some plants here that I knew I’d want to keep, so I had to dodge about between them – this time I mixed two kinds of tulips, snowdrops and crocus, again sowing Blue Garden over

then the border between raised bed and side border, using same mix of bulbs and, of course, Ble Garden:

new-look bed end to end:

this took me to about noon, so I thought I’d earned a rest and lunch. Then it started drizzling …

Sun came out again about 3.30pm, so decided to have a go at the front garden – there was still plenty of back to do, but wanted a change of scenery!

Took three sessions – dug out the patch by the door, buried lots of bulbs and topped, then dug out the border – full of weeds, and bulbs, as I found out – enough to make three rows, fairly well spread. Some of them are Grape Hyacinths (some of the bulbs I lifted were already starting to flower, hope they survived lifting and replanting)

Then on to the end corner, near next door’s plants – wasn’t sure where “the middle” was, but decided to take is as where they’d left off. Put the Honeybells in a group in the corner, then finished off the last of the bulbs I’d mixed up – more Blue Garden oerall

I still had a few boxes of bulbs left, but I’d planted all the “mixes”, so decided that enough was enough for one day, my first day. I was starting to seriously ache by this time, especially knees and back. I was surprised to find that this “front” session had taken me five minutes short of two hours!

You can see where I left off, by where the weeds end! Still got the rest of “my side” to do (can’t reach all the way to the middle, but will do as much as I can reach) – still got some Blue Garden left.

maybe tomorrow – or the day after, if today’s exertions have teh consequence that threatens even now …

The bulbs were labelled “plant Sept-Dec, flower March-April” – but as a lot of them were already sprouting in the pack, maybe they’ll count as “this year”, even if later than usual. Can’t remember when the Blue Garden is supposed to start showing results, so I’ll be keeping an eye open

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Such a lot of hard work fran, hope the aches and pains aren't too bad!
I would suggest that you spring feed the garden with a balanced fertiliser, the bulbs need to put down roots and then build up their strength to flower next year, those that are shooting I would remove any flower spike from.

4 Mar, 2014


Looking good Fran, well done you!

4 Mar, 2014


Thanks, Snoop - aches aren't (yet) as bad as I feared they might be - apart from the "composter bed", which I did with a garden fork, all the rest were done on my knees, with a hand fork and lots of bending over.

Thanks, Pam. What sort of fertiliser would you recommend? *s* I only know about Baby Bio, which I don't think would be economical for this large a sprad - and I hope to get the other bulbs in soon.

A bulb show this year would be a bonus, but I'm not ocunting on it; they've not had time to build up the reerves they would have got if they'd been planted at the proper time. I used the bulbs that had started to sprout, thinking that their need was more urgent, but the others will still need to go in soon

understand about removing any flower spikes; they need to build up their strength for a proper show.

4 Mar, 2014


Goodness Fran, you've really got the gardening bug haven't you!
I'm sure the bulbs will still flower eventually regardless of when you should have planted them. As for the Blue Garden I bet it will look wonderful :)

4 Mar, 2014


Thanks, Michaella - you must have been typing that as I was typing my reply, cos it wasn't there when I started!

Thanks, Waddy - I'll have Grape Hyacinths, at least, if they didn't mind being lifted, separated and replanted - not hoping too much for the other bulbs, if they do try to bloom this year they'll be weedy cos they won't have had time to build up reserves. But the Blue Garden should look good - if I did it right and continue to do it right! not sure how thickly one's supposed to spread the seed-and-feed mix, I did it quite densely, so perhaps some will need tobe thinned out. time will tell, i hope!

4 Mar, 2014


Even if you don't get the show this year by next they'll be lovely for you Fran, you sound really happy in your garden, I'm really pleased for you....

4 Mar, 2014


If you are lucky you'll get flowers a bit later than normal this year fran. All will be well next year - I'm sure you don't need reminding not to cut back the foliage too early as this is what feeds the bulbs for next year.
Nor would I worry about them being too dense - if they grow well you'll need to lift and divide congested clumps in a few years anyway.
I was very pleased when I read the title of your blog - it's onwards and upwards from here :)

4 Mar, 2014


thanks, Iciar, I can't think of a better way to get backache than working in my own garden. If the bulbs don't show this year, well, it'll soon be time for other plants to start coming back to life.

lol Scottish, I tend towards the "benign neglect" approach to cutting back - the less I do, the less chance that I'll do something wrong and harm the plant. Though that can be taken to extremes ...

If they come up too dense, there's still about three-quarters of the beds that I've not touched yet, so that should solve that prob. And if I ever run out of space, there's a large patch of grass just down the road that doesn't seem to be anybody's (lane leading to the open gorund at the back) - though can't see me making much of a "guerilla gardener".

But that's for the future, for now what I've got will keep me busy enough. Onwards and upwards indeed ...

5 Mar, 2014


Hi that you again Lincs?

5 Mar, 2014


Wonderful for you to be able to get your bulbs I at long last & the blue mix over the top of them will look fabulous during the summer! Looking forward to seeing the results on here.

9 Mar, 2014


thanks, Balcony, I hope I did it right, though it's hard to do much wrong when all you have to do is shake it out and rake it in.

Sun's out, so I might do the rest of the cetnre strip today - I was saving the blue Allium for there, blue on blue would look razther nice, I think.

Still got to find a place for my other blueblells - if htey're "woodland glade" plants they'd probably not appreciate being in full sun all day

lol the second I see anything coming up everyone will know all about it!

9 Mar, 2014


Hi Pam and Fran, yes tis me, I only just noticed I came up as Iciar, lol......

9 Mar, 2014


lol she has a secret identity! or she did have ....

9 Mar, 2014

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