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Hello GOY, First Spell In The Garden For A While!


Ive been very busy , what with a two week spell, at a local farm park, as the Mad Hatter and then straight back to my gardening work as well as one pirate party last Sunday and one yesterday.
But, I now have three days off and the weather is looking like being kind. Today was gorgeous but, as we had horrendous flooding in our back garden late last week due to many hours of rain over the space of three days/nights, the ground is still very wet and I’m afraid to compact it by walking/working on it . So, a nice, leisurely day today…Julie and I went for coffee and then visited two local garden centres to buy yet more of the obligatory grit, manure and top soil to dig in to the beds/borders. Will it ever end? I must’ve spent over three hundred pounds on such materials since we’ve been here, and it all has to be carried through the house.
But, we also bought some trailing plants to plant up a couple of hanging baskets(We didnt have any last year in our first summer here and we really missed them) .The plants are now in the greenhouse and I will plant them into the baskets sometime and then keep them prtotected in the greenhouse/cold frame till late May.
I also dug a small area( behind the greenhouse) over , ready for a few potatoes(which have been chitting for a couple of months) although, the majority will be planted in bags.
The greenhouse needs a good tidy….hopefully, we’ll get round to that in the next couple of days, ready for the tomatoes, Cucumbers and Peppers. I also bought a couple of Grow bags in readiness although my tomato seedlings aren’t doing too well. I have them indoors with my Peppers as the greenhouse is unheated.
These grasses are a few which germinated from seed.They weren’t a great success as I sowed approx 20/30 from 4 different kinds but only a handful of Koeleria Glauca and a couple Briza Media germinated and made it through till now. I shall try sowing some more in the late summer. These few will be planted in the new front borders.

I’ve been really concerned for my newly planted(last summer) decidous grasses and hoped they’d survive the very wet winter in the heavy, non draining soil. So, you can imagine how pleased I am that these Calamagrostis Karl Foerster’s(the photo shows just one of the 3 planted in the same bed) are showing real signs of thriving.
The (supposed to be semi evergreen) Calamagrostis Overdam planted in the shadier, wetter bed on the other side of the garden are also looking ok although not as strong as these.

I am pleased that this Deschampsia (Goldschler,I think ) has really recovered since I dug it out of the soggy, boggy soil 4 weeks ago , improved the soil and then planted it slightly higher. It has definitely put on growth now that its roots arent so soggy!

The Acer doesn’t mind the wet and, it would seem,this Heuchera is happy too.

I am planting more shade/damp lovers in this area, such as Ferns and Acorus grasses(They have thrived in the very wet, very shady area by the house)

I would hope that these Ligularia will be at home in the wet, part shade of the new bed (fingers crossed).
I bought 3 online (ebay) and when they arrived it was clear they had strong root systems however, two had top growth but the other didn’t show any for another 3 or 4 weeks but, they are now all looking particuarly healthy and I shall be planting them in the next few days.

Hopefully, all the hard work, expense and concern will pay off and I will have a garden to be happy in and proud of, with plants that can live healthily and happily in the conditions.

Happy gardening,


More blog posts by paulspatch

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Gosh you have had a good time haven't you. My garden very wet too. but I have done some today in the drier part of the garden.

17 Apr, 2016


I like the grasses, Paul. My most successful grass, unfortunately, is couch! We've had nice weather recently as well, and I've enjoyed a couple of gardening sessions. I've been battling with couch, and slaughtering lily beetles, amongst other activities!

17 Apr, 2016


The whole of my garden is wet but I'm hoping I'll be able to do a bit tomorrow , SBG.
No lily beetles here yet Melchi, but that's only because they haven't started growing yet...ha ha. Well a few have pushed their growing tips through the comopst(they are all in pits where I brought them from the last house).Not sure if I will find anywhere to plant in the borders so they may stay in pots but the beetles still cause as much trouble.At the other house where I probably had 15/18 Lillies, I was forever squishing the beetles!
I am persevering with the grasses even though many don't seem to like the conditions......this is a modern house and I think grasses give a contemporary feel to a garden.

17 Apr, 2016


Sounds as if you are as busy as we have been trying to catch up in the garden after a very wet winter! We have lost a lovely Witch Hazel because of the wetness and probably more things as well!

I really like ferns now and have bought one or two recently. Like you, we seem to have spent a fortune on the garden and it is only the middle of April!!

Let's hope for success!!! Fingers crossed!

17 Apr, 2016


Its a real learning curve in your garden Paul! But it looks as though you are winning. The Ligularia is a good idea. Have you got any candelabra primulas? I would love to grow those but our garden is not damp enough.

17 Apr, 2016


I think you have done very well considering the short time you've been there, the flipping weather isn't helping is it, lucky if we get two good days in a row, I keep saying it can only get better, just not sure when, lol....I have always kept my lilies in pots but was considering planting them into the ground, now I think they'll stay as they are so as its easier to check for the dreaded beetles...... .

17 Apr, 2016


Looks very nice, hope everything recovers and settles in :-)

18 Apr, 2016


I'm sure you will be rewarded for all your hard work in the long run ,'s looking a lot more promising now,than when you started..I'm lucky in that we have well draining soil now,but like you,it was all about the preparation..a new build,lots of clay and builders rubble to contend with first...You have already made a huge difference..:o)

18 Apr, 2016


Thats all starting to look great now Paul :) I am swithering re. baskets this year. I haven't had any here yet, but I've taken mine out, hung them (empty) in the greenhouse, and am debating with myself over whether or not to put some brackets on the wall. Will see what OH says. They are lovely...but such hard work to keep damp. Now, keep on carrying that muck and grit through the will all be worth it in the end! I said to OH the other day that I still had my tatty sacks and would he like some tatties this year. He said...well they were good...but probably the most expensive tatties in the world. So I suppose that's a 'no' on the tatties and I can see his point. I did say I was only going to grow veg that aren't expensive or easy to get of a good quality cheap in the supermarket. Thing is though...nothing tastes as good as home grown does it...and what's a bit of cash compared to the satisfaction and enjoyment of some 'real' food! On that note, I am sitting here waiting for a man to come and give me a quote on removing a bit of my drive to make a veggie patch in front of my greenhouse.....he was supposed to come at 9 and its not 5 to 10.....grrrr...;)

18 Apr, 2016


Love your bright green grass Paul and gorgeous colour y our Heuchera. Lets hope you dont get the Lily Beetle change the soil as they lay their eggs in the soil. Thats the trouble with new build houses you get the buried rubble luckily my house did nt have any.

18 Apr, 2016


Primulas love the damp, or they do here! I adore cowslips and have them dotted about in various places in the garden, some dry, some really wet, but they don't seem to mind either! So much so that they seed everywhere and there are hundreds (literally) of seedlings popping up. Strange they like the damp as I remember decades ago (big sigh for lost youth) seeing these growing on hillsides in Derbyshire which were bone dry!

18 Apr, 2016


I had considered Primulas, Stera and Honeysuckle, but not sure if they fit with my other planting style but I am still considering. I do have some bog/damp soil Geum Avens, growing on in the cold frame(from plugs) and I will weave those through the front of the border and new bed.yes,H/S, I can picture the cowslips growing on banks which you would imagine would drain well.sorry about your youth....mine went long ago too!!
The grass ought to be green, Dawn with all this blasted rain!! But, it's a bit compacted too so I shall spike it again(did it in the autumn) when I've stopped planting etc. Yes, rubble everywhere....absolutely incredible how much I've got out. I suppose it's because builders don't want to pay for a skip so bury it in our gardens!
I bought new brackets for the baskets Karen (same range to match the obelisks and the hanging planter which I showed in my last blog) Did your man turn up and, if so, did he do a sharp intake of breath as is the norm for builders etc? I planted my potato bags today and I will plant a few in the soil behind the greenhouse tomorrow. Yes, it's great to eat the veg straight from the garden as they are so fresh. Particularly Sweetcorn because by time they have been transported to shops/supermarkets and sat on the shelf for a few days, the sugar has all turned to starch.
Hopefully, Bloomer and DayLily, I have done enough (dug some more in to the worst areas today whilst I was planting the new bed), but, I will keep banging away and add more grit/manure/top soil, every year.
Yes, Sue, it was a nightmare looking for and catching the beetles when Lillies were planted in the beds at the other garden. They would fall onto their backs and be almost invisible or they climbed onto other plants. So, it's probably as well that I won't have space for them in the beds here (and I think the soil may rot the bulbs anyway) so, I will keep them in pots although may put one or two in the new front garden borders. That is south facing and so dries out more as well as me digging more of the clay out as it was such a small area.
Yes, I had a few ferns in the front garden at the other house, WildRose but that was much sunnier and although I planted them near the wall in shadier spots,they still dried out a lot. They should like the conditions here, hopefully.
We do t mind spending money on the garden thou, do we?

18 Apr, 2016


Oh dear Paul, it's a lot of hard work for you getting everything through the house, but your garden will look a treat with all the TLC you're giving it!
As for Lilies, I gave up growing them two years ago as the Lily Beetle liked them way too much and life's too short to grow something for a critter to munch on.

19 Apr, 2016


I love Liles though Shirley. I'll just keep them n pots.i only brought a few with me from the old garden. Did you notice the two peices from your Miscanthus (zebra grass) behind (either side of) the Acer? Both growing back strongly now, even the one that I'd had in a pot last year.
How's mum doing?

20 Apr, 2016


I'm really chuffed that the Zebra grasses are thriving for you, Paul. I spent a couple of hours tidying the back garden yesterday and noticed ours are growing up again, not bad for a plant we bought from a local market! Only divided it up once.

Sadly, Mum is as forgetful as ever which makes it quite hard to keep a conversation going! At the moment she thinks she's going home, so on my visits she asks the Carers to get her suitcase down from the loft! :o((

20 Apr, 2016


Oh dear....poor old mum.
I am currently writing a new blog which shows, in one of the photos, your zebra grasses and also the bunny tails grasses that grew up in a pot that was kept in the green house over winter....mind you, I say winter as though it's past but it sounds like winter temperatures are on their way back from tomorrow for a few days.

21 Apr, 2016


Off to view the latest blog ...

22 Apr, 2016


You'll see the Zebra grasses behind, either side of the Acer.

22 Apr, 2016

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