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Getting to grips with the garden in mid February,


Another glorious day, so no prizes for guessing what I have been doing!

This is where I’d got to last time.

This is the continuation of the same bed.
Before: lots of Geum urbanum, hedge woundwort and self sown Hesperis matronalis.


This border then turns the corner into an area called Atrocity corner, due to the nettles, brambles, ivy and grass that was there when we first moved in 20 yrs ago. The name has stuck :o)

Before full of hairy bittercress, nipplewort and slightly less hedge woundwort.

After: I had to tread carefully due to lots of bulbs poking through. Some are Spanish bluebells and I am slowly weeding most of the out.

The garden continues to turn through 90 degrees to join up with what we call the side drive border.

There is still a bit of atrocity corner left to weed.

Hopefully that will be on Monday. Wanted to do some tomorrow but we are going to a memorial service for a colleague who sadly died last month.

To finish here are a few flowers strutting their stuff.

Bought this Helleborous niger [2L pot today for Β£4.00], thought that was a bargain. I was tempted to split it but decided not to.

Didn’t notice any buds earlier in the week on this Iris ungucularis ‘Pelopenese snow’

Iris Pixie

Scilla ligulata

A lovely snowdrop with some extra green markings on it. No idea if it is a known named variety or not.

Well that will do for now. I will show the other areas that still need doing in a later blog.

More blog posts by seaburngirl

Previous post: The garden in mid February.

Next post: Less of an atrocity now.



Wow that's a lot of areas of weeding and clearing to do well done Seaburngirl. Good luck with rooting out the Spanish Blue Bells I only have a small patch of them and after 19 years they still come back. You new Hellebore is lovely and love your Irises very pretty colours and markings.
Not sure this will help you ID Snowdrops.

16 Feb, 2019


You'll be digging out Bluebells for the rest of your life, as I am. Must take a look at my I. Pelopenese to see if it is going to flower for the first time this year

16 Feb, 2019


A great effort - you can see where you've been!
We too have Spanish bluebells and they are very persistent and determined to keep on going! If only they didn't take over. We have beds with perennial weeds in them and we try so hard to get rid of them but always miss quite a lot!
You will definitely have made a real difference.

16 Feb, 2019


You can be pleased with yourself! Weeding can be a pain but the beds look so much better afterwards. Sorry to hear you have woundwort and hairy bc - both difficult to eradicate here. Hope you have better luck that I do with it.. At east thebluebells that you miss are pretty. I heqaved a lot out last year but they have popped up again regardless...

Your flowers are lovely. Aren't they early! Idon't remember seeing crocuses and iris out so soon before.

16 Feb, 2019


All your hard work will be well worth it! Lots of lovely spring colour here too!

17 Feb, 2019


It's good to take advantage of favourable weather at this time of year, in order to get rid of so many weeds.
I think it's nice to see bulbs coming up everywhere. They brighten the place up and make one feel better.

17 Feb, 2019


You have a huge front garden Seaburn, lots of work you're getting done, it looking great, very satisfying.

17 Feb, 2019


Your garden is looking much better for the weeding! I remember on the allotments it was the same! But it was like painting the Forth Road bridge, no sooner had you finished you had to go back & start again, so fast do the weeds grow! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

17 Feb, 2019


I agree that freshly weeded beds do look much better. the appearance of so many plants is very encouraging though I cant find phlox divarica sadly. But the self sown weeds will germinate soon enough and the Forth road bridge is an oft used analogy in our house Balcony.
The front is about 80-90 ft wide so not that big Dawn, compared to some in the village but it is about 6ft deep though deeper in atrocity corner.
the weather is meant to be good for most of next week too so I will tackle the least weedy areas next leaving the worst 'til last.

17 Feb, 2019


I am a bit sore round my shoulders. Like you I have been tidying the garden. We deserve an applause. It makes such a difference.

18 Feb, 2019


so far, touch wood, I have been ok but I haven't done anything the last 2 days due to other commitments.

Hope to do some in the morning if its dry, that is :o)

18 Feb, 2019


I was interested in a comment you posted suggesting the use of epsom salts. The live programme & the podcasts have blurred a bit but on a fairly recent GQT I remember an audience member being a fertiliser scientist who said, when asked by the board, what he was working on next & he said adding magnesium.
I've used aspirin on my toms over the last few years & am completely convinced that it helps against moulds &, of course, I've read the more dubious stuff about using bicarb to make toms sweeter, etc.
I'd really like to know, given your scientific background, what you think is useful/what is hokum when it comes to less well known gardening aids?
Apologies if you've already written a blog along these lines & I missed it☺

20 Feb, 2019


hi Darren, its to do with trace elements and what they are used for by the plant. Magnesium salts are needed for the plant to make chlorophyll. Epsom salts are magnesium sulphate and are soluble so are readily taken up by the roots. The danger is when they are over used and the concentration is so great that it draws water out of the cells. that's why its important to dilute these preparations correctly.
There are many macro and micro nutrients/minerals needed. I try to use as little inorganic treatments as possible and use mulches etc if I can.

I've heard of aspirin helping prolong the life of cut flowers as well as lemonade/lemon juice, a drop of bleach etc. they will work to some extent as they are changing the environment so pathogens are not in an ideal situation for growth. But whether watering it on I don't know. I'd be worried about it upsetting the balance of the other soil micro-organisms that are beneficial. [my health too as I am seriously allergic to aspirin].
There are many research centres working on this, there is one that has been recording data for well over 150 yrs now and if memory serves its Rothamsted research facility, they also did work on suitable crop rotations to maximise the nutrients from the soil as well as pesticide research.

the rhs gives good id and treatment suggests for the more common deficiencies.

20 Feb, 2019


Your front garden is huge compared to our tiny one! I don't envy you, but you seem to have it under control, and you can certainly see the difference!! well done!

21 Feb, 2019


Thanks Seaburn, I bought Epsom salts to use, sparingly as you suggest, in my tom growing bags. I'm also going to try growing peppers & aubergines outdoors oop north in Manchester this year, fingers crossed.
I'm going to use very diluted amounts of aspirin again. It really does work like an inoculation that builds up the plants immune system in my experience

22 Feb, 2019

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