March 2012

March 24th, 2012

Getting your dahlias going

I've just spent a lovely morning in the garden shed potting on cuttings and putting large dahlia tubers overwintered in the greenhouse into pots to encourage them into growth before planting out in late May. I have kept the dahlias fairly dry and frost free over the winter, so they are looking fine and dandy now and ready to come to life.I chopped off all the slimy or mouldy looking bits before planting, if they are bit shrivelled they will probably be OK after a few waterings. I have two old favourites, Bishop of Llandaff (pictured) a really elegant plant with bronze, ferny leaves and gorgeous bright red flowers, and David Howard - taller, also with bronze leaves but with orange flowers. I've also popped some into pots to sell on our NGS open day on 6 and 7 May.

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March 24th, 2012

Snakeshead fritillaries by the pond at Charnwood

Our snakeshead fritillaries are just coming through, they look like little tufts of coarse grass or tiny tulips emerging at first so we are having to be careful not to tread on them. Peter planted 100 little bulbs in Autumn a few years back and they have steadily got themselves established and are gently increasing in number by self-seeding. They are such beautiful flowers, worth getting down on your hands and knees to appreciate properly. You will then see how aptly named they are!

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March 18th, 2012

Have a look at these gorgeous daffodils at 'Charnwood' today

After a welcome downpour the sun is now shining and the garden looks all perky again. I've just counted 13 varieties of daffodils out and more to come. Five of the best, smaller varieties are pictured, from the top left:

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March 11th, 2012

Peter in the pond

What a lovely day we are having in the garden today. This is such a good time to get the garden straight, especially for us as we are open to the public in 2 months time - check out 'Charnwood' in Nottinghamshire in the yellow book.

Peter donned waders and did a pond tidy. We got covered in bullrush seeds. Making a note to cut them down earlier next year!

Snakeshead fritillaries are coming through by the dozen, we are having to be careful where we tread. All kinds of daffodils now out or in bud, bees buzzing round the rosemary, birds nesting. Feels like spring is here.

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March 11th, 2012

My aeonium has flowered

Ooo-er! Has anyone seen the like? Might it die now?

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March 6th, 2012

Kate and Kevin's book is almost done - latest photoshoot..

Our book designer asked if me and Kevin could supply a photo of us for the book - panic set in. Both of us loathe having our photos taken. So we got together this afternoon and Peter got snapping away. Result above. What do you think? Need Rachel de Thame and Chris Beardshaw be worried?

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March 6th, 2012

Snowdrops - do we split and re-plant 'in the green'?

I've just spent a lovely day in the garden digging up big clumps of snowdrops and re-planting them in bare patches of soil to get a bigger, better show next year. I put a load among my hostas as I don't move them around often, they are late to come through and they don't seem to mind the intrusion.

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March 1st, 2012

Blimey - it's the 10th anniversary of Kate's Cuttings!

It is ten years since the following words of mine appeared in our excellent village newsletter in Tollerton:

‘Call me sad, but I am an obsessive gardener and I have always wanted a gardening column. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Alan Titchmarsh or Pippa Greenwood but the chance to share my successes (few) and failures (many) with other gardeners and for them to share their experiences with the rest of us seems to me to be a worthwhile and harmless exercise in this increasingly complicated world’.

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February 2012

February 26th, 2012

Stumpery now Properly Designed!

Had a great day yesterday in the garden in the sun with Lauraine and Alan. Lauraine used her designer's eye to make the stumpery look better - much more natural, less obviously 'placed'.We laid a path of wood chippings down to the bench and I have just planted Liz Wills' cyclamen and corydalis amongst the wood. Alan decked out the hut so we can now stand on it in comfort for a grand, quite different view of 'Charnwood'.

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February 26th, 2012

Crocus this morning

Crocus - I think it's Thomasinus - looked gorgeous in the sun this morning. They have naturalised in the grass among big clumps of 'Februray Gold' daffodils. Who knows, perhaps they may even be out together in decent numbers this year. Daffs are in bud and the weather is kind so we may get lucky!

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