Monday, 27 April 2009

Colchicums are thugs

Back in July last year, when I was offered some colchicum bulbs, I had thought they would be great to have in my pots. A few autumn crocuses seemed like a pleasant idea - and the flowers in September/October were lovely, adding some colour when not much else was happening. However, I'm now wondering whether that autumn colour was worth it as their leaves have completely swamped the pots they're in! I'm just hoping that they'll die back soon (colchicums grow from bulbs and only have leaves from spring to early summer, during which time they store energy, before the leaves die back and they then flower in the autumn). Thankfully the tulip bulbs in the pot next door (a variety called Valentine) have been more successful!

The colchicums are responsible for the huge mass (or should that be 'mess') of leaves in the large blue pot, not quite the effect I'd hoped for:

Aren't magnolias simply the best?!

I will stop obsessing about this magnolia and its flowers soon, honest! But first, I had to post just one more picture... after another day or two of sunshine the flower is now at its peak:

Friday, 24 April 2009

What a difference a month makes!

I don't know about you, but i've certainly become quite attached to some of my plants. They don't have names, but they have histories and i'd be quite sad if they died. This, in particular, applies to the magnolia in my first pot. Pot 1. I don't know what type it is as i rescued it from Morrisons supermarket about 5 years ago now and it has lived in this pot ever since.

All I do know is that it is a survivor. It has lived through extensive periods of neglect. Being transported up and down the country when I've moved house, being kept in storage (through which it lost its leaves) and almost no regular watering, let alone feed. About the only thing that I did right from the start is to plant it up in ericaceous compost as magnolias like acidic soil conditions. Last year, I took it out of the pot and carefully removed all the old compost and replanted it (in the same container). Then later discovered that magnolias supposedly hate having their roots messed with - I must have a tough, yet forgiving plant, as it is still with me, and has even rewarded my efforts with some truly gorgeous coloured flowers. I just love this plant.

Look see! The first picture was taken 20 March, the second 24 April:

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Setting the scene - welcome to my 'garden'

Hello, and welcome to my blog. 
Original I know, but I had to simply start typing or I would never had begun this at all. I'm hoping this page will give me an outlet for my horticultural thoughts, whitterings and questions... and that I might hopefully along the way also discover others who also know what it's like to obsessively pour over a plant catalogue as if the future survival of the planet depended on which variety of rose/cabbage/lavender you choose! (My husband can testify as to the amount of hours, if not days, that I can spend doing this). To be fair though - I like to think that as I have only a very limited amount of 'gardening' space that this is why I must decide carefully as to which plants I grow. So before we go any further I would like to introduce you to my gardening domain - meet my pots! 

This is how my 'garden' looked on the 20th March '09 this year:

I started my pot garden (in the non drug related sense!) in June '08... and must admit that already in the time since this photo was taken, that there have been the odd one or two developments (read: additions). My main limitations are, as you can see, space, and that the doorway leads to not only my flat, but another also - so it must remain accessible. I'm lucky though as the area does get the afternoon sun. I'm hoping, as time goes on, to develop the garden and increase it so that it cascades down the steps... just watch this space, it's only a matter of time (oh, and budget).