Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Sunday 2 March 2008

The March of progress

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 10:01 am

The weather has been a lot more suitable for gardening recently, with not much rain and a slight amount of warmth. I have actually got a few things done. Firstly, I have bought a tool store. I decided in the end that it would be better to buy two that were not quite ideal than to go to the expense of getting one specially made. Delivery takes 28 days, so I should get it in March some time, and then it should be warm enough for me to put it together without getting frozen fingers. It is only a cheap thing, and it says it wants wood treatment applied every year. Realistically, I don’t think it is going to get that, but at least treating it should be an easy job, with no fiddly bits or windows to worry about, unlike a greenhouse. When I have put some things in it, I shall see what is left over and then work out whether I want to buy another tool store to put next to it, and if so, what its dimensions need to be.

Also I went to Wilkinson’s and bought four packets of half-hardy annuals. That is, two of them (dahlia and antirrhinum) think they are perennials, but in practice they are probably going to be annuals, given that the seeds only cost 59p for the dahlias and 39p for the antirrhinum. (Wilkinson’s seed offer this year wasn’t as good as last year’s, at “3 for 2” instead of “2 for 1”, but their seeds are still cracking good value). The other two are salvia “blaze of fire” and petunia. The annuals want to be kept at 18-24 degrees for germination, so I have put them in the heated propagator that I haven’t used for years. The perennials are happy with 15-20 degrees so I have just put them in ordinary trays with plastic lids on. I will be interested to see which one germinates first, given that the petunia says that it takes 14-25 days to germinate, and all the others say 14-28 days. I sowed them on Saturday 1 March, so I shall be expecting something to happen on 15 March.

I also bought a tray of 10 primulas “Calypso mixed” at £4.99. Although seeds are cheaper, I don’t have a very high success rate with primulas, despite following all the prescribed rituals, like putting the pots in the fridge in plastic bags. However, once I get the primulas outside, they seem to do very well, and I definitely have more than I started with, so I think they are happily producing children without any help from me. If I only get three plants from a packet of seeds costing £2, it certainly makes sense to buy small plants at 50p each. I want to keep the primulas outside in pots with the rest of the portable herbaceous border, but I think it will be too much of a shock for them if I put them outside now, so I am keeping them in the coldest room in the house, and I will put them out during the day as soon as we get a warm spell.

I am still looking for celandines. I found a couple in one of my pots, and sprayed them yesterday. But apart from that, they are nowhere to be seen. I can’t believe that I have actually got rid of them, so I will wait another four weeks before I celebrate. Also, I discovered a creamy-white daffodil at the bottom of my garden. I think they are much classier than the yellow varieties.

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