Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Monday 31 May 2010

The Year of the Hellebores

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 12:22 pm

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but I think there are more hellebore seedlings around this year than usual. The statistical significance of my observation may be slightly reduced by the confounding variable that, until my mum told me three weeks ago, I didn’t know what hellebore seedlings looked like. But I am sure I would have noticed them because they don’t look like any of my usual weeds.

You can recognise hellebore seedlings by the fact that they have three leaves with feathered edges. I don’t know how long one of these takes to get big enough to flower, but I expect it’ll manage it before I complete the Garden Renovation Project.

I have also discovered that the tarpaulin does not keep weeds out. If the tarpaulin were green, then I should think the plants wouldn’t do as well, because green light is not as good for photosynthesis. (Are you surprised? Think about it – a plant’s leaves are green because it reflects green light and absorbs the other colours. It doesn’t want green!) But blue light is obviously delicious. I have no idea how the plants are managing to get enough carbon dioxide, though.

So the weeds are growing happily under the tarpaulin, but they’ll have a hard time producing seeds, and not many new seeds will make it under there, so I am still better off than if I didn’t have the tarpaulin at all. And of course, it discourages the few cats that wander into my garden these days (now that I have the fabulous cat repellent, with its batteries still on their first charge).


Monday 3 May 2010

A tale of two apple trees

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 5:17 pm

I haven’t been in the garden much this week because I have been busy with other things. Fortunately it is quite low maintenance at the moment, given that the tarpaulin covers a large proportion of the ground. I had better mow the lawn soon because it has too much bittercress in it.

I couldn’t help noticing that while one of my apple trees (Discovery) is covered in fragrant blossom, the other one (Charles Ross) is refusing to play.

My two apple trees: one (right) with lots of blossom and leaves, and the other (left) with some leaves but no blossom

My two apple trees: one (right) with lots of blossom and leaves, and the other (left) with some leaves but no blossom

It seems to have plenty of new leaves coming, with no sign of anything suspicious crawling up it, so maybe it’s gone biennial. Perhaps when I dig it up and move it, that will bring it to its senses.