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Gardening lessons

Gardening lessons

Two hours spent in the garden this morning. Most of it taken up with watering. Many of the plants are suffering in these dry days of nearly thirty degrees Celsius, followed by freezing nights. I’ve pretty much given up on my tulips this year. No matter how much water I’ve given them from the hose, it appears they’ve pulled up stumps and departed until next year. I was lucky to get two flowers from the batch of “Maureen” bulbs I planted (I plant “Maureen”s every year in remembrance of my mum).

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Maureen Tulip

Gardening is very much a learning experience, and the lesson learned about tulips is that bulbs need to be planted sooner (I planted them in late May this year), and they need an atmosphere of moisture. There’s nothing that can be done about the latter unfortunately; even the mister or shower I might project onto them doesn’t create a moist atmosphere that lasts long in our current weather.

The jonquils and daffodils likewise. They had brief burst of exuberant flowers that lasted maybe a week… now they’re done.

However, there’s always positives with gardening. The roses have shiny new leaves and are budding; they will be glorious in a month or so. The hollyhocks and snapdragons are also doing well.

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Black hollyhock

Oddly, my Iceland poppies are bobbing away happily. The Iceland poppy seedlings are a nightmare to plant but once they take root and you keep the water up, they thrive. That said, it’s definitely not Iceland here at the present time and I can’t see them lasting too much longer. I’ll enjoy them while I can.

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My baby Chinese Cedar is growing, although I expect Ghost has taken a munch of it. He’s a devil with reaching over fences and eating my plants. I haven’t caught him in the act, it’s just a suspicion, so yesterday I strung some electrical tape along the section of the fence where the plant is. The tape isn’t live but he doesn’t know that. He’s had some experience with touching live tape in the past so I’m confident he’ll keep away from it. I purchased my Chinese Cedar about two months ago because I saw a photo of an adult tree and thought it was beautiful. It was only a bare stick when I planted it, however it’s received a lot of pampering and is sprouting now.

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A glorious Chinese Cedar

My garden has been a work in progress for about five years. I feel as if it’s almost where I want it to be. Because of this season and weather, it is presently looking a bit bare, with only the occasional splash of colour but providing we receive some rain and moisture without the wild temperature swings, the bareness ought to change in a month or so hopefully.

I’m going to go all out with gladioli and petunias this spring/summer I think. Petunias are so reliable for colour and durability and gladioli are gorgeous, although admittedly they don’t die gracefully.

Positives and negatives.

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