Tag Archive | English garden

When should I plant out my geranium (pelargonium) cuttings?


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Back last August, I took lots of geranium cuttings.  So what has happened to them since, you may be wondering. Well they are doing just fine thank you. The smallest ones have been on my window sill all winter and now they are bursting to go outside. Since we could still have frosts at night, I am waiting till April to plant them out and meantime I am enjoying the daffodils in the border first. You can see how big the cuttings are in the first picture above.

The rest of the plants, which I had in the back garden last summer, were brought in in October before the first frosts arrived. They have been sunning themselves in the ‘den’ at the back of the cottage all winter. Now they are getting a bit leggy and want to go outside, but first they must be hardened off. I shall be doing that soon.

Geraniums, or to give them their proper name, pelargoniums, are easy to grow and quick to propagate so they are ideal for beginners to gardening and for me because there is such a high success rate. I like to make sure that I get a continuity of colour each year so I take care, when propagating, to get an equal number of red, white, pink and peach plants. Each year it seems that one or other does better than the rest and, of course, I am always on the look out for new colours. I would love to have a blue one, but blue is not the most prolific colour in the plant world.

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Like the primrose, the geranium is not particularly attractive to bees for pollinating. The primrose (which I wrote about yesterday) relies on small insects to spread its seeds and the geraniums need a bit of help from me!

This is one of the pink ones, which is longing to get outside. It’s such a delicate colour, isn’t it.

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Millie thinks I’m mad, messing about with plants all the time; you can tell from her expression while she is watching me:

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So today it is fine and sunny outside and so I may go out and poggle about with the fork! First I have to think about something for dinner?

What are you having for dinner today?

Oma

My English Garden – January 2013





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Well, as you know, the weather has been fierce lately! We’ve had this (see above)

and this (see below)

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so I’ve needed these…

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and this:

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and this to keep me warm…

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but I haven’t forgotten my geranium cuttings! Remember my post back in August? You can remind yourself here. I’ve been nurturing those cuttings since then.  Just before the first frosts came, I brought them into the cottage and put them along the window-ledge at the front where they get the evening sun. The trick is to keep them alive but not to encourage them to grow too fast. I don’t want them to get leggy. I water them once a week and that is enough.  It is quite dry in the house and they dry out quickly, but they don’t seem to mind that.

This is what they looked like last week:

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When I bring them in, they sometimes have a caterpillar among the leaves, so Dylan and I go caterpillar hunting:

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The other day we took part in an RSPB Birdwatch. Click the link to read more about it. Basically, during the course of one hour, we were asked to observe the birds, which turned up in our garden and submit the results online in order to take part in a nationwide survey of the bird population. For example, we had to record the most number of birds of each species that we saw together during that hour.

All was going normally at first. We saw two blackbirds, two wood pigeons, two starlings, a robin and a magpie. Then all of a sudden! a whole flock of waxwings descended onto our cotoneaster bush and stripped it of all the berries. I counted 23 waxwings, which is an awful lot more than all the other birds put together.  These gorgeous birds, pictures follow, come down from even colder regions, like Sweden and descend upon us at this time of the year.  It is quite a new thing. I don’t remember seeing them in years gone by. Here are the pictures. The best pictures are here and the others I had to take through the window so as not to disturb them.

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We have submitted our results to the RSPB and I’ll let you know what the total results were when they come out. Sadly there has been a decline in the bird population here in England. Some birds are rarely seen commonly anymore, but others have been on the increase.

So that’s a glimpse into my garden this week. The snow has gone now and been replaced by ferocious winds and rain. It really does feel like I’m living on an island. I never thought about that when I was living in Tennessee, but when I came back I realised that ‘yes’ we are an island race of people and we’re never very far away from the sea. Long may it continue so!

Oma

Look what I picked from my garden today.


These are the very first runner beans, picked on 10th August 2012.   They are about six inches long. Eight inches is the best size for eating since if you pick them before that they get too long, they won’t be stringy.  We had such a lot of rain in the early part of the year and through the summer, that the beans are at sixes and sevens.  They are really a crop for the late summer. During the one week of really good sunshine we had, lots of flowers appeared and therefore lots of beans are coming.  We will probably have a glut fairly soon.

The Sweet Peas were slow to get going too but now they are coming daily. Such pretty flowers.

Roses galore!


Sunday is gardening day and today was a good day to wander among the roses. This yellow climbing rose has waited patiently throughout the rainy weather at the start of the month and is now in full bloom.

Come, walk around the garden with me on this lovely July day 🙂

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