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Lyn and Malcolms Garden Blog
February 2014

February 22nd
A decent day today, so much so that we rushed back from the Wessex Clematis meeting, had a sandwich and then
went out in the garden.

Crocus sieberi 'Sublimis' now open in the sunshine today

Lyn tying up the new growth on the clematis.

New growth on the roses, if we get any hard frost the new growth may get blackened.

Lots of bulbs in a small patch of Lyn's garden.

We decided to feed the Clematis with Sulphate of Potash today, it helps to produce more flowers.
It would normally be applied about a month ago, but all the rain we have had would probably washed it away.
Avoid getting any on the new shoots and stems, as it could burn them.

An indicator to show us how early or late the season is.

Something I have been waiting 3 years for. A flower bud on Echium candicans, or fastuosum.
I grew them from seed, they should have flowered last year, but there was none. 
They are in the greenhouse at the moment, hopefully they won't flower too early, I would prefer to see them outdoors.

February 20th
The rain and wind has eased over the last few days, which has allowed us to renew or rewrite a lot of the plant labels in the garden.
A few ot the seedlings we are raising indoors have now been potted up in single pots.
On Saturday we will be at the annual Wessex Clematis Society meeting at Lyndhurst, we normally come away with a couple more Clematis plants.

Suprisingly the garden appears to be only as far forward as at the same time last year.
We haven't had many frosts at all this winter, I guess the plant growth is probably linked to day length rather than temperature.

We still have nothing much to do on the allotment, again too wet to walk on.
We are still getting a few crops. Carrots which we sowed late September in the frame we made, and leeks in the main beds.
A sowing of early lettuce is up, and will be grown on in pots, to be later planted in the frame.

Iris unguicularis does quite well for us, despite not being in an ideal position.

The Phloxes are growing well, and may have to have the Chelsea chop later on.

The snowdrops don't mind the rain and have over the years made good clumps.

Crocus sieberi 'Sublimis'  While the buds are closed they are safe from the rain.

Narcissus 'February Gold'  always the first to flower.

Fritillaria imperialis 'Rubra Maxima'  just emerging through the top dressing.

Alliums enjoying a break in the weather.

February 7th
Still Lots of rain and wind, I think it is about 9inches of rain so far this year.
We are fortunate to be on higher ground, so no floods, but lots of rain.
All the herbaceous in Lyn's garden is cut right down now, so no harm to them with the wind.
The Clematis where pruned in early January and are shooting away, well most of them.

I finished top dressing Lyn's garden today, as it was quite sunny.
It took 7 bags of 75litre Erin multipurpose and about 7 smaller bags of horse manure mixed together.
I was pleased to see that the Erin compost was made from peat, in my book much better than recycled material.
We also had 270.00 worth of potting compost and John innes no3 delivered this afternoon on two pallets.
It took me a while to barrow it from the pavement to Lyn's shed and the garage, at the end I got wet when the rain came back.

Before I top dressed the garden, we split some of the plants that were outgrowing there space, I think we now have 120 new plants
that will go on our plant stall on our open days, plus another 100 or so we bought in the autumn to grow on.

It is also seed sowing time in the propagator, we always sow too many, hopefully not this year.
The allotment we can't do too much to at the moment, as it is too wet, much better to stay off it.

So Spring won't be long away, in fact signs of it already, and no very cold weather forecast for the whole of February.

Just a few Spring bulbs starting to flower.

Part of Lyn's garden showing the top dressing which also shows the plant labels up. Looks pretty bare at the moment.
Very different to mid Summer !!

Echium piniana grown from seed sown in January last year. These have been outside under a Tracycarpus, and are
looking well despite one having a caterpillar that had started to eat the leaves. A good hard shake to the plant
dislodges the caterpillar which makes a mouthfull for one of the Blackbirds in the garden.