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Lyn and Malcolms Garden Blog
January 2013

January 27th
Yesterday was a decent day, mild compared with the last week or so and some sun.
I decided to get on in the garden, otherwise we will get behind with the jobs that need to be done. So I top dressed all of Lyn's garden, same mixture as usual, 50% any ordinary compost to 50% bagged horse manure.
It takes six bags of each to cover the beds, taking care not to bury all those plant labels.

Today was sunny after heavy rain in the night, but there was a cool wind. At one time I dodged into the greenhouse to tidy up some of the 'exotic' plants, which are looking reasonably well after such gloomy weather.
I was cutting back the old brown stems on a Canna, and to my surprise there was a Toad in the soil of the plant, it had made a depression in the soil and was lying there. It didn't move so I left it where it was.
I also filled the propagator with more pots of seeds, and potted up some very small plantlets of 'Thalictrun delavayii' which we had sown in a seed tray and left out all winter with a clear plastic top to stop them getting too wet.

The view of part of Lyn's garden from the bedroom window, the darkness of the top dressing shows the labels up even more.
They will be hidden as the plants grow.

On our open days people ask where we store our tender plants, this is the passage between the house and shed
We don't heat it at all.

Here is our standard Fuchsia, it was cut back in November and has been in the passage ever since, lots of new
 growth now, unless we get a very cold spell.

Outside in Lyn's garden everything is ready to put on growth, as soon as the temperature rises.

You should see the difference another five months !

Not long before the first Daffs are in flower.

The Winter Aconites have been in flower for a couple of weeks now.

The first of the Snowdrops just opening.

The Conservatory with more tender plants, this time heated to plus 9c.

January 18th
This was the view from our bedroom window at 6.00am this morning, snowing quite hard.

At about 7.30am it was still snowing.

The 'Exotic' garden was far from being 'Exotic' with about 4 inches or 100mm of snow.

Lyn's garden.

The birds couldn't find any food.

Till Lyn put food on a tray by our back door.

January 15th
A cool sunny day today and I managed to take a few photos of some of the birds that visit our garden. It costs a small fortune to feed them, but it is great to observe them and know they are fit and well, especially in the colder weather we are now having.
It is minus 3.7c in the back garden as I write this at 10.45pm, and is forecast to be minus 5c later tonight, hopefully the birds have found somewhere sheltered for the night.
Talking about shelter from the cold, it costs another small fortune to heat the greenhouse, the bird aviary, the conservatory and the two 'banana houses'.

Female Bullfinch.  Two pairs of bullfinch are regularly in the garden, hopefully I will get a picture of a male soon.

Robin. They have been singing quite a lot in the last week.

Blue Tit. 

House Sparrow


January 13th
A slow start to the new year in the garden, mostly due to the weather, lots more rain and dull old days.
Yesterday I sowed the first flower seeds in the propagator, Echiums and Echinacea won't take too long to germinate, and this year we hope to have better germination with 'proper' seed sowing compost.

I have also been in Lyn's garden and split from the parent plants, 67 Monarda, into 2 litre pots.
We have got the compost and manure for the top dressing in Lyn's garden, but before we top dress we need to move any plants which are in the wrong place and also finish splitting plants and planting a few new ones.
All the Clematis have been pruned, and when the weather warms up a bit we will feed them with a high potash feed. They are already putting out new shoots and some leaves.
The temperature in the shade today was just +2.5, but it looks like we will miss the snow and get rain instead, as if we needed more.

Some of the Monarda I potted up today

A Lily beetle, must be the earliest one we have seen in the garden........ever. You can see the damage it has done
to the leaves already. It won't be eating any more.

New shoots on the Phloxes are growing well.

A group 2 clematis (light prune) with some strong new growth.

Winter Aconite just opening up, soon to be joined with Snowdrops.