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Lyn and Malcolms Garden Blog
January 2016


January 29th
The rain and wind continue, with the odd half a day of winter sun in between.
All the Dahlias, and plants like Mirabilis and Lilies in pots have been turned out and put back into the same pots. with new soil.
Lyn has planted just a few more lilies straight into the garden, and also bought a couple of climbing roses to replace two very old climbers that we dug out while the new wall in the garden was being built.
I have almost finished the annual top dressing of Lyn's garden. Half of any multipurpose compost to half of horse manure. We usually buy the horse manure from garden centres as we find it has virtually no weed seed in it.
It takes six bags of each to cover the garden lightly. We can't put too much on as over the last ten years or so the soil level in the beds has risen considerably.
All our 100+ Clematis have been given some blood fish and bone fertilizer to give them a start. Our soil is quite sandy so nutrients tend to wash through the soil quite quickly.

Crocus enjoying the sun, they don't last long with the heavy rain.

Crocus tommasinianus 'Roseus' 

Eucomis comosa 'Sparkling Burgandy' bulb which is about 100mm across. I sit the bulb of some

Sauromatum 'Venosum' bulb being repotted. If you haven't heard of the name, take a look on
 the internet.

Don't take anything for granted. Lyn bought this rose from a well known local plant centre. It 
was one of the climbing roses she chose. But on researching the name it turned out not to be a 
climber at all. She may keep the plant anyway, as it is supposed to have a good scent, but it
 won't be planted to climb the fence.

January 2nd
Cutting down the group 3 clematis is now finished, we had a welcome break in the wet weather this afternoon.
Despite the mild temperature so far this winter, there is not much flower in the gardens. Signs of new growth yes, hopefully not too early.

Clematis anshunensis or 'Winter Beauty' in flower now.

Ten month old Echium pininana plants grown from seed, hoping they will flower later this year.

Ricinus 'New Zealand Purple' has survived 3 small frosts and lots of rain this winter.

New growth on several Lilies

I haven't been told off yet for painting some of Lyn's Salvia leaves.

New shoots on a Clematis

Abutilon megapotanicum still in flower.

One of the 50 to 60 surviving Brugmansia cuttings we took in November

January 1st
At last the walls are finished in the front and back garden. It has taken nearly a month for me to do it all.
All that remains now is for Lyn to reinstate the Clematis back up on the trellis, and loosen up the soil in the beds, where I have been walking on.
I really had enough of 7-8 hours a day, if it had been warm and sunny it probably would have been more enjoyable, but the rain got me down.

So the start of a new year in the garden, Lyn has started to cut down the group 3 Clematis, which had already started to put on new growth, due to the mild weather so far this winter. We will feed them with some Blood Fish and Bone which we did for the first time last year. We had always just fed Sulphate of Potash for helping to produce the flowers. But our soil being quite light and sandy all the nutrients get washed through easily, so last year the Blood Fish and Bone did help the Clematis to make more vigorous growth and a good show of flowers.
Despite putting boards down on the lawns to walk on during the work on the walls, and taking them off at night, the lawns have taken a battering, and look a bit muddy with all the rain. Hopefully they will get back to normal in the next few weeks.
I can now get back to giving the over wintering plants a bit more attention now, having neglected them somewhat for the last month.

The wall under construction in Lyn's garden about a week ago.

And today in the rain, finished, but looking a bit bare, till the original Clematis and two new
 climbing roses which are yet to be planted, get new growth on.