Our garden: March 2014

You know Spring has officially sprung when you start seeing insects in the garden. I think the warm weather we’ve had over the last week has coaxed them out from hiding.

Ladybird mating in Spring

We built our raised beds a few weeks ago and only thing holding us back from planting was a lack of compost and soil. On Tuesday it finally arrived! We ordered 20 x 80L bags of compost and 20 x 35L bags of top soil from the Compost Centre. It was ALOT of soil!! It was pretty barganious – an 80L bag of organic compost for £2.80 (compared to a non organic 60L bag for £4.99 from Homebase). Now we have enough soil in the front and back garden we get start planting!

Stack of compost and top soil bags

After several hours of digging, the raised beds were full and the front garden had a fresh layer of top soil. The soil we did have in the back garden was a thick layer of clay so I spent quite a while breaking that up and digging the compost in. Next week I’ll be planting seeds – salad leaves and spinach will be the first in.

Courtyard back garden with raised beds

Filled raised beds

These pink primroses are troopers, I’ve not had to do any deadheading since I planted them in January.

Pink primroses

Pink primroses

Our cyclamen now has pink spots all over it. I had the same markings appear on the hydrangea petals last year but have no idea what causes it. Does anyone know?

Pink spots on cyclamen petals

Speckled cyclamen

The daffodils are out. It feels like ours have taken forever to flower compared to everyone else’s. They are the Narcissus variety and I love how compact they are.

Narcissus daffodils

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-tete’

I’ve been saving the cardboard boxes from our weekly veg box for indoor sowings. Once the seedlings are big enough I’ll transfer them outside, plant the boxes directly in the ground and they’ll degrade. I got this tip from the Riverford newsletter a while ago.

Sowing seeds in the garden

Our bathroom is starting to look like a nursery…

Seed trays on the windowsill

These cornflower seeds are really unusual and are the only seeds I’ve sown that don’t look…well…seed shaped.

Handful of cornflower seeds

cornflower seeds

I’m hoping the garlic (right, below) is being as productive under the soil as it is on top. The shoots are now over 30cm tall. The rest are planted in the ground and I have to resist the temptation to dig around to see what’s going on.

Terracotta pots on a wall

Garlic (right)

We gave our diseased crab apple tree a drastic haircut during the Winter and we weren’t sure if it would do anything this year. Things are looking good because it’s covered in green shoots, hooray!

Spring shoots on a crabapple tree

Crabapple tree shoots

I was putting the top soil in the front garden today and I noticed fresh shoots in this lavender. I thought it looked beautiful in the sun.

English lavender in the sun

Lavender Vera (true English Lavender)

We’re in need of some more plants. It’s amazing how many you need to fill a relatively small garden – although it’s starting to feel nice and roomy in the back now we’ve had a sort out and the raised beds are in. Does anyone have any favourite cottage garden plants? Or favourite plants in general?

In other news my wrist is starting to feel better and I’ve managed to complete a couple of small crafty projects – to be blogged about soon.

18 Comments

  1. Oh it all looks fantastic and I love the look of your raised beds, very envious! I’ve no idea about the cyclamen spots I’m afraid-too much damp/water maybe? Just a guess though 🙂

  2. oh my, that’s a lot of compost! we’re planning to build our raised beds this weekend and it hadn’t even occurred to me that we’ll need compost… ha, you can tell I’m not a natural gardener! that garlic looks huge, I think I’d have to have a look! x

  3. What hard work you’ve been doing but how fab it looks already – oh I can’t wait to see those raised beds all full of greenery!

    Loving the pink primroses especially – there are so many gaudy bright yellow and purple ones about so it’s nice o see delicate pinkies. And of course most excitingly I can see YOU!

    Thanks for joining in again and sharing – such an exciting time of the year, the promise of great growing ahead! x

  4. This post brings back memories of our garden about a year ago. We also put in raised beds like yours for growing vegetables. Nearly a year on it is now taking shape nicely – as I’m sure yours will too! x

  5. looks like you are working hard, it will look fab come summer. My fav cottage garden plant has got to be Hollyhocks, I love them xxx

  6. Well those ladybirds look like they’re having fun!

    I have seeds growing all round my house too! You have so much going on in your garden, it looks fab x

  7. OooEeer, exhibitionist Ladybirds! Fantastic! This would make a wonderful Valentine’s card…I would love a print of this! Your garden is looking very tidy. I love cornflowers seeds, they look perfect for flying and spreading themselves around.

  8. haha sex sells that ladybird shot is defiantly saying spring has sprung, we have had about 50 ladybugs on 1 bush i think it might be a good year for bugs. The cornflower seeds are really lovely and unusual.

    when you visit my blog if i hit your link i get sent here https://plus.google.com/+GemmaGarner/posts which i think is a year old, just wanted to let you know so you could maximise your traffic to your blog xx

  9. Wow! That’s a great start compared to my friends in the Midwest! I don’t know why your plants have pink spots. I googled it, but to no avail. The hydrangeas in a local park look like that, too, but I thought it was natural.

  10. My favourites include aquilegia and for shade, bleeding heart. They’re really easy to grow and i just love the flowers 🙂

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