December 21st and January 25th | 2017
On the shortest day in darkest December, I scoured the beds for my annual solstice bouquet and as you can see, not bad at all! Trusty campanula – bell flowers – which not only flower (sporadically I admit) into the autumn but look neat with their fresh green foliage all winter, also snapdragons and the last of the floribunda roses, and pinks – again these will struggle on producing flowers when they feel strong enough!
It is clear here at least that some assumptions about annual/perennial may need to be changed, especially for the tough snapdragons which are flowering outside and in the tunnel. I don’t really think they will last more than two seasons at the most, but anything to reduce the work load
I also have to very cruel to many of my primulas at the moment – they clearly feel spring is here anf are starting to flower happily – alas not for long once I have spotted them………..the hepaticas are also flashing their gorgeous blue but they need to peak in March so its off with their heads…..
Locally there is a spot in the valley below us, south facing admittedly, where as I write, on the 25th of January, periwinkle is out, snowdrops are in full swing and daffodils are only a few days from opening. Please let me not be tempting fate………… a lot more winter to come!
In order to accommodate all my mad cut flower plans I have been turning the top of my nursery field – rough pasture – into neat well organised stock beds. This is what I tell myself anyway! Ploughing followed by cultivating made a start but have left vast and unwieldy clods, up to a yard long and a foot wide, of rotting grass buried about a foot deep,and they’ve all got to come out. Oh joy. My digging is made more interesting /insane because due to my disability the entire ghastly process has to undertaken on my knees and only in half hour sessions…………………………………
However I have made myself do a little each day and progress is visible, if slow. The great thing is however that the soil, on paper a very unpromising shale/clay mix, is brilliant – both well drained and very fertile as last years growth shows, and so it feels at least like constructive torture!