End of the Month Review, February 2011

I will continue to show progress on the slope for the next few months so you can see how all the seedlings I transplanted last autumn are developing.

Stipa tenuissima on the bank is beginning to fill out

Gaura from 4 leaves to small clumps over the winter

I am surprised by just how much growth even the tiny Gaura seedlings have put on.  Last autumn I didn’t expect them to flower this year, now I’m hopeful there may be a few flowers from each plant, my fingers are crossed.  It is strange, I’ve had some Gaura plants in the Left Hand Border (I really must think of a better name for this area) for the last three years and have never found any seedlings.  Then in autumn 2009 I put 9 plants into the circular rose bed, they flowered for months covering the roses and everything else in the bed. When I was tidying up last autumn I found masses of seedlings growing over the whole bed.  I lifted and transplanted masses onto the slope.  Most were very small but I thought they would have more chance of establishing in this challenging situation while they were small – they have clumped up incredibly well so I’m really looking forward to seeing the whole slope covered with their butterfly flowers.  I have since potted up about another 100 small plants that I’d left in the rose bed to grow on a bit, I gave some to friends but there are still a lot I’ll need to find homes for.

Muscari beginning to form the 'stream'

You may remember me saying that my good friend Linda from the Garden in the West very kindly planted some bulbs for me when I was suffering from tendonitis and couldn’t do very much; the Muscari are beginning to flower creating the blue stream I had hoped for.  There is also a stream (perhaps more a river as the scale is different) of prostrate Rosemary which has been flowering for the last month or so.

In other places in the garden, where the Muscari have been planted for longer the clumps already look as if they need dividing.


At this time, I’m full of hope for good things to come – the ‘wild’ Iris I moved from the top of the Etruscan tomb (outside the fence but inside our property) are looking fine, I don’t know if they’ll flower this year or not.

In other parts of the garden Allium are pushing their spider leaves up through Euphorbia Myrsinites

Apricot flowers

I’m not so hopeful about the Apricot tree.  Its flowers continue to open even in the freezing winds and I have doubts about there being any apricots to harvest.  My hope is that the below zero temperatures are coming to an end and there are lots more buds on the tree, so I will have to be patient and wait and see.

Some flowers are turning brown probably frost damaged!

Maybe some of you heard Anne Swithingbank, on Gardeners Question time (Radio 4) describing combing her grasses to remove the previous years growth much as I described in a previous post about Stipa tenuissima.

As always thanks to Helen at Patient Gardener for hosting the End of the month reviews.  This was such a great idea, Helen, thank you.

10 thoughts on “End of the Month Review, February 2011

  1. Your slope is filling out beautifully Christina, and how exciting about the Gaura. It is going to look amazing. I like your river of muscari – I half-remember you saying what you planted with it to hide the leaves after flowering, but can’t remember the details. Die-back on bulbs can be so problematic, I’m always up for tips! I have my fingers crossed for your Apricot. I think lots of people in the UK cover them with fleece in the early Spring, but quite how they ever get pollinated this way I don’t know. Maybe they just get covered at night?

    • I planted little rooted pieces of Artemisia ponticum; they aren’t up yet but neither are the parent plants, they’re always quite late to shoot, so fingers crossed they’re OK. I just think it would be too hard to cover the Apricot especially as usually when its very cold its also very windy, I can imagine the buds all being knocked off by the fleece!

  2. Glad you joined in again, I am enjoying seeing your slope develop. I was surprised that my Guara plants have survived the snow and cold we have had. I did take a few cuttings just in case, they will root very quickly just in water.

  3. Hello Christina,

    Looking forward to seeing your slope develop over the months ahead. Forgot to add photo of alliums coming trough in my garden too. I love that euphorbia with yours 😀

    Ah… combing tenn.. yes, hands up I bought a dog brush a few years ago. It worked a treat but there’s something nice about just using your hands for the job too. Don’t have large clumps of tenn… any more. My garden is small and new plants replaced it. Lovely plant though, still admire it, and great for your slope where I guess it will catch some breeze 😀

    • Your blog is amazing, but I had difficulty trying to subscribe to it. I’ll keep trying. Breeze?, my garden is so, soooo windy; great for the grasses, everything else including me just has to put up with it.

  4. Your garden is beautiful, and it must be very satisfying to garden on such a large scale. Your views are amazing, you are so lucky to garden in Italy…

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