I'm linking in as usual with Jon: The Propagator, and will be fascinated as to what each contributor adds to their posts this week. I'm relieved to hear that Jon has now planted all his daffodils. Some have great big gardens and will easily have plenty to share, but it is encouraging to read posts from people with small gardens like mine, as well, as it is at this time of year that we can glean interesting morsels. I find that each season, I build up posts that I can refer back to, and find useful.
1. I wonder how many of my borderline hardy plants are going to survive this freeze. A few years of mild weather have spoilt us.
Salvia Amistad in the garden, blackened and looking sorry. I shall cut it back, and maybe it will shoot up from the base. Otherwise, I have some nice rooted cuttings coming on, brought into the conservatory just in time. I had already given two away to different people, so I hope they have been under cover there. Thanks to my husband's patience walking around plants in our conservatory.
2. For me it is too cold to garden outside, but I could not resist doing just one thing: going out to pick seed heads. The finches seem to prefer the naked sunflower seeds, which attract many different birds.
Eryngium Silver Ghost is now shedding its seeds. This has proved to be a biannual in my garden. Your seeds were posted yesterday Anna. I have plenty still to share, so if you are interested, let me know. It is quite easy to pop some in the post to you.
Our gardening club is a member of the Gold Scheme at Castle Gardens Group, and each year they offer composts delivered to your door at competitive prices. It is the first time I've put in an order. Ordered before Christmas, the bags arrived this week. The very nice delivery man from Castle Gardens had several orders from our club members, but he still had the time to move them all to my potting area right round the other side of the house. Thanks John!
3. Action taken too late
I was counting on a number of possible flowers from my new Alstromeria but I ought to have brought the pot into the conservatory before the freeze set in. As it was expected to reach -5C during the week, even though it was too late to save the growth, I thought the plant would be better in the conservatory.
4. I was quite touched by this present from Mr S, which was a complete surprise. He knows how I love to find and watch the spiders in and around the garden. Mandy sent me a picture of a spider she hadn't seen before, at her allotment some time ago, and using the book I was able to identify it as a female orb spider. probably Araniella cucurbitina. Is is usually greener than the one in her photograph, but it may be in the process of moulting. https://www.naturespot.org.uk/species/araniella-opisthographa. It is going to take some time to read and learn how to use this. Any spiders around the house are some to be caught and studied under a glass.
5. Present from my grand-daughter: little match box called Tomato and Basil Soup in a box, but grow your own. Would something like this be a great little present for members of a gardening club at the Christmas Party. I am optimistically planning for 2021 December's Gardening Club party. There may not be the fancy little miniature bottles, but little seed packets. Maybe send some Forget-me-not seeds for a friend to sow in their garden? Yes, I have checked you can buy mini glass bottles with stoppers, and blank boxes, or maybe just learn how to fold origami seed packets. A couple of packets of seeds could be split many ways, or better still use good seed gathered from your garden.
I wonder whether all those vaccine bottles, which are in such short supply, are going to be recylced/reused/ or could they be upcycled?. If there are any doctors/nurses amongst you, maybe you could salvage some, if that is permitted?
6. First snowdrop Diggory. These came from a bulb sent to me by Anna of Greentapestry in 2019 is up, though perhaps not yet fully open to allow correct identification. I've been watching the soil held in the grip of ice, 'heave' and fall repeatedly over the past week, with my eye on the the first to emerge special snowdrops. It seems as if I may have lost a few varieties of the special snowdrops. I removed some small plants, and moved Diggory to the edge of the 'Conservatory' bed, close to where I sit. Anna also sent me Lapwing and Lady Beatrice Stanley: I shall be out checking whether or not they survived the warm summer. Cathy sent me Blewbury Tart, Magnet and Mrs Macnamara in 2018, and I had also bought a couple in 217 : Woronowii and Elwesii, but I think they have not survived. I am hoping that Viridapice nivalis (2018) will come up, as it is an easy one to recognise. Indeed I need to check that the labels are in the right places and snowdrops correctly identified. This is also the time I enjoy getting out my Naomi Slade's book The Plant Lover's guide to Snowdrops.
I do hope that you all will enjoy watching the snowdrops emerge. Little clumps in parks and gardens, or along hedgerow, somewhere near you on your daily walks will surely bring you joy.