Thursday, 12 May 2011

Some actual planting!

I may have managed to acquire one or two pots during my spiky obsession; some are plants that can not be planted, some are waiting for a spot and many more are plants being propagated.  Last year I used one of the old raised beds as a sort of prop / holding area, with the idea of keeping them out of the way.

I loved this little area, all the pots neatly lined up, the plants growing away, easy to see what I had spares off to give to people.  To me it worked really well, but it seems not everyone agreed. Apparently raised beds should actually be planted, and we don't need so many pots.  I know crazy talk, but my OH has been known to speak the truth at times. So this year, for several reasons, I am working my way through the garden sorting all the flower beds, trying to spend more time actually gardening and less concentrating on plants in pots.

Despite being distinctly fluffy, I had always thought this area would make a good fern bed, a few larger ferns that thrive in some sun,  with under planting of other shade loving plants.  It almost sounds like I know what I am talking about, but my record with plants that need care is not good. This is where friends come in,  and with a bit of help a few plants were selected that will give the look I am after and hopefully survive my lack of care.

Over the weekend the area was cleared,  all the junk removed, the soil improved and plants actually planted. This is such a novelty in my garden that my OH actually looked confused when she got home to find me putting the finishing touches to it. This is the only good thing about a small garden, in a couple of hours you can make a huge difference to the look of the whole garden. There is still space at one end for more plants, but it looks quite lush and has that lovely promise new plants settling in and filling the space.

Although it was lacking a certain something.

OK, a few pots may have sneaked back into the area, I am guessing that wont come as a big surprise.  In my defence, most of these are temporary as all these plants are just out of their winter storage and the leaves need protecting.  There is a myth that because agaves and other succulents come from hot sunny locations they can not get damaged by the sun in the UK. In fact like any plants, when you move them outside after a long period inside, they need to toughen up slowly. It is amazing how easily succulents scorch at this time of year and there is nothing worse than getting a plant through winter only to loose half the leaves just when you think they are safe. Every year some of my bigger plants get scorched and every year I swear I will be more careful next time.

So this year to avoid damage, plants are initially placed at the back in total shade,  then every few days all the plants get moved forward into more sun. The next set of plants can then be placed at the back.  The ones on the wall are almost ready for full sun. By the end of the month all the plants should be moved and there will be minimal pots on the bed.  So far it seems to be working fine and actually I quite like the two groups of plants all mixed in together a sort of lush-spiky.

The problem is now having said this, my OH is going to expect all the pots to move once they are able to cope with the sun. What do you think the odds are that I will actually manage to keep this area pot and spiky free?


  1. Oh you just described one of my least favorite gardening chores. Bringing the over-wintered plants back out into the sunlight. Every year I screw up and at least one (or more) get toasted. It takes so long for them to look good again! This year it's complicated by balancing the need to get them "out" with the almost nonstop rain here...good luck to you!

  2. Not sure what happened here. I think the post got mixed up with the Blogger site updates last week. I thing Danger Garden wrote a comment which has vanished. DG if you read this please post it again.

  3. Yeah sometimes weird blogger stuff like that happens. I know what you mean about scorching. I always tell myself that I will be more care full at the beginning of spring with sun and water. But a few always manage to get damaged or killed. Bummer! Oh well, we try right? Funny you have a spikey obsession and I am a succulent hoarder. Hahaha!

  4. I have managed to scorch the same plant three years in a row, poor thing spends all summer recovering only for it to happen again the following spring. This winter I am going to stick a big sign on it when I put it away for winter.