Information for the amateur gardener

Friday March 31st March 31

Hostas are essential plants because they thrive in shade, have wonderful shapely leaves and often gorgeous rich foliage colours, and combine extremely well with scores of different plants. They can be used as ground cover and as stunning specimens in ornamental pots. Hosta look great when planted with ferns,or grasses. Another good idea is to plant up early spring bulbs with Hostas, just as the leaves of the Hosta are opening your spring display will be over, and the unsightly leaves of your spring bulbs will be hidden. If their is a disadvantage with Hosta it has to be the fact that slugs love them. If you are tempted to use slug pellets,avoid using them in an on going manner, check out the ones that claim to be wildlife friendly.

 

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Wednesday March 29th March 29

This morning we received the plug plants Begonia Semperflorens which have been eagerly awaited. I have before grown this variety from seed, but they can be slow to germinate, and at 9.99 for 120 plug plants you can’t go wrong. The quality of these plants,which could be described as a size up from seedlings is excellent. They were purchased from a mail order company of which I would highly recommend. www.gardeningdirect.com. These Semperflorens will create a major part of our front garden bedding scheme. All going well I will show you the results mid summer. This afternoon we visited four garden centres in search of two varietys of the evergreen plant Pittosporum. Only managed to get one of them today Pittosporum Variagatum, an excellent plant which I have sung the praises of before, I will come back to them again. Only two of the centres had this particular plant, who had the best specimens? B&Q. The other variety which we will pay Raemoir of Banchory a visit for is Pittosporum Tom Thumb, a red leaf evergreen plant which if we are unable to get, we will just have to rethink what else will look the part in this particular area of the front garden.

Pittosporum Tomb Thumb

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Monday March 27th March 27

Back to work in the front garden again today. After removing the box hedging on Saturday, the hardest work was carried out today. The main back border which is, or was planted with a range of evergreens is now a blank canvas. Some or most of the plants had been in the garden for twelve years, which made their removal very difficult indeed. The border really was becoming overgrown looking, no amount of pruning was going to give the rejuvenated look that was necessary. Mind you no one enjoys destroying healthy plants.

True as it may be, our gardens would not be the same if our feathered friends stopped visiting, but the dawn chorus at four this morning would have awakened the dead. We did have an early morning visit from a male bullfinch today, perched himself on an old ornamental watering can just outside the back window and was drinking quite contentedly. Makes a change from the year when two of them completely stripped the leaf buds from a mature Acer. Bullfinches do this, no one seems to know why, unless you do, let me know if you do.? Visit this website it will tell you all you may want to know about the birds that may visit your garden.http://www.garden-birds.co.uk/birds/

Male Bullfinch

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