Wednesday 27 February 2013

Bursting with potential

I keep thinking that Spring is just round the corner. We have had a couple of spells of milder weather; a few really bright sunny days with blue skies. But then it reverts to Winter again - like the last few days, when it has been very cold once more. The poor old plants don't really know what to do. I have had buds on my Daffodils for nearly 6 weeks now, but they are mostly still firmly closed.
The Buddleia is covered in new shoots. This year I am going to try to persuade it to grow a little more upright. Last year the long branches made it top-heavy and the shrub is very lop-sided. It may need staking.

The prunings that I pushed into the soil around the parent plant look as if they have probably rooted.

There is also plenty of new growth on my white Rose bush. If only it would stay looking this fresh and healthy! It suffers every year from Black Spot. The leaves all fall off and the bush has to start all over again. Despite that I usually get a very fine display of flowers.

In this next photo you can see the first of my Snakeshead Fritillaries poking through the soil. They have been in there for about 18 months, (I planted them in Autumn 2011) and I'm hoping that having had some time to settle in they may be a bit stronger this year - and maybe they will have spread a bit. We'll soon see...

The ferns are gathering their strength too. I recently cut back all of last year's growth, which had been sheltering the plants over the Winter, to make room for new fronds.

Each one of these hairy bumps will in due course unfurl as a new leaf, and it looks as if there will be plenty this year.

The fruit trees are also showing signs of life. This is a bud on the "Conference" pear tree.

Last year I worked hard on pruning my tree (which is grown as a Minarette - very slim) correctly, so I'm hoping that it will do well this year. I absolutely love pears, and being able to have some from your own garden is especially rewarding.

What I really want though is to be able to sow seeds. I know it is not worth doing so just yet - they would almost certainly end up being leggy and weak. It's better to wait, I know. Seeds sown later, when the conditions are better, almost always go on to perform better than the early-sown ones. They soon catch up and often overtake the early ones. Patience, that's the name of the game...


  1. Your buddleia prunings look like they have taken off for a life of their own. I have planted two buddleias last year, and I need to cut them back in the next fortnight. They only have 3 to 4 branches each, but a lot of leaves that promise multiple side shoots. I need them to be more bushy around the lower part, as I need to, visually, shut the neighbour out. At what time of the year did you "plant" your prunings?

    1. Hi Brigitte; I planted those Buddleia cuttings in the late Autumn, when I pruned the bush very hard. Probably late November / early December.

  2. The shrub roses planted on the plot succumb to blackspot too which as you say is such a pity as they are lovely when starting to flower

  3. This is very good advice, Mark. In past years I've slightly panicked when reading of other bloggers writing of their seed sowing successes and bolted off to start some seeds off of my own ... and you're right, they don't do too well and I've found myself with plants that need to go out before the weather has warmed up. This year, I'm making the most of the lull to do as you're doing - pruning, tidying, checking and waiting!
    PS I hadn't heard of Minarette fruit trees - your post has sent me off to investigate and now I've found some more trees that I want!

  4. Spring is almost here! Yes I'm itching to start sowing too but actually been too busy which is good as I have in the past started too early. You are completely right that seeds sown in better conditions do better. Having said that I may succumb to sowing a few things this weekend though!

  5. Great success with your Buddleia Mark! Will try that. Spring surely is just around the corner so I hope it comes soon. Am trying to maintain a positive attitude but some days it is hard. Great photos as usual.

  6. Most of my Dafs have been in bud for ages the same as yours. The only ones in full flower are in pots well sheltered by the house walls. Its still too cold to get anything sown outside here. The gritting lorries were out this evening again and a heavy frost has just taken hold.

  7. Rejoicing in the change of season on the other side of the world as well, love a cutting!

  8. It's lovely and sunny here today, but still very cold. I love Snakeshead Fritillaries and have a few in my garden around my little pond, I must check to see if they're poking through yet.

  9. It must be so encouraging to see all that sprouting ;D
    Today was the last day of summer here and it's been chilly...only 17C!
    So autumn is approaching. Not sure I'm ready but I suppose I don't have much choice.
    Enjoyed seeing your wonderful photos yet again.
    Have a fabulous Friday and an even better weekend :D

  10. I am always amazed at how many plants you have in your garden for the size that it is - it is good to see things starting to come to life. Being further south you are ahead of me in the growth stakes.


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