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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal April 2017

Last Post 205 days 5 hours ago

Veronica

27 April 2017 21:29:18

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Veronica prostrata 'Nestor Blue' took a while to 'settle in' to the Alpine Circle. But now it has become well-established and is beginning to spread out. Lovely delicate shade of blue.

Vivid!

26 April 2017 21:13:55

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I love this little Acer. It looks great with the sun shining through.

Testing

26 April 2017 08:57:15
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to see if photos are uploading

Id please?

24 April 2017 20:48:08

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I was rummaging through all my plants in waiting yesterday, and came across this sadly neglected pot. I have no idea what they are, and they were planted in heavy clay soil with lots of surface weeds.

Had to soak them in a basin of water to remove the old soil, and repotted them in fresh stuff. Can anyone tell me what they are, please?

Nice combination

24 April 2017 18:47:34

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I find this combination in my North-facing border quite pleasing to the eye - Lonicera nitida 'Bank of Gold', and Sambucus 'Thundercloud'. The Sambucus came as a rooted cutting from a fellow ier. So thanks, Tina. 

Very cold here all day.

Astelia

24 April 2017 09:09:48

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I have this Astelia 'Silver Spears' in a big planter at the patio doors. I regret having spent money on it as it really only looked good the first year I bought it. I guess it would look better planted out somewhere. But I think it was Margot who said that it gets huge over time. I keep cutting off random leaves that get bent over in the wind, just to keep it looking tidy.

Yesterday I noticed some flowers appearing. Not even very attractive ones at that. But I googled the plant and the female ones eventually produce little orange berries. So, I'll wait a while. And if nothing interesting or beautiful happens.........it's going to a new home.

Productive Day

23 April 2017 20:32:10

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Went around like a madwoman today with the trowel and secateurs. Got so much weeding done, and cut back old fronds of Asplenium scolopendrium and other ferns. Also cut off the lower leaves of a big Phormium. It was getting impossible to get in around other plants without being cut to shreds. Also dead-headed my lovely Wallflowers, pulled out old stems of Montbretia, and dead-headed a lot of my Tulips now that the petals are beginning to fall.

I finally finished the power washing. Thank God, that's done now. I can start having fun in the garden. I used the power washer on the outside of the greenhouse too.

Weeded my Costa de la Hosta, and have the copper interwoven between the hostas. There seems to be a lot more slugs and snails around this year so I've also scattered a few slug pellets just to be sure. 

I want BLUE!!!!

23 April 2017 19:46:26

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Amongst an order placed with Heritage Bulbs last Autumn were a number of Allium caeruleum. They're supposed to be blue, but they're looking awfully like wild garlic. Like I don't already have enough of that thug in the front garden.

Bits and pieces

22 April 2017 20:50:34

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A lot of 'pottering' was done outside today. Bit miserable here, cooler than recently and very dull and drizzly late afternoon.

Just looking at my newly-acquired Narcissus 'Green Eye'. A bit insipid for my liking, so they'll get planted out in the front for next year I think.

My favourite plant in the garden at the moment has got to be my Tree Peony. Love its unopened buds, and the foliage is just reaching for the stars.

A few seeds sown now, and tonight I sowed some pepper seeds from supermarket-bought ones. Only doing what I know we will use ourselves.

Blue? or White?

22 April 2017 08:18:40

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Discovered these growing happily away in the front garden the year before last and I decided to leave them be to see if they would multiply. They have done so. But as I'd never seen WHITE bluebells before maybe they are hybrids. They are growing alongside some of the blue native ones, which I want to keep. Am I taking a risk of them hybridising and drowning out the native ones?

Disappointing outing

21 April 2017 22:08:41

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Today I decided to take a trip out to the newly-opened Avoca Store in Clonee, previously Plantagen. I was sorely disappointed with their selection of plants. Very run-of-the-mill. At least 1/3 of their plants had come in UNLABELLED and with no prices on them. Others were just labelled as 'ornamental plants'. Now what good is that. Really turned me off spending. I even put back a Mecanopsis on the shelf. I've had the same one before and lost it. Wasn't prepared to spend a tenner on something iffy.

But I did get myself a pretty Epimedium and a different Crassula.

Phlox

21 April 2017 07:43:40

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This lovely little Phlox started life in the Alpine Circle. Over the years it came up less and less. Then all of a sudden I discovered that it had travelled across the grass and self-seeded on the mini island in the Greenhouse Pond.

It has come on even better in this area. The Alpine Circle had great drainage and full sun, conditions that they like. But there is actually very little soil on the mini island and I've never seen it looking so good. It looks great with the single Caltha palustris in the pond too.

Noise pollution

20 April 2017 19:46:01

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A family day today, with my grandson and my Dad. Before David went home though, he had to plant up two identical planters with some Violas that I had lying around. Job satisfaction written all over his face, bless him!

When he went home, I continued the power washing. But I suspect my next door neighbour wasn't overly-enamoured by the noise of it. They went back inside and shut their door loudly. Hmmmmm. I do understand. But it means that it'll have to taken out again until the job is complete. Hopefully tomorrow, as I'm having a 'Me' day. I've now edged the lawn/paving to create a small gully to help drainage. That's why it's taking so long. 

Worth its weight in gold

19 April 2017 19:22:44

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I planted this in the front garden about 5yrs ago when it had a complete make-over. Didn't realise how well this little shrub would do. At the moment it's absolutely COVERED in pure white blooms. Has a delicious gentle scent too. It's funny but David never remarked on it until today. He came bursting in with the news that I had a gorgeous shrub in my front garden that 'smells positively divine' (his own words). :)

It was a bit of a miserable day here today.

Stymied

19 April 2017 11:12:54

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This looks awfully like a Ricinus coming up. Or could it actually be Veratrum (as labelled on the pot)? I thought I lost that last year and I use pots over and over. But I'd never chance a Ricinus seed to germinate outdoors.

Starting a Santa List

18 April 2017 19:38:39

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Yea, it's starting early this year.

Today I attempted to power wash the patio, and yard just in front of the patio doors. I am still using a very old PowerWasher that Dad gave me years ago, and in reality, I need a new one. I'd say this is about 15yrs old and bought in Aldi. It did the job fine for Dad, but there's got to have been a vast improvement on the performance of these power tools over the years. So please forgive me for starting my Santa list early.

Have cuts and grazes all over my arms and hands from the other day, my neck and shoulder is very painful from lifting and moving around heavy planters yesterday. The Power Washer relies on a strong grip on the trigger, so now I've cramps in my hands.

I gave up after nearly three hours, and it's only half done. All planters and patio furniture are still on the grass. Wee Davey is due for a sleepover tomorrow. If he sees the PowerWasher out, he'll want to do it. Maybe when he's 16?  LOL So the rest will have to wait until he's gone home on Thursday.

Feeling tired and very old tonight. But hey, my day was lit up afterwards when I noticed my Geranium 'Mourning Widow' open its first flower of the year. Happy Days!

 

 

Pretty

18 April 2017 06:50:21

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Just posting these three photos because I think they're really pretty.

The first is one of my many Hostas coming up beside the Lower Pond, with a backdrop of Caltha palustris 'flore pleno', the second is a close-up of the same Caltha. And the third is a single Caltha palustris, for which I have no name, in the Greenhouse Pond. The 'single' gets full sun. It's lovely even when it starts to lose its petals.

Time management

17 April 2017 20:56:14

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Didn't get as much time outside today as I wanted. I now have the tomatoes in their final pots (I keep my tomatoes in the greenhouse).

Potted up some reduced Kniphofias that I got in Homebase last week.

The water level of the dreaded 'Cave Pond' has dropped even further. But that just can't get sorted this year. Some nice Irises in this pond and the level had dropped below them. They have also outgrown their baskets which I thought were large enough when planting them. I don't think larger baskets are available anywhere. Anyway, they're now being held in the Upper Pond until repair work is carried out in the distant future. On a few occasions I have been tempted to just order 4 tonnes of topsoil and fill the whole lot in. But..........I would probably only regret it.

Delighted to see 'Solomon's Seal' open today.

Buzzing around!

17 April 2017 20:16:30

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Even though the flowers from my blueberries haven't quite opened yet, it didn't stop the bees from trying to extract some early nectar all day.

Last year, the blueberries were in the Acid Quadrant - neutral soil with an annual top-dressing of ericaceous compost. However, when the fruit was harvested last Autumn, they were all planted into the raised bed that Steve and Wee Davey made for them, with 100% ericaceous soil. So it'll be interesting to compare this years crop with last years.

White

17 April 2017 18:49:50

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A few years ago I took in a full delivery of Forget-Me-Nots in work. But when filling up the shelving I spotted just ONE pack of white. I hadn't even seen white before.

So as I was in the right place at the right time I bought the solitary pack of white. But over the years their numbers have decreased dramatically. So I was delighted to see these ones opening in the last few days.

Alstromeria

17 April 2017 07:14:46
Alstromeria

Alstromeria

A. 'Indian Summer' is now beginning to open. It's amazing how early everything is this year.

Essential Job

16 April 2017 20:23:12

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If there was only one job I accomplished today, it would have been a proper clearing out of the Greenhouse Pond. It got done very half-heartedly last summer and hasn't looked the best since then.

So, as Steve is home this weekend, I was brave enough to get into the pond, with the waders. He was busy assembling the other 4 patio chairs from the set we bought in the sales last year. It's now time for them to spend the summer outside.

In the Greenhouse border I had to tidy up my variegated Yucca, it's lethal and I was almost cut to shreds. Nuala had given me a nice little Pampas Grass when we visited her a couple of years ago. As I had nowhere else, it got planted at the edge of the pond. But now after having trimmed some of the blades, it looks a lot tidier, and my Sleeping Mexican is once again visible. Cut back a lot of Phlomis too. I hadn't realised how prolific it would end up after only 2, maybe 3 years.

Took out lots of pond weed and thinned out the Bulrushes, being careful not to overdo it as they're a great plant for attracting dragonflies and damselflies. 

Steve had only cut the grass yesterday and today I littered it again with what I pulled from the pond. I promise to clean up after me hail, rain or snow tomorrow. So delighted with the results, as it was a job I had been putting on the long finger. I attempted it last year after the knee replacement and fell into the border behind while getting out again.

Now I have this little step stool with handrail that I bought in Aldi a couple of months back. I can scootch up onto the step from a sitting position on the grass and haul myself up from there. Sorted!  And very happy with a fruitful couple of hours.

 

Id please

16 April 2017 17:30:50

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Not exactly a garden plant. But I spotted it last week while out walking in Portmarnock. It was growing in a crack in the ocean walkway. It has a stalk somewhat similar to Rhubarb, but paler. Can anyone id it for me, please?

Love 'em

14 April 2017 21:14:18

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Here come the Bluebells. Lovely to see how they spread about the garden.

Busy Busy!!!

14 April 2017 19:54:50

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It was like Grand Central Station here all day so I got nothing much done. But I was delighted afterwards to spot my lovely Iris confusa 'Martyn Rix' beginning to open. 

Better and better each year

14 April 2017 07:10:25
Better and better each year

Better and better each year

I remember going to Ratoath Garden Centre a few years ago looking for a Flagpole Cherry. Sadly they had none in stock. But while pottering about, being only half-tempted by other stuff that I really didn't want, the owner, John, disappeared behind the scene for about ten minutes. He came back to me with a puny little specimen of a flagpole that he had found in the area not designated for customers. I think this was due to be 'skipped' as it was very sad looking. But I offered John a fiver for it, and that was the best fiver I've ever spent on my garden. 

It was only about two feet tall, and now it stands resplendent at a glorious height of about 15ft and looks better every year. It also has a lovely gentle scent, and being a 'flagpole' variety takes up very little space. 

Two new ones

13 April 2017 20:52:50

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I have a deep love for Primroses/Primulas/Polyanthus. Still adding them to the garden as you just can't beat their cheery colours in Spring. And so far none of them have been attacked by vine weevil.

I got two new ones reduced to half price today - P. 'Silver Lace' which I've had before, but lost, and P. 'Little Queen' violet. Pretty little things.

But one of my favourites in the garden is possibly P. 'Dawn Ansell', which is now starting to self-seed. But it requires very little maintenance. The flowers last ages before needing to be dead-headed.

Have a lovely weekend.

Celandine

12 April 2017 00:06:43

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I did a journal yesterday enquiring about a particular plant I've found by the Upper Pond. I did think initially it was Lesser Celandine having spread to a different part of the garden.

But as you can see in photo no. 2, the one on the left is DEFINITELY what Hazel kindly gave to me a few years ago. The one on the right is what I found up at the pond. Also the flower is a bit bigger than Celandine. Are there two different types maybe?

Another plant id please

10 April 2017 22:02:01

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Didn't get enough time outside today. What I did manage to do was to finally pot up some Agapanthus that Kate & Graham had given me, probably before Christmas. Forgive me, Kate. They were completely hidden until today. There is some growth but it's all distorted and lacking sunlight. But all is rectified now. Another person from Facebook who lives locally (I think) also gave me some Agapanthus. Both lots are blue. Both are now in planters, and both will give me my favourite colour on the patio hopefully.

I was having a look around today and came across this plant growing happily away in the limited soil around the Upper Pond. I did think at first that it might be Celandine. I do like Celandine, but the bit that Hazel gave me is only barely coming into flower and both the flower AND the leaf is completely different. So, can anyone enlighten me as to what it is, please?

Chancer!

09 April 2017 19:50:30
Chancer!

Chancer!

And there's me being extra vigilant in removing the Dandelions in the garden. Spotted this opportunist in the gutter of the greenhouse today. 

What a difference a day makes!

09 April 2017 19:04:04

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Flip-flops and t-shirt yesterday, unlike today. The heating is now on. Cant believe I'm doing that in April. However, c'est la vie. 

Took a trip out to Portmarnock this afternoon and a brisk stroll down the ocean path. On the other side of the road was a spectacular display of tulips as far as the eye could see, interspersed with daffodils and a few other flowers. Well done, Fingal County Council. Not much gardening done today but that certainly brought a smile to my face.

Looking for help

09 April 2017 05:50:34

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Got this little plant last year from some kind person here, possibly the year before. Still in the original pot. Can't, for the life of me, figure out what plant it is or even its growing requirements/habit. Can anyone help with identifying it, please?

It's SUMMER!

08 April 2017 20:32:35

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Well, wouldn't it be really great if this was the 'real' beginning of our summer!!!  What a super day yesterday and today. I even ended up in t-shirt sleeves and flip-flops. Although that's not very safe when carrying big heavy planters around.

My lovely little Sempervivum was treated to a bigger pot, and Terri sent me an onion set in the post this week. So they got planted into long window boxes. I've now run out of compost and I won't be able to get any until Thursday at the earliest.

Did a bit of clearing in the ponds, the fish are up and sunning themselves. Time to introduce a small bit of feed now. Although they didn't eat much of what I gave them last year. I reckon the pond has taken on a life of its own at this stage and they forage for natural live food. 

During the week I lost a small pot of Sweet Pea seedlings and had been wracking my brains trying to locate them. I found them today at 5 o'clock. Not sure whether to actually plant them out yet, they were only sown a few weeks ago but at this stage must surely be hardened off. Even with last nights frost they look absolutely fine. But they were snuggled into a bigger pot for protection.

Paris for Hazel

08 April 2017 19:09:42

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You haven't won a free holiday, Hazel. But I promised to post photos of Paris quadrifolia when it was fully opened. As you can see it's also spreading nicely.

Minimal tasks

07 April 2017 19:49:59

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As I had to go out at lunch time and keep clean, I spent part of the morning sowing seeds indoors. Nothing unusual - Nicotiana, Nigella, Nicandra, Cosmos, Eccremocarpus (pink) and a few others.

Did a bit of watering when I got back. Hoping with the great forecast again for tomorrow that I'll be more 'hands on'. We certainly can't complain about todays weather.

Sambucus

07 April 2017 07:55:41

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Here it is in the front garden. Love the emergence of foliage at this time of year. As you can see, it's leaning over to one side. But that doesn't take from its beauty in any way.

Have a lovely day, folks.

A question

06 April 2017 19:49:41

Auntie Acid

06 April 2017 19:08:11

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Today I needed time to catch up with old friends so I hadn't intended doing a whole lot outside. But when I got home, I decided to avail of as much daylight as possible and did a bit out in the front AGAIN!   That blinking RoundUp I sprayed on the wild garlic a couple of weeks ago did NOTHING to kill it. It just turned it a paler shade of green. Pulled loads more up today.

Cut back older growth on my lovely white Hydrangea and pulled out old stems of Montbretia that grows in and around the Hydrangea. They make a nice combination when they're flowering together.

I have a couple of really nice shrubs in the front - Physocarpus 'Lady in Red' which is looking stunning when the sun lights it up, and it will only get better as the season progresses. Another one is my Sambucus 'sutherlandii'. Its leaves come out reddish, and change to yellow later on. Our winds of winter must have all been coming from the one direction as its branches look like they belong on the Burren, and are all leaning over to one side. But it's a nice effect in my opinion.

Weeded the driveway in readiness for painting the dividing walls either tomorrow or Saturday, time permitting. Happy with what I got done out there. Oh, and my Lithodora diffusa 'Heavenly Blue' isn't looking so heavenly at the moment. Myrtle's is in full flower at the moment, and its a shade of blue that I am really drawn to. I then realized that I had been neglecting it over the last couple of years. They like acid soil, and I don't think I've ever fed it since it got planted. So I remedied that with a top-dressing of ericaceous compost, and a proprietory feed. Probably too late for flowers now but it needed it anyway.

And while I was thinking ACID, I ventured out to the back. Watered all my acid-loving plants with water-butt water, which they love, and gave them all a suitable feed. Very pleased with myself now. 

Lamium

06 April 2017 07:44:00

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The foliage has been spreading and spreading over the last few weeks. It fills a big planter and yesterday it began to open its gorgeous little flowers. It never gets pampered and cossetted, and is left outdoors all winter. Have it about three or four years now and occasionally I find some in the borders here and there. It responds well to division too.

Stripping

05 April 2017 15:11:27

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Good to see the sparrows stripping the plumes of Pampas Grass again to line their nests with. 

Broken Back and Takeaway Dinner

04 April 2017 19:29:38
Cyclamen seeds like a coiled spring

Cyclamen seeds like a coiled spring

Started off this afternoon with the intention of only removing dandelions in the garden. So armed the trowel, trug. secateurs (just in case), gloves etc I started at the Alpine Circle. Quickly got distracted, and moved on to another area that has been really irritating me for a long time now. Moved down to the area that has always been known as 'The Wilderness', even though it was half-tamed when Steve started constructing the Cave Pond all those years ago (and still not finished!!!!!)  What's that they say about patience being a virtue??   I'm completely virtueless at this stage. LOL .  

However, I removed buttercups, dandelions and all sorts of unwanted growth in this wilderness (it's to the left of the mini Jurassic border and in deep shade). I love the selection of plants in this area -Hellebores, Heucheras, Tree Peony, Paris quadrifolia, Primroses, Arisarum proboscideum (Mouse Plant), Euryops (which got pulled up today as it was getting very sprawly), and was delighted to see my Podophyllum looking very healthy. Got this plant only about three years ago and I spotted lots more coming up all around. 

Cleaned up dead leaves of Mahonia. God, they're a killer even on a gloved hand. And for once I didn't chuck everything over the wall for fear that the Dandelions would come back into the garden at some stage and bite me on the bottom. 

Weeded the area to the right of it that used to be known as the Primrose 5-steps. And of course a lot of the Primroses were taken up when Steve was starting the pond. But as this side of the border doesn't get too much sun, over the last few years I have re-added more Primroses. I do love the splashes of colour from them in what's mostly a foliage border. Too tired to cook dinner tonight so it was a takeaway.

Took a few photos today of that area so I might post an album later.

Another Clematis

03 April 2017 21:50:13

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Here's another early-flowering Clematis that's starting to open now. Very similar to C. 'Pixie' which is also almost open, but this is a non-climbing form. Still waiting for its eventual place in the garden, although it's so small it may be best in a small planter.

Change of plan

03 April 2017 17:56:55

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After my walk and errands today I had planned on getting the dividing wall in the front garden painted. Got the brushes, and bucket of paint and chair. But when I spotted a little clematis that I discovered growing there last year, and it being quite a bit cooler today, I decided to just take a couple of photos and go in and put the kettle on. :) This clematis is flowering a full month earlier than last year.

Just a couple

03 April 2017 07:28:38

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I think it was originally Hazel who gave me a couple of Cerinthe seedlings for my garden, and they're up and flowering already. Love that shade of blue/lilac.

Another of my Camellias have opened up. No label on it, but I think it's 'Saturnia'. Love its rich colour.

Gorgeous day

02 April 2017 20:39:21

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It was like a summers day from dawn to dusk. Steve managed to get the grass cut, it was badly needed. Last time was January 1st so you can imagine how scruffy it was with growth, plus a lot of debris from my recent spells of cutting back and weeding. I normally just throw it on the grass and wait until Steve takes out the lawnmower. Kills two birds with one stone, but it's pretty awful to look at until then.

Tomato seedlings are now 'fully' out in the greenhouse. Still have to be potted on to their final pots. But I'll leave well enough alone for now. And there's a very cold night in store for us on Tuesday, I think. So the fleece is ready, or maybe they can come back into the house for the duration.

Everything was watered in the greenhouse today and there's a small bit of growth on the Dahlias I stored in there over the winter.

Delighted to see my little Paris quadrifolia bulking up so well. It's only here about 4yrs, I think. Another bit of sunshine should see them flowering soon. The broken bits of paving are surrounding it to protect it from passing foot traffic, usually mine.

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