It might have been the winter solstice this weekend, but I had the best gardening day I've had in a while. There was no frost or heavy dew overnight so I was able to get out there quite early, and with a mild, mostly sunny day I managed to tick off several things on my to do list.
First was planting garlic. The potager is a mess of weeds, but I cleared one corner and applied plenty of compost and sheep pellets. For good measure I added blood and bone and wood ash too. The garlic is some I saved from my last harvest - don't the cloves look pretty with their pink-tinted skins? I also have shallots from last harvest, and a clove of elephant garlic which I was given. I haven't grown this one before and I hope my efforts turn out as big as this beauty! I better keep up the sheep pellet application.
I love the moss growing on the terracotta sign. Terracotta is my favourite when it's weathered and aged!
Lui and I went for a walk to see what else was happening in the garden. He got distracted by birds, and I admired the first hellebore of the season. This lemony white beauty will be chartreuse by the end of winter! I wanted to pick it but there are more buds coming so I let it be.
I did a lot of clearing out in this bed. It had a giant lavatera which was lovely, but was getting much too big for the space. I tried pruning it but it was like Medusa... for each branch I cut, seven more grew back! I took some cuttings and I'm planning to grow one in a big pot there instead, hopefully that will keep it under control. I also dug out some gaura bushes for the same reason, and put back some smaller cuttings. It's a bit hard to see this bed in the photo (harsh low winter sun makes garden photography difficult!) but there are daffodil leaves peeking up, hellebores budding, and at the back is camellia Cinnamon Cindy, showing her first blossoms of the season. For a bit of transitional interest I grouped together some potted polyanthus and put some ranunculus around them.
Here's the bit I haven't got to yet! That monster penstemon (far right) needs dividing. If the weather stays good I'll get onto it soon. Oh, I've also shifted two trees (one this weekend and one last weekend) and transplanted several smaller plants. Who said winter was a quiet time in the garden?