It has been a busy week. The sun has been shining and there has been a little rain – not enough to be useful but it helped keep new plants alive. But the week has been all about construction rather than planting – it is all about the future.
The never-ending job of paving at the back of the house, which is all about getting ready for the summer house, is finally done – apart from the pointing.
Another job done is the trellis that screens the new greenhouse. We chose post bases that are concreted-in here so one was placed every day and allowed to set before we progressed to the next. We now need a dry day so we can paint it. I am itching to get on with it so the actinidias, sitting in pots, can be planted and some seedling dahlias planted.
The other timber work was a pair of arches which frame the ‘long lawn’ at each end. This was complicated because things were done back to front here – the roses either side of the entrance were planted before the lawn was cut out and before the paving was laid and all this before the formal arches which have to line up with the house. Not the way to do it really. So it was a compromise between measuring and what looked right! We, foolishly, chose ‘bang-in’ spike post supports here which we know from experience, twist as they are banged in, especially in soil like this which is full of rocks, and despite our careful measuring, they went in at crazy angles which made putting in the upright stakes a real problem. But we got there in the end, but again they need painting.
Update on Silene ‘Sibella Carmine’
I mentioned this the other day, planted in a formal bedding area, but the photo did not show it well, as was mentioned in comments. I apologise for this and will correct it with these photos. It is proving quite remarkable at the moment and is covered in bloom. I am still worried about how long it will last but I can’t complain about the show so far.
What is pleasant about it is that it has a loose, spreading habit that is unusual in many bedding annuals and I think it has huge potential in herbaceous borders. I do not know if it will self seed but the flowers, which are losely semi-double, certainly attract bees – another bonus.
And lastly, I bought some plants from a nursery in the UK last autumn, impatiens among them, and in a pot of begonia, two seedlings appeared this spring. I potted them and they grew well and now one has opened the first flower. I checked back with the nursery to confirm its ID and they confirmed that it is Impatiens scabrida. They said that it is an annual and can seed around but I will risk that and plant one outside now. The other will stay in the greenhouse.
The nursery is Farmyard Nurseries in Wales. I emphasise that I have no link with them but they offer a huge range of plants, many unusual, and were very helpful when I ordered and answered my query about the impatiens within an hour (on a Sunday). Because of the B word they can’t deliver to Ireland now – or who knows? – but if you are in the UK you should take a look.