Monday, 9 May 2011

Magic Mixtures

Spring flowers

I am having a last ditch attempt to plant a specimen tree in my front garden, which is very well-drained and north facing - although the bit by the road does get the sun. Lavender and sage love it and the Malus sargentii is doing well with much food, mulch and love, but the corner of near the gate is proving recalcitrant. It has already claimed two victims, a Hamamelis and a magnolia, and I am having a final go with another magnolia (but not the one from a few blogs ago, a new and different one) before I move on to plan B (although I am not yet sure what that would be).

Anyway, I have chosen a much smaller plant so its needs are not immediately so great. I dug a big hole, oooh at least three or four times as big as the pot. And I made up a magic mix of compost, some of the soil from the hole, pelleted chicken manure, some Carbon Gold biochar and a shake of swell-gel to hold water. The idea is to get it going in a lovely, moist, nutrient rich environment which will enable it to take on anything and romp away. But of course there is always a risk that it will push its roots out of the original planting hole and sadly conclude that the world is a harsh, cold place.

My back garden, although it does not yet know it, has become a marvellous source of inspiration and interesting bouquets. I am quite getting into freeform flower design and it is rather pleasing how, if you plant stuff you like how it all goes together rather well in a posy. Tulip 'Queen of Night', Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve', white lilac, some aquilegias, bit of sage... Just add ribbon in a fetching shade of plum and Bob’s your uncle. And Rose Madame Alfred Carriere has opened up its first two blooms - lovely.

Other than that, I’ve been driving; and listening to compilation CDs in the car has its pitfalls. I mean, what is scarecrow man Rod Stewart all about? Even as an uber-mod he was not a patch on Steve Marriot. And as for Kate Bush. Pop music for bats.