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"in the midst of winter, I found there was within me, an invincible summer" Potting shed chat continues here

(1000 Posts)
funnyperson Mon 07-Mar-16 13:25:56

So as agreed (by 2 other people!) I have started this thread for spring gardeners follwing on from the previous thread : Welcome one and all. experts and novices alike and draw up your chairs and join in discussion on all things garden related (and even not garden related)

funnyperson Wed 09-Mar-16 16:42:59

Oh well I suppose we could just bin this thread!

Rain here today
I have potted up my dahlias

bookbook Wed 09-Mar-16 16:55:50

Hello, just popping on- I usually just read, but I just wanted to add to others about Kristina and leaving her garden. Heartbreaking.
I'm not sure what I would do, as such a lot of my garden is made up of precious memories, cuttings and plants from my DF and IL's garden.

bookbook Wed 09-Mar-16 16:56:55

Got sidetracked, came back to post - snap funny I have potted my dahlias today as well smile

shovetheholly Wed 09-Mar-16 17:23:33

Nooooo, don't abandon the thread! I LOVE the title! grin

Callmegeoff Wed 09-Mar-16 20:55:46

I am here though full of cold and very much behind what needs done in the garden.

Some of my tulips are out.

QuerkyJo Wed 09-Mar-16 22:07:30

Can't wait for the warmer weather. I am a fair weather gardener only. Fortunately my garden is tiny, so relatively easy to get under control. I love hearing about other peoples gardens.

SugarPlumTree Wed 09-Mar-16 22:12:45

Thank you for starting this FP smile No gardening for me today, it's been really wet.

echt Thu 10-Mar-16 06:50:56

As if in salute a to a new thread, it's been raining here in Melbourne. Still very warm though; as if Brisbane had relocated. Not having to water is blessing, though.

dolkapots Thu 10-Mar-16 18:26:39

I am very excited for the summer. I have been buying nice pots (Poundstretcher have nice glazed plastic ones and B&M have 5 glazed ceramic pots for £9.99) Also planted lots of bulbs from the pound shop (in said pots)

I have been buying a new plant every week in preparation for the warmer weather. So far a cistus, blue puget, camellia, french lavender. Am planning a hebe "rhubarb and custard" next.

My overwintered geraniums are probably nearly ready to be planted out as the weather has become quite mild.

I also need to sort out a border that is highly clay, in the hope of having something grow there.

QuerkyJo Thu 10-Mar-16 19:05:47

What bulbs did you buy dolkapots?

dolkapots Fri 11-Mar-16 08:36:18

Hosta, anemone, gladioli, mirabilis (sp?) coneflower are the ones I can remember off the top of my head. All very cheap so if they don't work out it is no great loss. I'm still in the novice/experimental stage of my gardening smile

NigellasGuest Fri 11-Mar-16 08:41:13

Hello - I would love to join the thread. I'm a very keen gardener and have planted 2 bare root trees this winter and I'm excited to see how they do! I've got a couple of trays of seedlings doing well and thinking about potting on in a couple of weeks.

QuerkyJo Sat 12-Mar-16 08:14:39

Anyone been watching Monty on Big Dreams Small spaces? I am not usually a garden programme watcher but I love this.

The people he helps are so nice and the gardens they create are amazing.

Last night's couple with the tiny back yard created garden magic.

NigellasGuest Sat 12-Mar-16 09:14:56

I might look for that on catchup now Qweky!

funnyperson Sat 12-Mar-16 18:01:05

Welcome Nigella'guest and anyone else who wants to join! What trees did you plant?

querkyjo I do agree the last programme and indeed the previous episodes have been magical (narrator issues apart). It is lovely to see Monty laughing as a whole load of soil from a sedum roof falls on his pristine shirt and braces. It is lovely to see the people he helps who seem so much like us yet so motivated and ready to get seriously stuck in!

I do think the programmes are very well shot by the cameramen and the editing a masterpiece.

funnyperson Sat 12-Mar-16 18:03:22

Anyway I thought I would share with you all my first experience of entering a local horticultural show.

Entering was inspired by Maud and others on this thread and also by having been to the Autumn show , which while lovely, was not Chelsea, and by being a member and by the fact that entries were permitted pretty much upto the last minute and by email

funnyperson Sat 12-Mar-16 18:37:32

So 48 hours beforehand I looked up the entry classes and mooched around the garden and the house and decide to enter the Hellebores, the Orchids and the Succulents classes for a bit of variety and on the grounds that perhaps one of those might have less competition.

I left the orchid and succulent in their home pots ("you're not going to show that tatty old thing are you? " said my son), identified which hellebore blooms I would float in a bowl (" a bowl is a receptacle which is wider than its height" said the regulations) and went on the internet to see how to maximise my chances of a prize.

The internet was surprisingly unhelpful which is why I thought perhaps you all might be interested in the nitty gritty and I would be most interested to hear your experiences of entering local flower shows.

Anyway I did discover that show Hellebore blooms must be of the non-fertilised type with intact pollen heads, and that the succulent in question was a native of Chesil Beach in Dorset and that my specimen showed both the mature spindly branches and the younger stoloniferous stems, which I duly wrote out on the label together with its latin name, thinking I might at least get points for the label. I also discovered the correct name for my hybrid orchid.

Anyway to cut a longish story short, the succulent in its ancient pot, a home hand painted 50p terracotta clay thing, won a prize!

I was very surprised indeed and very pleased till I realised that winning a prize meant one had to stay till the bitter end to watch the prize giving and listen to the speeches.

Now the Hellebore section was well filled with the most stunning blooms and the exhibit which won first prize well deserved it: five floating blooms all of one variety all perfect and of the same size and exquisite colouring in a white pyrex dish.

I had chosen to exhibit five different blooms. The trouble was, when I went round the show someone had sabotaged my hellebore blooms! Two of my flowers had been substituted. One of them for a rather faded fertilised flower which I knew wasn't mine, and one for a variety which I do not have in my garden. I recognised it in one of the other bowls.

Additionally in the Camellia section (which I didn't enter) the best exhibit (as I thought) didn't get a prize and first prize went to a committee member's wife.

Huh! I think it very funny, and immediately cast my mind to the last episode of 'Rosemary and Thyme' which I watched, which involved flower judging and murder.

The nice thing about these shows is that one is able to see what grows well locally and also able to admire at close quarters and at leisure, flowers and plants which are very beautiful and deserve to be admired properly rather than a cursory glance at a distance when passing the flower bed.

One also meets the local worthies, most of whom are very nice and knowledgeable and clearly good gardeners.

However there is this undercurrent, which is probably inevitable in any competition with serious silverware at stake, which is very human, of sabotage and nepotism. Arguably sabotage and nepotism are all part of the human game and it little matters in something as unimportant in the grand scheme of things as a local horticultural show and can be very funny, like watching other people's car park wars on the school run. But I did feel a bit sad someone had nicked my Hellebore blooms. Not that I hadn't won a prize with them but that someone had been worried enough to spoil my entry.

funnyperson Sat 12-Mar-16 18:53:35

I don't think entries should be anonymised. Everyone knows who puts what in and besides half the pleasure is going round seeing who put what in and knowing that everyone who goes round see what oneself put in.

But I wonder if perhaps labels should be double sided with a blank side up for the judging and then flipped over once judging is finished.

Also, a group of volunteers at the local manor garden with a million pound lottery grant entered 71 exhibits and also won a lot of prizes including the prize for most overall points (inevitably) but I'm wondering if that should have really counted?

What happens elsewhere?

NigellasGuest Sat 12-Mar-16 19:54:23

Well done on your prize, FunnyPerson, but my goodness it sounds like a den of corruption - I'm shocked!!

I planted a hawthorn tree (standard) and a spire cherry tree....

QuerkyJo Sat 12-Mar-16 20:49:09

I thought I was the only one who was irritated by the voice over.
"Monty Don ........ Britins faaaaaver it gaaaardennnnerrrr"

Every time she says it, I have an image of Alan jumping up an down yelling at the t.v. " no he's not I am"

Well done on the prize. Take security guards with you next time.

SeaRabbit Sat 12-Mar-16 22:52:16

Congrats on your prize funny, and booh to people who nick hellebores. Thank you for your insights - fascinating what a den of Dick Dastardlys you've encountered!

I also loved that little back yard - the living wall in particular was so gorgeous, and I had no idea you can buy those living roof mat things. I wonder if I could lay one on our garage roof... The stream in the Japanese style garden was lovely, and they had done so much work, but I felt it was all a bit too busy. Maybe they could let moss cover some bare pebbles on the path.

I've potted my dahlias now - including one I grew from seed 3 years ago which has never flowered, but is now an enormous series of tubers, so I am going to nurture it, and see if it is capable of flowering - last chance!

Elledouble Sat 12-Mar-16 23:51:37

My mum was suggesting today that I watch Big Dreams Small Spaces! I've just started with my first garden which was an overgrown jungle when we moved in - I'm preparing the ground for a lawn to start with but hope to plant some pretty things in the borders. I love colourful flowers so I'd like it to be really cheerful. It's only a smallish space but it's almost south facing and already has a path and patio so I'm hopeful of being able to create something nice.

Watching for tips smile

QuerkyJo Sun 13-Mar-16 07:40:59

I thought the Japanese garden was over done too. I think it could of done with a lot more places to sit and take in the aspects. I loved last week's fern and dahlia garden. The lady who built the garden in memory of her sister was so endearing. She really made me laugh when she defied Monty, built the mud head and then names it after him.

I too have a tiny south facing garden. It is only 5 metres square. I am sure you will have great fun with it Elledouble. What part of the Country are you in?

SugarPlumTree Sun 13-Mar-16 08:45:13

Welcome to all newcomers, have some brew

Well done on the prize FP. I'm quite shock at hellebore sabotage though.

Just been watching this week's small spaces big dreams. Loved the little yard, it reflected their personalities and I think they did it really well. I got quite irritated at the narrator again. I think she pronounced sedum as sed-um, though could have imagined it. Was soothing to then hear Monty say see-dum in his calming voice

I agree the Japanese garden was a little too busy. I was impressed at how much work went into it though and hope they really enjoy using it.

Only 2 of my dahlias are potted up so far. I did a bit of rose pruning the other day though as trying to get the front of the house looking tidy now it's visible from the road.

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