Gardening throughout a pandemic has been a pleasure, but one that i’ve savoured all to myself – hence a lack of postings here.
Despite the compost-chaos, and gardening gear supply issues of Covid-19 and Brexit, I have been able to buy a few plants online, including a set of bulbs and tubers from Farmer Gracy in the Netherlands.
Today I’ve planted out the final ones of these – some beautiful orangey Tulip ‘Orange Princess’ which will act as a perfect accompaniment to my existing forest of tulips in the spring, and then a couple of new things for me too.
First up are the little garlicky white bulbs of the Nectaroscordum ‘Siculum’ (or ‘Sicilian Honey Garlic’), which will grow to about 60-90cm tall with hanging bell-like flowers – roughly about the same height as the nearby Gladiolus.
Next up are the Alien-esque tubers of the Eremurus ‘Cleopatra’, which is often also known as ‘Desert Candle’. This will reach up to 2 metres with long orangey-yellow spines of flowers from it’s face-hugging alien root. I’ve placed these in my front garden in a hope that the extreme heat that it receives will please this plant and allow it to take charge amongst the ever-present Borage that lures the bees each year.
Garden clear-up… but not too much
A couple of years back I bought some black-spot native Ladybird larvae via Amazon (yes, this is a legit thing), and those weird looking black bugs scurried their way into my garden to feast on the aphids. Now a couple of years on, they have colonised, so whilst I did some light tidying and pruning of things, I purposefully did very little because everywhere I go – old flower heads, leaves etc, I find ladybirds desperately trying to hibernate from the winter.
I see the contracted ‘gardeners’ (honestly, for the last 4 months all they’ve done is cut grass and cut down and shred trees , they’ve not planted a single thing) with their leaf vacuums in the park next door and it annoys me. Their goal is to suck up the leaves into the back of their truck and then sell it for lots of cash as leaf mold or compost.
Amongst these will be the butterfly eggs and the hibernating ladybirds… everything a gardener would want, let alone the compost from the fallen leaves.
I leave my leaves where they fall. They are important sources of food and shelter for nature.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I hope that I remember to come back and tell you how the new bulbs are doing in a few months.