Even though it is February there is much to do cutting back and removing plants that didn't make it through several unexpected deep freezes. Here is one plant that has been a star through all kinds of weather.
The large rosemary is planted out front by the side of the driveway. It has never been watered and has withstood drought, summer heat, hail and freezing temperatures. Yesterday it was blooming as it has never bloomed before and I even spotted a bee visiting one of the flowers.
On one of my non-gardening days I did the rounds of the nurseries. For a moment I thought that I might have missed spring as all were overflowing with spring bedding plants, grasses and vines. Of course I was tempted just as I was last year. Five pots of grape hyacinths at $1 a pot was easy. The patio table needs a little brightening. I still have the ones I saved from last year but they are making a slow start. Once in a while it is worth having someone else do the planting for you.
One plant I wasn't tempted to buy was a large pot of climbing jasmine, Jasminum polyanthum.
And this is why. I have had maybe 3 or 4 good years when the plant made a worthy bloom. Yes, the scent was heavenly but this is a vigorous vine forming a big tangle of finely cut leaves. This was cut to the ground last year! It roots easily and I don't doubt there will be a stray shoot somewhere that will try to make a comeback.
After cutting it back to the ground I used the pick axe to remove the root.
The question now is its replacement. Something which takes less work. I don't mind dieback in the winter if the plant performs well in the summer. Nor do I mind a bare trellis in the winter. I'm pondering on remaking the trellis so that it reaches to just above the weep screen. That way it is easier to get smaller vines started. This is a south facing exposure but sheltered from early morning and late evening sun by the wall of the house. Maybe I'll try a Mexican flame vine or even a clematis. I wish our nurseries carried better selections of clematis but I will be out looking for a summer bloomer this time.
The roses in the English garden are all pruned. It doesn't seem to make a difference how early we prune because they were already leafing out. I see a lot of weeding to be done. Last year I planted iris around the bird bath. They seem a little slow to take.
The citrus are out of the potting shed. The Mexican lime still has fruit as do the lemons.
Some seedlings are outside to harden off. Some destined for the window box and planters others for the ground.
|Brachyscome, Swan River daisy|
|10 week stocks|
A cloudy, cool day is my favorite day for gardening so that is where I am heading right now. It's good to be out there again.