The good weather continues, but probably not for much longer, rain is threatening. Because of the weather forecast I don’t want to waste precious dry conditions working in the tunnel. So I content myself with potting up the remaining 12 Aubretia because they arrived looking quite sorry for themselves. I also potted up the Alstromeria tubers because they could dry out in their bags. I took all the ground cover perennials out of their netting bags and stood them on the bench, 40 boxes, each containing 6 plants, hoping they will be patient and wait a day or two to be potted up so I can get back outside.
I then take the remaining Grape Hyacinth (Muscari) bulbs (c150) to plant out in the front of the Organ Bed. Grape Hyacinths are very exciting nowadays, no longer just plain dark blue, there are now white, pink, pale blue, lilac and some are different shades of blue in the same bloom…beautiful! Before leaving the Organ Bed I deadhead some primulas to encourage flowering and I am very tempted to stay and weed the bed, but this will have to wait until all the bulbs are planted and begonias are dug up for Winter. On my way back to the Kitchen Garden I deadheaded the new adorable violas (miniature pansies) in the hanging baskets, sinks and containers.
I then plant 55 rare dwarf Iris bulbs into the Alpine beds these are Iris Reticulata, Katherine Hodgkin, ‘Painted Lady’. ‘ Spot On’, and Iris Histrioides Katherine Gold.
These tiny Iris are quite beautiful. I planted quite a few of them along with miniature daffodils in the Alpine beds last year and these new additions will increase the display. They bloomed in very early Spring (February). They are tiny, delicate, beautifully coloured, and quite long lasting. It is quite fiddly planting bulbs in the Alpine beds as you have to move the shingle away for each hole and I make the hole with a knife I then add shingle after planting because of the disturbed earth. Having finished planting the dwarf Iris’s I use the last little bit of time to remove the dahlias from the urns at the start of the central border and re-plant them with Pansies.
The bricklayer finishes today so we are now ready to fill the first terrace with earth and then there will be a monumental clear up in that whole area. When Patrick went outside to check everything was OK with his mount he realised the bricklayer had built the wall completely around the bottom terrace, leaving no opening for the steps which also means no opening to push in our barrows! Not quite sure what we will do about that!