Most of my focus for the last couple of years has been on restoring the vegetable plot and bringing the greenhouse back into service but now I have started to think about adding a splash of spring colour to my flower border so this year I ordered several bags of spring flowering bulbs and they arrived this week.
Some have gone into my woodland area but I hope the others will brighten the border and and maybe a few pots. Last year I planted a few tulips - most were fine but two or three were completely devoured by snails - and aliums. Of course I also planted plenty of nastertiums, but they are put to use in the vegetable plot to lure the butterflies away from my cabbages.
The original border was planted years ago under the supervision of my mother. She recently commented that I had let it fall into disrepair, but I think it looks good. Yes, some of the plants have become invasive and I could do more to thin them out, others are struggling to see the light of day as they lose the competition for light. About three or four times a year I clear them some space and pull out the couch grass, but I never completely manage to clear the grass and the garden retains it's shaggy look. Self set flowers my mum described as weeds take pride of place. I like them and they don't take any looking after so they can stay.
Why pay for seeds when plants will move in for free; yellow poppies in particular spring up between the paving stones and in the gravel bed every year. The biggest problem is the aggressive sweet cicely which I do have to dig up. It shouldn't really be in the border but it has established, spreading itself across the whole grarden from a small clump my grandmother gave to me over 20 years ago, and swamps all in its way.
My mum gave me a box of flower seeds last year. They were the remains of packets she had collected from various gardening magazines over the previous year. "Have these before they go out of date", she said, "I've got no more room in my garden." I tried several and some - but not all -came up. Unfortunately the labels came adrift from the pots somewhere in the process before I planted the seedlings out and I am completely hopeless idenitfying plants so I simply planted them where there was room. Trial and error process. Nature seems to be random, so why not me. Anyway, these yellow flowers have provided late summer colour.
I'll be planting the spring bulb collection next week and looking forward to a variety of flowers and colour from early spring next year.