Gardening Magazine

Disorderly Conduct

By Tuckshopgardener @tuckshopgardenr
I know as a grower of cut flowers I'm supposed to grow in rows.  But while my back garden provides most of my flowers, I'm still primarily a gardener and a garden is what I grow.  So rather than rows, I've got my usual scramble of patches and blobs - which mean that picking takes longer and I perhaps don't get as much out of the garden as I could in terms of harvests.  But the compensation is that I still can look out on a tapestry of flowers, which comes together as much from luck as from judgment and design.
mixed border in early spring with tulips, bluebells and forgetmenots
Blue is the color at the moment with swathes of bluebells in the shady dry patch under the trees at the bottom of the garden and forgetmenots squiggling their way through any other bits they can fling their seed into.  The vivid blue centaurea or annual cornflower is just coming into flower now as well and the irises will be the next thing to take over the blue baton in the flowery relay.
I've even got roses coming into bud and it's only early May.  Don't usually expect to see that until early June so it's a sign of how mild and warm the winter has been despite the wet.
My greenhouse is full and I've still got lots of things to prick out from their trays - planting seedlings into individual pots for them to grow on big and strong.  I love that job but never fail to be horrified when I realize how much more space they're going to take up.  Mind you, when I look at the hundreds of rudbeckia seedlings that have germinated so brilliantly, I quake at the thought of potting them up!  Only some of them are going to get done as I'd need to be a large scale producer to have the space for all of them.  Wonder if any friends would like some?  I'm sure some of my gardening clients might have space to rehome a few when they're a bit bigger.
Snails seem to be very happy in the garden at present and have munched through a fair number of my baby stocks and have been snacking on dahlia leaves in the cold frame.  It pays to check on the latter regularly as it is easy to get on the molluscs slimy trail and to locate and subsequently squish them.
Have also been purging the blackfly which have set up camp on my centaurea.  Sprayed the whole area with soap solution and blasted the plants with a strong spray from the hosepipe yesterday to force the aphids to release their evil grip on the soft stems.  The plant looked a little shocked initially, but has now regained an upright position and seems non the worse for its ordeal.

Blue centaurea

Centuarea - now free of pests.

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