Spring in the Garden

Spring in the Garden

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Planting Garlic and Broad Beans in November

We had a lovely day out on Sunday so didn't get any gardening done, but Monday was still fine and dry and I didn't have to go to work, so I went out into the garden and planted the last of the bulbs I'd bought, so for once I shan't have wasted my money on bulbs that didn't get planted.

Even better, I then planted my garlic and sowed the broad beans. November is the best time to do both these things so long as you don't have heavy clay which is likely to get waterlogged over Winter, in which case the cloves and seeds are likely to rot.

Planting garlic in November gives it a the chance of a long growing period.
This year I picked up a packet of 3 Thermidore cloves, supplied by Taylors, from the local garden centre. This is said to be a full flavoured French Garlic. Thermidore should be planted in the Autumn. Other varieties are better for planting in the Spring.

At the end of the row, up the top of the picture below, you'll notice a clove of garlic that is substantially bigger than the others. This is a clove of elephant garlic, which is a British grown garlic, sweet and mild in flavour. There were only 2 cloves in the packet and I put one in each end of the row as an experiment.

For late Autumn/Winter sowing Aquadulce Claudia is an old favourite broad bean. My local garden centre were selling Duchy Originals organic broad bean seeds, so that's what I bought.  I've sown the seed a bit closer than recommended because I often find a few don't come up and it's always possible the squirrels will help themselves to one or two. If they are too crowded in the Spring I can thin them out then.

Sowing broad beans in November gives them a better chance of escaping the black fly.

While I was enjoying the garden I was joined by a robin who seemed friendly, but his cheery song might have been meant to warn me away from the juicy worms.

I've got my beady eye on you

I'm still watching that worm

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Garden Makeover

I'm pleased to say that my recent lack of blogs is mostly due to being too busy than too tired. Once the iron tablets started working I had more energy than I can remember having for a long while. Hubby and I have spent most weekends for the last 2 months giving the back garden a bit of a makeover, although there's not much to show at present as many perennials are dying back for Winter and the bulbs won't be visible until spring.

Hubby has dug out several shrubs that had become overgrown and were never really in the right place, including a couple that were already in the garden when we moved in more than 16 years ago.

Here's how things were looking just a couple of weeks ago.The frost has reduced the beauty of the flowers.

Above, to the right of the path. The patch in the foreground still needs clearing of lilies of the valley and a bramble and I plan to move one or two plants.

 This is to the left of the path.

I'm hoping this will be beautiful in the Spring as there are a lot of bulbs lurking under the soil.

We've also tackled the big bed in the middle of the garden again. The right hand side has a tendency to get overgrown very easily. We've pulled out a lot of day lilies and some montbresia and have replanted that side with yellow flowered plants.

The idea is that it will run from reds on the right through orange in the middle to yellow on the left. Again I have planted bulbs to come up in the Spring.

Gardening involves imagination and a great deal of hope. We certainly hope all these plants survive the Winter. Autumn is meant to be a better time to plant hardy perennials than Spring as they have longer to establish themselves before warmer, and potentially drier weather sets in.