Friday 26 March 2021

A time to plant

This week's offer
Our initial focus this week is on planting. Readers will have felt the rather modest temperatures this month - but you may have also noticed that this has been no great deterrent to the weeds! 

Growth is well underway and it is safe to begin planting out those plants that will brave a bit of frost - we still need to keep that possibility in mind

However, you may prefer a head's start so we begin with an easy winner. I have planted up a pot of Spring flowers - a primula surrounded by violas - as a 'come and get me' offer. Please let me know if you would like it - as usual: first come, first served

Please note that there will be a similar fruit & veg offer next week - already planted up and coming on in the greenhouse

Turning now to plants that are ready and eager to find a place in your border ...

The peony in bud and flower May 2020

I have one, just one, really well-established plant that I potted up last autumn (see photo below)

As you can see it has just come into growth and should give great flowers this season. This photo from 2020 shows how it looked last year. . Codger would really love this strong plant to go to a good home. As you see, the flower has a lovely colour

As it looks right now
The photo was taken last May. So, plant it now and you enjoy a great display in just a couple of months. Thinking about it, you have a two-way choice: plant it in the garden or leave it in the pot - or I could pot it on for you if you would like it in a larger container


You may have noticed that Codger likes his hellebores. Why? Simple, you get three months of colour when nothing else is in flower! (January to March, ours are still in flower).

Added to this you have a plant that is reliable and easy to maintain. I'll put another photo in the tailpeice so you have an idea of the colour range available

My hellebores in February (also see tailpiece)

I already have a good stock of plants which will be further increased when my hellebore patch has done flowering - that will be sometime next month

Please get in touch if interested - plants are available now with more coming on-stream soon


Right now is a very good time to get to the back of the border - something more difficult as the season advances. We have some excellent plants that will look fine there: chrysanthemums

How one plant looked at the end of November
Last year I found that they flowered continuously for months - right through the autumn and well into the winter

Despite their reputation as rather specialist plants, I have been surprised to find them fairly easy - just let them grow and cut back at the end of the season. They are available as yellow, white and various bronze shades

All the plants that I am mentioning today are perennials - that is, they come into flower again year after year. Worth noting that they make excellent cut flowers

Rudbeckia Prairie Sun - photographed September 2020


In a month or two, I will have some new varieties. Available, right now, I have plenty of the really sturdy Rudbeckia Prairie Sun. Last year they gave a splendid display. Again, really good value in that they flower for months on end

Codger strongly recommends these really reliable plants

Jane Phillips (AGM) - loved by robins!


The one bloom that invariably gets admiring glances in our garden is a lovely powder blue iris. Codger is 99% sure it is Jane Phillips - the label showing the variety disappeared many years ago. It proved very popular last year so I propagated more and these are now available

They are potted up and ready to go - as you can see here (below)

Potted up and ready to go

Many more

Old Codger's Nursery is already bursting at the seams. We have far more plants than listed here. I have started to update the Plants for You page and will continue to do so. (Reminder: you will find Plants for You at the top right of this page)

However, nothing is better than taking a look yourself and we are hoping that, as Covid restrictions are eased, that will be possible again

You may gain some impression of this from the photo of the new plastic greenhouse (below). As I mentioned last week, extra shelving has been installed. Those shelves are now filled as you can see here. So, next week, I'll be promoting some more flowering plants

No room - plastic greenhouse full!
I also intend to tell you about fruit and veg plants that will become available. Orders for tomatoes are already coming in, so we will be explaining about the different varieties that you can choose from

That plastic job!

Remember my cautionary comments about plastic greenhouses? One thing I forgot to say was that seams and zips are the most vulnerable points

Yes, I have already had experience of a seam popping. Rather than the upheaval of dismantling and sending the thing back, I've risked a repair - and it seems (seams?) to be holding up - see below. I'll spare you the details but anyone wanting to know the best adhesive and so forth - just get in touch

The repair. Clips needed - and the correct adhesive

Another tip

I recently mentioned that, for reasons of cost, I have switched to perlite from vermiculite. So, another tip: don't breathe in when handling perlite - there's a very fine dusk, invisible to my eyes, that gets my chest. Otherwise, I've been happy with the stuff

Interesting to note, though, that cuttings I took last year have done better in vermiculite. More on this topic another time

Well, it's a busy time of year so need to wind up now. Please get in touch if you are interested in any of the plant offers - there will be more next week

Best wishes from the old Garden Codger

A few flower photos

Our camellia flowered yesterday

Here are some of the hellebores I'm so pleased with (we have a range of colours available)

... and, easily overlooked - the humble pulmonaria (lungwort)

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