Wow is all I can say, we have had a most wonderful fortnight. The sun has been shinning and the weather has been very mild. Consequently flowers are popping up all over the place. For instance today I was enjoying my work and spied some beautiful pink blossom on an early flowering Cherry so out came the camera.
Definitely worth going to work for. Walking back from my first garden I was overjoyed to see a lovely red Camellia getting into its stride out came the camera once again.
Then it was into the gardening mobile and a drive to Twynholm where, after a good tidy I enjoyed some purple Crocus and Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’
Hidden away among the foliage was a little blue Omphalodes verna.
Then it was a back to Kirkcudbright where I was amazed to see my tree peonies in bud.
So all in all a great day to be out and about working.
You may remember the lovely crocus pictures from the last blog from the Moat Brae here in Kirkcudbright.
I was speculating as to who had planted them. Well I’m pleased to say I’ve found out. It turns out they were planted about 40 years ago by the Girl Guides. Originally they were planted in a Trefoil which is the emblem of the Guides but as you can see have since spread along the bank. I’m sure everyone will join me in saying thanks to the Guides for the joy the crocuses bring us every year
Another Kirkcudbright wonder
As the Crocuses start to fade on the Moat Brae the spring show moves to Soaperie Gardens where some more crocuses start to put on a wonderful show as you can see below. These are known as Dutch crocuses which are bigger and later flowering than the species ones on the Moat Brae. Just one more of the joys of spring.
Tried and tested – two types of Dogwood
Dogwood or Cornus as it is correctly called is a great shrub to include in the garden for winter interest. Two that may be of interest to you are Cornus alba sibirica which has bright red stems
Above you can see a classic combination of Cornus alba ‘sibirica’ under planted with snowdrops.
There is also Cornus sanguinea ‘Mid winter fire’ which has wonderful orange and red stems and really stands out on a bright winters day. As you can see below.
AS you can see with both dogwoods under planting works a treat.
Dogwood appreciates a moist soil which is not too waterlogged.
The secret with red dogwood is to prune it low, in March every year and new young bright red stems will grow away over the growing season to provide winter interest the following year. Mid winter fire requires only minimal pruning every few years.
Once you’ve got one dogwood it’s quite easy to get some for free by taking cuttings. When you prune them cut pencil thick stems in to six-inch pieces and then just push them into some well-drained compost.Over time they should form roots and can then be planted out about a year later. you can also layer some stems that’s to say lay them on some soil and partially bury the stems and over time they will form a root system. You can then cut them from the parent shrub and plant them out.
Oh no Coral spot
In the last blog I was giving advice on how to prune Wisteria. If you do undertake any pruning it’s always a good idea to have a look for any diseases which may be affected your shrubs. Recently I was pruning the one that I photographed last year.
As I went about my work I Unfortunately noticed the following disease. This is known as Coral Spot or Nectria cinnabarina to aficionados. Unfortunately it will spread and cause the death of the shrub. So you need to try to cut it out the affected wood. To do this make your way down the branch to the next join and use a pruning saw cutting above the join to remove the diseased part.
This I did but found the branch was still diseased.
So I went even further down the branch until I found healthy wood.
Like me this Wisteria is reaching a ripe old age and is probably past it’s best so I’ll be keeping an eye on it’s health along with all the other shrubs in my various gardens.
To Avoid the spread of diseases always give your cutting tools a clean with some disinfectant before using them again.
Garden photography – Plain Daff(t)
One of the best pieces of advice for any photographer is to plan well a head when undertaking a shoot. Perhaps visiting a location (more than once if possible) or at least researching it on the internet will pay dividends in the long run.
That’s exactly what I was doing on the 2nd of February. You can see from the photos below I was photographing a few seats in Kirkcudbright which will at some point be surrounded by daffodils.
I took a few shots at different angles and heights and can now study them to see how I can improve them. I also know where the sun will be in relation to the seats and what I want to include and more importantly what I want to exclude.
I can also think about if I want to get someone to pose on the seats and if so what they should wear to blend in with the scene.
So with all the hard work done I can just sit back, relax and wait for the Daffs to bloom.
Bye for now
Well that’s all from me as I’m off to enjoy the warm weather and have a wander around my garden once more. Have a great fortnight until I see you again on Thursday 14th March. May the sunshine brightly, happy gardening and best wishes Dave.