|Pots by the entrance arch at Whichford Pottery this week|
Not so ideal, however for gardeners, especially those who, like me, have a weakness for tender plants. The fact that my greenhouse heater seems to be on its last legs is making me jittery and I dread to think what's going on in the polytunnel.
As each clear night sends the temperature plummeting still further I arrive in the mornings to see compost clenched ever more tightly around the emerging bulb shoots. With a bit of luck they'll shrug off this tight embrace and emerge unharmed.
Iris Halkis has carried on regardless. I love the detail on the backs of the falls (outer/lower petals).
Most of the plant life shrinks and flattens in the cold, which makes it easy to spot birds. I tried to sneak up on a green woodpecker but my footsteps crunched in the frost and it was gone in a trice. Even the long-tailed tits weren't very co-operative. They turned their backs on me and flew off, muttering to each other as they went.
|Long-tailed tit at Whichford Pottery|
A pattern of growth
Frost ferns grew on the inside of the polytunnel...
|Frost patterns in the polytunnel|
...reminding me of the frost on this little conifer in one of the pots in the stockyard:
|Frosted conifer in the stockyard|
I'm terrible at identifying conifers - I suppose it's a prostrate Chamaecyparis of some sort but I'd be glad if someone could identify it for me, it has been re-used so many times it has long since been separated from its label.
Many of the evergreens I use in the pots actually look better in the frost, a smattering of ice crystals seems to highlight colour such as the reds and yellows in this Leucothoe fontanesiana, and of course in pots the plants are raised up so such details are all the more noticeable. That's if you can bear to stand still long enough to study them.
|Leucothoe fontanesiana with a light dusting of frost|
|Seeds for Whichford from Pennards|
|Mrs Peabody, a black Maran who gave her name to|
the salad mix 'Mrs Peabody's Piece of Provence'
Photo courtesy of Chris Smith at Pennard
Kale and farewell
Ordering the seeds allows me to dream of summer. I was doing this and tidying the greenhouse when I came across a bag of Allium sphaerocephalon that I had missed, as I potted them up (worth a try) I remembered a particularly satisfying combination of these with Kale 'Nero di Toscana' in large pots in the stockyard from 2010.
Blurring the boundaries between more edibles and ornamentals this year is going to be fun!
|Allium sphaerocephalon and Kale 'Nero di Toscana' in the Whichford stockyard, summer 2010|