Issue 26

Cardigan Garden              wateringcans2Tilt

Winter 2009

After some success with vegetables last year, and one or two failures which we´ll forget about, it was decided to try and create a bit of colour in the one of the raised beds. For some instant colour, hardy annuals which would survive any late frosts and flower in a few months would be the answer. The rest of the garden looked in need of work too, but the budget has only stretched so far helped along by a few plants from home.

The annuals were sown in April with images of a flower bed bursting with colour and lasting several months. Nothing happened for a few weeks, daily checks became a close inspection as a niggling feeling of total failure crept in. Had I sown them too deep? Had I not watered them enough (in all honesty I forgot this bit) or were the slugs nibbling any leaves that dared show themselves above the soil? To my relief, most of the seeds germinated as the soil warmed in May; Poached egg, godetia and candytuft grew steadily followed by nigella and pot marigolds. Flax was the last which has produced stunning red flowers on the thinnest of stems, one to try again next year.

Thankfully, the bed was bursting with colour and with no set plans the blues, yellows, orange, white, red and pinks sat easily together producing something near a wildflower meadow. The patio pots were a partial success too with African marigolds and dahlias surviving the torrential rain much better than the geraniums and busy Lizzies.

There were a few failures along the way, cornflowers and red poppies failed to grow for some reason; typical when both are favourites. Now at the end of September, a lot of the flowers have died back to be replaced with wallflowers and forget-me-nots for spring. Some of us have saved seeds for next year and you´ll see the same flowers appear in other gardens next summer. In another raised bed, a few potatoes were grown. We managed to skewer quite a few of these with the fork when lifting them, my accuracy with the prongs was uncanny and it´s difficult to hide the evidence when people are watching.

Now all that´s left to do is plant a few daffodils and crocus´ before the end of October and attempt to tidy up. I saved bulbs from last years pots but a mouse, caught in the act, has spent the summer living off them, leaving me with a load of husks and mouse droppings. Garden and mouse will be left to their own devises while I sit and wait for the newly bought crocus´ to flower, that´s if I haven´t planted them too deep!