The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Flowers in the garden: early April

Anemones and sweet smelling Pheasant’s Eye narcissus

Anemones and sweet smelling Pheasant’s Eye narcissus

I used to write a regular post – flowers from the garden. In fact I think that I’ll resurrect it this year as I’m constantly being tempted by supermarket bunches ATM. I haven’t succumbed (hands held tightly behind my back) but I need to fill our house with our own flowers to quell this yearning. And these posts helped.

The problem is that the border I created over a number of months last year is now so gorgeous that I can’t bear to pick the flowers. I stand in the drive, at the kitchen window, peep out of my bedroom window and just gaze. Enjoying the heady combination of flowers. This planting was also a planned commercial flower venture. So it’s naughty to just bathe in the beauty.

The border is along the front drive. Probably 50’, starting at 3’ at the beginning and finishing at 6’. Quite a lot off space when you are removing stones, bricks and forsythia seedlings that have roots as strong as London Bridge. Well almost as strong.

Over last summer I got very friendly with an unnamed, inherited pickaxe. I discovered that this tool is great for wrenching up sturdy roots and breaking up compacted soil. It was heavy and I didn’t like using it but the soil in the front is clay and chalk – unlike the back garden that is stony loam. So I chipped way and added loads of manure, good compost a bit of sand and hoped for the best.

Last Autumn I planted 200 Pheasant’s Eye narcissus and interplanted these with 200 anemone corms. There are also 50 primulas that I was given free when I ordered something else. You don’t really notice these from a distance but when you walk up the drive – they are there – tiny spots of colour and life in miniature. All of these should hopefully stay permanently in the border quite happily as long as they are fed well after flowering and I keep on adding good organic compost/soil conditioners for them to feast on.

These bulbs were bought from a wholesale supplier – Gee Tee bulbs. OK the postage for wholesale is £10 – but however much that you buy. The prices are amazing if you are buying in bulk and I highly recommend this company. Unfortunately I didn’t discover them earlier last year and had already invested in much more expensively priced tulip bulbs. Sob. I did buy a few more from Gee Tee and will report back on the results.

It was windy today so I can’t post a photo of the entire border. Possibly tomorrow I can replace it and you can see the total effect. Mesmerising. Meanwhile enjoy this tiny snapshot.

Meanwhile tomorrow I’ll pick a bunch of narcissus for the house. The scent is glorious. And hopefully I can present my mum with a bunch of home grown anemones on Sunday. Her favourite flower. Just seven open today – hopefully more by Sunday.

Mine too.

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  1. I have excactly the same quandry. I want to fill the house with the wonderful flowers in the borders but haven’t got the heart to pick them. I guess the answer is to grow even more so we don’t feel guilty. Love this post, look forward to seeing more.

  2. Lovely. My only border is just starting out, but I sure am enjoying planting it with things. I have a lilace (dwarf Wonderblue) and four peonies (Sarah Bernhardt and Festiva Maxima), cone flowers, coreopsis, hollyhocks (second year- I hope they flower this year), a Dublin Bay and a Courageous climbing rose, and then the daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips. This is all a big kick for me because I couldn’t grow most of this stuff in Florida. I’ve started Enfant de Nice carnations on the bench, and some poppies and sweet peas, too. I say it’s my bee border- the flowers are supposed to be forage for my bees which will be here shortly, but I think it’s okay if I feed my soul with them too.

    Can’t wait to see your flowers!

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