Shrub planting in winter

Quick, quick – plant while the soil is soft.

We had a whopping two inches of rain when all that snow had melted last week. Perfect conditions for planting shrubs.

And after my wonderful raid on the plant nursery last month, it was time to get the right plants into the ground.

Step forward the mighty steep slope that is the guesthouse garden.

I had to hold on to the ground with one hand while I weeded with the other. At least it was super easy to prise out the weeds.

This is the last patch of land I’m going to try and tame on this slope. I was all for leaving it, but I knew I would regret it once spring arrives and everything bursts into growth.

So more unwanted weeds to build up the bank above. (That top part of the bank is building up nicely with all the rejected plant matter.) And more rosemaries into the space.

Yes, dull. Yes worthy. But oh my they are drought tolerant. And I have no idea how I’m going to be watering this space soon. (It’s turning into a bit of a theme with my new garden areas. Reckless weeding without much thought to maintenance.)

I’ve planted the sensible uprights closest to the top of the bank. And I am hoping those prostrate rosemaries will flop and flower down the rest of the bank and knit together in no time.

Well in a few years.

I then had enough left to do a redesign of the iris bank.

It hasn’t been a success.

Take note of the bank of shame.

My problem with this little bank is that it links the lush evergreen planting of the shade garden and then flows into the barn garden.

So I dug up as many iris as I could and planted them over in the guesthouse garden.

The irises on the old bank were a bit of a full stop as they didn’t put on the height I was hoping.

Let’s see if I can find anything close to fetching in my records.

Well, not bad. But I actually saw more weeds than plant on that bank.

Maybe I didn’t give them enough time? I only planted them up in 2014.  But it feels like time to move on. And at least I didn’t just fling them on the compost heap. I love my irises.

But I’m not averse to shrubs either. So in with 13 small shrubs on rather thin soil (that ought to check the rampant growth). And we’ll see how it turns out.

And just to keep me entertained (and to baffle the mole rats) I unearthed lots of fat lilies from the edge of the asparagus bed and planted them here in among the sensible greens. That ought to fun things up.

I only used them for cutting and adding to bouquets in summer, but it will be more of a pleasure seeing them in a place I plod past so often each day.

But wait, the top potager is getting a makeover. I might be selling tickets to see it soon.

Here is a sneak preview of the newly weeded and mulched asparagus bed. The fence won’t go up until the middle of the month. And as soon as I have hare proof fencing that hideous white fabric is coming off.