The Potting Bench Diaries – 25th May 2022

What I’m Doing This Week: The great pot shuffling of spring has begun! Now that the tulips have gone, I’ve had to rethink the stash of pots as you step out the back door and onto the patio. The cosmos, as mentioned last week, is sitting at the back along with a peony and few other taller plants. The front of the pots are made up with a variety of pots of violas, bidens, helichrysum and other bits to fill the gaps until the potted perennials fill out the space some more. It might look a little underwhelming at the moment, but it’ll be a sea of colour again in no time!

I’ve grown a fair bit from bare root this year, which is something I’ve dabbled with before, but not this much. The star of the show with these has to be a wonderful Bleeding Hearts from The Rose Press Garden. The flowers are so unique and like nothing else- I think there will be more of them added next year

I’ve grown this one in a pot because I wasn’t quite sure where it was going to go (and I’m still not quite sure) so I can move it around as it needs. Other bare roots this year have included Echinacea, Astilbe and another rose from David Austin. If you’ve not grown or seen bare roots before then think of a plant that has a small stem and a root system attached to it, but without it being in a pot of compost. They’re a great way to send plants in the post without the added weight of the pot or growing medium.

What I’m Sowing/Planting This Week: Another week of lots of planting and not much in the way of sowing. That said, we have scattered some wildflower seed around and there are a few small pots of poppies waiting in the wings to come forward when they germinate. Direct sowing things such as poppies, nasturtium, etc are a good way of using up extra pots and adding some more flavour between displays.

The remaining five sunflowers have gone into pots and they’ll grow on there, sat alongside the potting shed to add some colour next to our seating area. They shouldn’t really need support but we always add a cane to ours just to help on the off-chance that there is a high wind that knocks them down.

Most of the potting on has been done now and the zippy really is nearly empty. All that’s left in there now are a few bits and pieces of bedding and some cosmos that I haven’t got room for, until I have a play around with some positioning. Speaking of cosmos in the zippy – the slugs have been at ours and we lost about 4 or 5 plants this week that were literally munched right through the middle!

Elsewhere, the rockery is shaping up well and it’s the fullest it’s been – packed with mainly scented plants, such as Salvia and roses. The scent that wafts up when you walk past, or just after a rainfall is incredible and I wish you could smell it. Our favourite Salvia here is a variety called Wollerton White, which has the most amazing soft white flowers.

In other news…? Episode 9 of the podcast is live and this one is all about those all-important pollinators!

This episode features Jean Vernon, also known on Instagram as @Addicted2Bees. Jean reveals all to me about the secret life of our garden pollinators – in their many forms! Jeans new book ‘Attracting Garden Pollinators’ is out now via @penswordbooks 📚

That’s it from me, have a great week and I’ll be back next week with more.

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