The second delivery of plants from Plant me Now arrived while we were deep in snow. Indeed we were so deep in snow that it was hard to see the greenhouse, never mind get into it. So for a few days the plants sat in our tiny wooden lean to greenhouse up next to the house while we waited for at least some of the snow to melt. They don't seem any the worse for having had to wait to be potted on!
This time I had ordered perennials with the intention of putting some in the cutting garden, some in a new bed in the field which has amelanchier and dogwood in it and using some as bedding plants.
I chose Veronica Red Ray
I am intending to put these in the cutting garden. I like the spires and I am trying to include more perennials in the cutting garden, partly to reduce the amount of labour involved and partly to widen the variety of flowers that I use. It is remarkably easy to get addicted to cutting sweet peas!
Then there were some Viola Labradorica.
This is possibly my favourite viola. I already have some in the native tree bed but I intend to use these in the new bed up by the shepherd's hut where we have planted the amelanchiers. As is always the case, the new bed on the ground looks like a collection of bare sticks in stony soil and the violas when they go in will undoubtedly look small and lost. In my head however the amelanchiers are already graceful small trees with delicate blossoms, their feet in a sea of pale violets. I know, I know, but if you didn't dream you wouldn't garden.
There are also some Viola Starry Night.
These I am going to use as bedding plants or in containers, perhaps to accompany the tulips which are way behind because of the cold. I love their delicate colours.
And lastly some Rudbeckia Goldstrum.
These are for the cutting garden too. Last year I grew annual rudbeckia but I think I prefer the form of these flowers with their black centres and clear yellow petals. The bottom half of the cutting garden will hold these, some achilleas I put in last year and the dahlias, assuming they have survived in the greenhouse. I haven't been able to bring myself to look just yet. That should produce blocks of red and gold and orange until well into the autumn.
As before the plants were well packaged and well watered so they had survived the journey in very good shape.
Although they are small the plants are sturdy with none of the legginess which comes with being grown too fast in overheated glasshouses.
I like the fact that all the plants have a label. The one which is missing here is my fault as I have just found it in the pocket of my fleece.
So all the plants are now potted on and sitting in the greenhouse. I am very pleased with them and pleased too that the agyranthemums and bidens from the first delivery are still thriving. The intention is to keep the greenhouse frost free but they have had quite a challenging time with the depth of snow. For a few days no one could get to them so they were neither watered nor fussed over. Despite that they are still going strong.
I will be interested to see how these plants impact on my gardening. I am hoping that one result of using plants brought in at this size will be to change the way the cutting garden works so as to have fewer gaps. Previously I have had a gap after the tulips have finished and before the sweet peas get going and another later when the sweetpeas have spent themselves. I solved the late gap last year by putting dahlias in the cutting garden and with luck the new rudbeckia will add to the late season flowering. I suspect this is a really good use of plug plants like these - to fill gaps quickly and thoroughly without great expense.
So far, so impressed!