Welcome back to the blog after an unplanned hiatus. The combination of projects that I signed up for work wise and personally in 2022 left zero time to update my little corner of the web. I’ve missed writing here, journalling about my gardening and DIY adventures, but I won’t dwell on it. The projects I’ve been working on are very exciting if not a little daunting. After a few months of perfecting samples, one of those projects launched a little over a week ago, my made to order eiderdowns. If luxury plump and cosy quilts are your thing, you can read more about them over on the Stitchery website.
Back to the garden and 2022, which was a strange year weather wise, probably the weirdest I’ve experienced yet since moving to Greenfields 5 years ago. After a long cold spring, the temps ramped up for a short lived albeit intense heat wave.After which we had long dry spells, prolonged wet spells and everything in between.
The dahlias in particular have loved the weather patterns, the majority of which, both new and overwintered varieties bloomed earlier and stronger than ever before. The south border did beautifully. It feels like such a garden win to get the planting distances just right for gently overlapping plants.
The sunflowers on the other hand were very confused. After creating what I thought would be a nasturtium wall at the back of the border, consisting of five 7ft teepees underplanted with self seeded nasturtiums. I was confident they would be the highest point of a tiered effect moving downwards towards the front of the bed, with sunflowers as the middle layer reaching 6ft max, and dahlias and snapdragons at the very front. I didn’t expect the sunflowers to not only reach the height stated on the seed packet but to exceed it by at least 4ft. Even stranger than the 10ft sunflowers are their 1ft friends growing right beside them in the same bed. The pro cut plums ‘Ms Mars’ are a smaller variety but should grow to at least between 2-3ft high. The best laid plans and all that… In the end nature will always decide.
Regardless, I could not be happier with all the different sunflower varieties in the garden this year, including those sown by the birds in random raised beds and borders. Is there anything more cheerful than a sunflower?
The plant theatre was another win in the garden this year. I made the shift from 100% annuals to an even split of perennials and annuals. I added some specimen hostas from Sienna Hosta, as well as transplanting a few of the hostas from under the trees in the front garden, where they always suffered from slug attacks. They went on to thrive in large containers in the plant theatre and remained pristine all season long. The only reason I can account for the change is down to the bird feeders located adjacent to the plant theatre. All season long I watched birds, particularly thrushes, robins and blackbirds hop in and around the pots, likely snacking on any slugs in the vicinity. I take my hat off to them for a job well done.
I am excited for the new growing season, and in fact sowed the first seeds of the year today. Broad bean, superaguadulce, a lovely large and tasty broad bean variety, that does well sown in the autumn or the spring. I look forward to sharing my garden plans for the year in the next blog post, along with a list of jobs I’ll be tackling in the next few weeks.
For now, I’ll leave you here with some of my favourite snaps from the 2022 growing year.