A Walk Around My Garden Saturday 1st February 2020

Suddenly we go from sorting seeds, writing lists and thinking about gardening- to actually getting out there and making a start. It’s a wonderful feeling to be outdoors. I can happily mooch about all day. This week I made a new sweet pea support out of hazel poles.

Usually I use our own hazel material, but I cut them down last year and I’m leaving them to grow taller for a pergola project. There’s always something planned for the future. For this year’s sweet pea frame I visited a local farm fencing suppliers and bought two bundles of rods. These are sold as binders for hedge laying, but make perfect pea and bean poles.

I push the rods into the ground in two rows 60cm apart, with 30cm between each pole. The ground is still very wet and it’s relatively easy to push them in. I tie each pair of rods at a height of 180cm and then weave more hazel and twiggy stems along the top and also at waist height to strengthen the frame.

Here’s my supports from last summer. I love the natural rustic look and sweet peas easily twine around the hazel poles without too much attention and minimal tying in. These supports will last about three years if they are reinforced each year. At the end of their useful life, they’ll be composted. For local supplies try https://coppice-products.co.uk/

Sweet pea seeds are growing well, but there’s still time to start yours now. Planted in early February, they will make good strong plants to flower from July until first frosts. I’m growing a mixture of heritage varieties from Easton Walled Gardens and some new ones from Mr Fothergill’s including Mayflower 400 celebrating 400 years since the Pilgrim Fathers sailed to The New World. There’s nothing like the scent of sweet peas. It’s difficult to buy them from florists, but luckily for us, they are cheap and easy to grow at home.

I’ve written about making a sweet pea support for the weekly Garden News Magazine. There will be photos from my garden in the 11th February edition. I’ve also written about starting my dahlias into growth to take cuttings, and refreshing the compost in my lemon tree pots and starting feeding and watering them. With temperatures being unusually mild for winter, I’m making the best of the sunshine and getting a head start for spring.

What projects have you got planned for 2020. Are you growing anything new, or sticking with old favourites. Get in touch and let me know what’s happening in your garden.

I am @kgimson on twitter

Karengimson1 on instagram

Links : SOS I like to join in with #sos at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/six-on-saturday-01-02-2020/

And also with Cathy at #IAVOM https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2020/01/27/in-a-vase-on-monday-a-good-spread/

Hazel supplies https://coppice-products.co.uk/

Mr Fothergills seeds http://blog.mr-fothergills.co.uk/mr-fothergills-launches-new-sweet-pea-mayflower-400/

Easton walled garden https://www.visiteaston.co.uk/

36 thoughts on “A Walk Around My Garden Saturday 1st February 2020

  1. Pingback: Six on Sunday: Busy! | Rambling in the Garden

  2. Hi Karen. Glad you have been able to get out and do some gardening. The hazel supports look lovely even without anything growing on them yet! It is still a bit early for any activity here, but I am planning a new bed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cathy. We took advantage of a lovely sunny day. It’s turning colder now, so I’m glad I got that task completed. One less thing to do when the spring rush arrives. Where is your new bed and what are you thinking of putting in it? Xx


      • It will be right in front of our living room, between the butterfly bed and herb bed… It will eventually have a birdbath and some obelisks for climbing plants, with Centranthus, Verbena bonariensis, Stipa tenuissima and perhaps some Clematis, but I will need tough ones as we get a lot of strong wind up on our hill!

        Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds so lovely. I can really picture that. We have a trig point just near the garden. If I’d seen it, I might not have bought the house!!! I wanted to grow delicate tender plants. They all have to reside in the greenhouse in pots.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Karen sorry that I have been absent from your blog and other blogs for so long, but I am very bad and very depressed, not wanting to do anything and just go down the street to accompany my Mother to make the purchase of food. To top things off I have been a week with viral gastroenteritis that has left me without strength. But today I decided to take the computer. I am very happy that you can be outdoors all day and build that wonderful support of sweet peas with hazelnut poles: thanks for the indications of how it is done. It’s great that your Sweet Pea seeds are growing well, even varieties that are 400 years old, it’s extraordinary! Scented and divine flowers, I love them! The photos are magnificent and I love them all. They have made me smile and see the future with hope. Sweet Peas and other flowers with their bright colors have the power to cure depressions, and they are such beautiful flowers …. In Garden News you will soon become a leading journalist with the magnificent contents and the fabulous advice you write on it . Here after a great snowfall last week and the previous one; We are now at 17ºC and will even rise more during this week. We have a temperature lag of 10ºC in almost all of Spain: it is Climate Change. Karen does not know when I will write again, but I want to tell you that you are a very good friend and that I remember your advice a lot. I hope you are doing very well, doing a happy gardening in the company of Meg and Grace. I miss these conversations. Karen a lot of love, a lot of health, a lot of strength and a lot of encouragement for your whole family, for Mr B and for you. Take care. Many loving caresses for Grace and Meg. Have a wonderful week. With all my love, greetings from Margarita xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Margarita. I have also missed our conversations. I was just about to send an e mail to you as I was getting worried. Well, my friend, you have suffered a lot these last few years, and very much more over the past six months. The illnesses are likely due to you being so run down and exhausted. All I can say is keep smiling. Try each day to list a few cheerful things. They don’t have to be many. Just a few to start with. And then concentrate really hard on those few positive things. Believe me, I have been in your shoes with desperate illnesses. I was very lucky that I did not get depression also. Just at the tipping point, I was able to pull myself from the brink and look forward. And that is what you must do. illness will abate, and sunshine will return to your life. The spring will bring such a comfort to you with better weather and warmer temperatures. Take advice from your doctor, and be kind to yourself. But you have to work hard for a while to pull yourself up from this downward spiral. Eat well, sleep well, and rest. Allow yourself time to recover. Look for the beauty In the smallest things. The answer comes from the most unexpected places. But you have to be open to finding them. I hope you understand what I mean. It is not easy. Nothing in life really is. But now put maximum effort into positive thoughts. Keep reading the blog, and if you don’t feel like reading, just look at the photos. It is a kind of balm. I’m writing my blogs with you in mind. I’ll send some cheerful photos especially for you. Keep in touch. Sending love and encouragement. Just as you have done for me in the past. Loving greetings from us all. Karen xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Karen you are a wonderful friend for being by my side and I thank you very much for your advice and words of encouragement with all my heart. I have fallen into the spiral of very strong depression that drags me down. But I’m going to listen to you and write something positive every day, even if it’s just one thing. Thank you very much for thinking of me when making your blogs and putting the photos. I really want to arrive mid or late May to go with my Mother to the country house and be in the garden, although this year I do not find the strength to plant anything: what I will do is buy in a nursery flower plants normal and make a very normal garden but with flowers to enjoy its colors and shapes. And to be able to go for a walk every day in the country with my mother in the afternoon. Although in that house I have in my corner very strong memories of my dear Father and also in the different paths we walked through the countryside, because he loved being there. I hope you are in very good health and mood, and doing happy gardening. Karen all my love and all the best for your family, for Mr B and for you. Loving caresses for Grace and Meg. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Gary. It’s lovely to use natural materials. They make me happy just to look at them now- even without any sweet peas growing on them! Like you say, being able to compost them really is the cherry on the cake. Good luck with your gardening. It’s so exciting taking on a new garden 🙂👍 xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cathy. I worked at easton walled gardens for a while writing articles and doing pr for them, so I watched how they grew their sweet peas. Start them before March and once germinated grow them as cold as you dare at the base of a house wall or in a cold frame and they will be strong and stocky. Too much warmth leads to weak plants. Feed them liquid seaweed as soon as they get to 3ft to promote flowers. Good luck. Report back 🙂👍 xx


    • They vary in price. I think I paid £40 for two big bundles, enough for the sweet peas and to make some teepees for climbing French beans. They are 9ft -10ft long, so you can chop off the bushy tops and use them as plant supports. I’ve got my own but I cut them back last year and I want them to grow tall to create an arch pergola for next summer. The offcuts are being used as plant labels. So I’ve used every scrap, and when they are no longer useful they can just be composted. Have a look on the coppice website to see if there’s anyone near you. Let me know if you can’t find any, and I’ll have a look too. xx


    • I did some in October and they were eaten by the mice. Then some at Christmas. Few more this week. Hopefully I’ll get a succession of flowers. Eventually. I grew Air Warden one year. A very bright cheerful red. Good luck with yours.


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