Flowers have fought through the floods

Snowdrops
Snowdrops
Chrysanthemums bought in pots and added to the border look great in autumn.

BRIAN KIDD: Mum’s the word for an added splash of autumn fire in borders

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Did you remember to sow some early pea seeds in cells?

I remembered but didn’t have time to do it. I am going to do this during the next few days – well, it will be during the evening with a lantern in the greenhouse at the allotment.

Half fill insert cells with universal potting compost and put just two or three pea seeds in each of the cells. Cover the seeds with the compost and give the trays a shake.

Water the compost and the seedlings will emerge in about three weeks. Remember to protect them from mice - they love pea seeds!

In the greenhouse at the allotment I put a plank on top of two buckets and place the trays on the plank. The rats and mice can’t climb up the sides of the buckets.

Allow the seedling roots to fill the cells and then they can be planted into the garden or allotment – wow, we will be picking peas at the end of May. Can’t be bothered? Okay, get frozen ones!

I had a walk around the garden this morning. The snowdrops are in flower, despite the flooding, the camellia buds are going to split open in about three weeks but the Daphne Jaqueline Postil is filling the garden with perfume.

What an amazing evergreen shrub for small gardens. You would not believe that such tiny pink and white crystaline flowers could smell so sweet.

Another amazing herbaceous plant is Iris Sanguosa. It used to be called Iris stylosa which is a much prettier name. Well, this gem has been in flower ever since mid December.

The blooms only last for three days but the fresh flowers emerge as soon as the older ones fade.

The polyanthus looked as if they were drowning because the stream which flows through our garden has been blocked further downstream.

I managed to get it unblocked in my neighbour’s garden but couldn’t get any further due to a large hedge stopping my progress.

So, just a quick fork around with a garden fork, a dressing of sharp sand was scattered over the surface and forked in and the polyanthus perked up really well.

One of the most pleasing plants at this time of year are the winter-flowering heathers. They are so hardy – even after being flooded.

They are in full flower and when the sun is out, you would think it was summer.

Add to this a background of golden leaves of Elaeagnus maculata Aurea and the bold red bottle shapes on the berries of the golden leafed Aucuba and the garden looks great.