This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Monday, 13 May 2013

Plants Slumber No More

Aquilegia (Columbine) - soon to flower.
This week (in between rain, sun, gales and hail stones) I can see plants have emerged from their sleep and the race is on to see what plants turn out bigger and better than last year... well, that's my hope anyway. 

Looking around the garden it's great to see plants have survived the wet conditions we had earlier in the year. There was quite a bit of water lying over the Winter as snow melted and with clay soil I've areas in the garden with poor drainage and this makes for unhappy plants. I've wondered if I would have  casualties this year; I think there will be a few.

Here are a few photos of things to come... always nice to see perennials emerging and signs of Spring / Summer flowers.
Above: Delphinium with sticks around to support it as it grows.
Ferns awake from their sleep and stretch upwards.
Above: The masses of green plants around the roses are Poached Egg Plant which will soon flower and continue to self seed.
I love seeing hosta emerge - the snails seem to like these plants too and are sure to be making dinner plans!
Fennel, grown from seed last year, is growing rapidly and will reach about 2 feet tall this Summer.

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.


  1. It seemed to take some plants quite a while to get going this year, but now that they have, they're growing at quite a pace.

  2. Can't wait to see the aquilegia blooming.

  3. I bet the poor things wish they hadn't bothered as they are being buffeted by the wind now. Just hope the slugs/snails let them grow a little more before munching the leaves!

  4. It is lovely to see the plants growing again. My aquilegia has broken into flower. It's lovely.

  5. Aquilegia self sows in our garden - in fact its a bit of a pest. Fennel never! Our hostas look the same and I've liberally dosed them with slug pellets (the expensive organic approved ones)!

  6. Your aquilegia looks fairly well on.Mine has only just appeared through the soil.I'll happily let it self seed all over my garden including the raised beds this year, now that all of my veg growing is done on the allotment.
    My hostas are doing well too but I'll have to apply large doses of organic slug pellets!

  7. Having clay soil is difficult, but your plants look as if they are bursting into life. The aquilegias are usually prolific and will look pretty when in bloom. I love the different shades of pink and mauve flowers they produce.

  8. A few of you mention aquilegia and its tendency to self seed. This is something I've been hoping for as I'd like more of it in the garden, but so far I've seen no evidence of plants self seeding. Maybe its my clay soil which is often rock hard. I'm still hoping I'll find some self seeded plants this year. :)

  9. I have aquilegia all over the place and sometimes have to be quite brutal in pulling it up - mine aren't as far ahead as yours yet but it wont be long now.

  10. Hi Kelli, isn't this the most exciting time of year! Plants emerge and colors begin to take hold in the garden. I failed to get the slug pellets out in time this year and my poor hostas have suffered. I vow next year to be better about it! I hope you do get some aquilegia to self sow. It's fun to see those delicate little leaves strewn about the garden. Cheers, Jenni

  11. Aquilegia is one of my favourite plants, Kelli, and it self seeds everywhere here. Maybe you could save the seed this year and sprinkle it around. I did this in my newest patch last year and I'm overloaded with seedlings now. Your hosta shoots are looking really healthy and nibble free. The slugs got to most of mine as soon as they appeared.