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Friday Favourites – Spring Planting!

Don’t you just love Spring time and the lifting of the grey skies? Seeing the first snowdrops, and then the daffodils. Planting up in Spring?  I just love the anticipation of all those lovely blooms, of the colours, the shapes, and of course the foliage.  And watching them as they grow.  And how I seem to make the time to stop and linger, instead of rushing past the flower beds whilst on my way to some important task or duty. This is the time of year that I start going through the catalogues, and looking in all the plant shops.  And this year is no different, I am full of  thoughts of what to plant this year and already have a list started.

This year I want to focus on vegetables as well as flowers. Vegetable planting always used to be my main attraction, especially when I had an allotment in Plymouth. But since moving to Okehampton, and having plenty of space myself at Bowerland, I made my own vegetable plots. So the first few years of being here I was very enthusiastic, and started with 3 beds. This has now been developed into 8 beds, but I have had some disasters along the way!

For example, one of my favourite vegetables to grow is the beetroot. I had great success on my allotment, and enjoyed many beetroot dishes, with roasted beetroot being the best. But out here on the Dartmoor moors I have discovered that there are some small rodents that like to eat my beetroots from under the plant. When I go to pick them out the ground, they look great from the top, but as I lift them, I can see they have had their insides eaten out!  The other favourite veg/fruit I struggle with is tomatoes, and to be honest, I don’t think I spend enough time preparing them, keeping an eye on how they are growing, and tending to them when they need attention.

My plans for 2018, apart from my vegetable beds, are going to be plenty of colour, plenty of foliage and lots of interesting plants.  The cottages each have their own enclosed gardens, and these are very dog friendly, and I have learnt what plants are ok to grow, and the dogs will not disturb them, and what plants get dug up very quickly! Both cottages have raised planters, filled with some small colourful shrubs, and some seasonal blooms. The gardens also have borders with shrubs, and small trees, and a variety of plant pots dotted around.

Then I have a number of outside spaces in which to fill with colour. For the last few years we have had about 8 hanging baskets dotted around, which look glorious when watered and fed.  But I do have to think about the watering of them if I am away for a few days. We do get a lot of rain at Bowerland, but when we get a dry spell, these hanging baskets suffer.  But I love the variety of plants you can put in them, and how some grow and trail fantastically. The last couple of years I have found a company that supplies them already planted, and just need hanging up. Wonderful!

In many of my troughs and pots I have begonias and primroses which I find great value as they seem to go on and on. There are a huge variety of colours to choose from, and they just seem to go on giving for months. I also love my colourful shrubs which are in many of the borders here. My most favourite of all is the Magnolia, which was very difficult to grow, but now it is established seems bigger and better each year. The blooms are fantastic, so beautiful and so big. I have checked it out, and there are buds already growing for this year. I can’t wait to see them blossom.

What about you, what are your favourites? I hope you find these tips helpful. It would be good to hear what you think about my ideas, and anything else you have come up with. Tell me what you think by posting your comments below. Why don’t you Share this with your friends and family by clicking the Facebook icon or following us on Twitter?

About the Author: Carole Langman works behind the scenes at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs as the Business Manager. Her office is always a hive of activity, and with the vast amounts of work Carole has, we never really know how she gets through it all! To unwind, she loves gardening, hikes around Bowerland, travelling and writing.

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