Composting after Christmas

So now we’re over Christmas, it’s time to decide what to do with all the packaging and wrapping paper.  Our recycling bin is completely full (fortnightly collection) so it looks as though we’ll have to keep at least some of it in the garage until there’s some room for it.  One great thing about my compost bin is that it can take the brown, non shiny stuff so there is a use for it.

Christmas is good for my compost bin
Christmas is good for my compost bin
Seriously, we have LOADS of this
Seriously, we have LOADS of this

Spring conditions in December

My primroses have started flowering.  I’m partly pleased about this because I’d thought the scarifying may have killed them off.  However, they are WAY too early.

Primroses
Primroses

I’ve also got some bulbs that have come up and started following – however, I’m not sure what these are.

Little white flowers - what are they?
Little white flowers – what are they?

My teucrium also has flowers on.

Teucrium
Teucrium

Things that have died and things that may revive in the Spring

I think all my euphorbia has died.  My husband will be happy about this – he thinks it’s a messy plant that takes over; I do see his point but I rather like it all the same.  When it gets to Spring, I’ll have a think about what to put in its place – perhaps some sea holly?

Euphorbia - this was GLORIOUS in summer
Euphorbia – this was GLORIOUS in summer

Looking round the garden, I also think my Dutch Honeysuckle has died.  I bought this because it’s meant to be more shade tolerant but I think that it’s probably too damp a spot for it.  It’s now a load of wood with about three leaves on.

Dutch Honeysuckle - it's dead, no?
Dutch Honeysuckle – it’s dead, no?

If my honeysuckle is dead, what should I plant instead?

My lavender looks as though it may be suffering but is not dead – at least not yet.  It could really do with some time with no rain.  I know that sounds spoiled – I’m sure quite a lot of the north of England could do with no more rain.

Lavender
Lavender

Giant hole in my lawn

We had some building work done a while ago.  I won’t bore you with it but in the last few weeks, we’ve had a plumber in to do a bit more work.  This is the result.

My children WILL fall in this
My children WILL fall in this

I can see that this probably fixes the problem that was there (something to do with venting, I think).  However, it has created a new one – a giant hole in my lawn.

Should I plant out my foxgloves?

I’ve noticed that my foxgloves are getting a bit leggy.  Now, the seed packet says to plant them out in March but I’m wondering whether they’ve got a bit sick of being in trays and mightn’t be happier in the ground.

They've got a bit tall and thin
They’ve got a bit tall and thin

We’ve only had one frost here (and to be honest, even in normal years, it almost never goes below freezing).

This is where I'll plant them
This is where I’ll plant them

So – do I plant them or wait until late February / March?

What should I plant here?

So now that it is after Christmas, I’m trying to decide what to do next in the garden.  One spot I need to do something with is here (before it becomes overrun with weeds).

This used to have a load of calamintha nepeta but I think it's died
This used to have a load of calamintha nepeta but I think it’s died
Calamintha nepeta - this is dead, no?
Calamintha nepeta – this is dead, no?

Now, the question is – what should I plant in its place?  My husband suggested one big bush (so perhaps another teucrium – if I can ever find another for sale).

Teucrium
Teucrium

Ideally, I’d like whatever I plant to be useful for bees and butterflies.  So far my thoughts are:

  • Lavender – tends to do well here, we get a lot of light.  Plus I can plant different colours – however, I already have quite a lot of lavender;
  • Broom – I have some and LOVE it but it’s so damn tough, I can’t prune it with secateurs;
  • Teucrium (if I can get it) – or perhaps I move the one I have and plant lavender in its place; or
  • Dogwood – I already have some red dogwood so was thinking of getting some orange and greeny yellow to go alongside it.

Do any of you have any suggestions?  We are on very heavy clay, slightly acidic.  It’s a spot that gets a lot of light but is also very windy so whatever I plant needs to be able to cope with gale force winds.