The verbena in the green man planter (photo from 2011) has finally started to put on a small amount of spring growth but I know, after two years in the same pot through the winter from hell, the roots will be pot bound and the compost spent and so, with a week of above freezing temps promised, I have started the task of sorting out the patio pots. I have taken a couple of cuttings of the verbena and replaced the compost and seeded it with chives and nasturtiums. I know it's probably the wrong time to take cuttings but better than just chucking the old plant away. Nothing ventured...
Next are the geraniums, turned to crispy brown skeletons after this winter, they are being replaced with sage and rosemary. I've also tidied up a plastic trough of crocus and seeded it with summer annuals, candytuft, cornflower and calendula. I managed to grow a couple of honeysuckle plants from layering last year, one went to a garden in Devon but the remaining one has not shown any signs of life so far. I shall give it a while longer and have bought another to grow on, keeping it in a decorative pot as a patio climber to add height for this year.
There are buds on the camelia that have not been burnt by the frosts and so I have given all the ericaceous shrubs in pots a good feed to help green up their leaves and get them off to a good start.
There are still some of last year's strawberries runners to pot up (photo below, strawberries with snow) some having overwintered in just a plastic pot, always amazing how tough these plants are considering how delicate their fruit is. The oak, fig and miniature hornbeam are all beginning to show signs of buds but I have lost several pots to the effects of frost shattering, it really has been a tough winter. The hostas have survived and I have plans to split up the contents of one of the pots and plant out in a shady area in the garden.
As the temperatures start to climb towards double figures this weekend, I am keeping my fingers crossed that the hanging baskets may well be able to make it outside and that Spring is finally here.