05 April 2012

Agapanthus in Fine Fettle

The glass houses at Brooke Hall are in the village, not next to the house and I only go down there if the weather is foul. Yesterday we spent the whole day buffing up the agapanthus, which forms a community in the middle glass house of about fifty very large pots. We were cutting out the dead, revealing the green and the improvement was one of those very satisfying things - like chipping away at plaster to reveal a perfect dinosaur sculpture underneath.

Suddenly, they are ready to go. Having been watered for the first time in early March, they are now kept moist. Next they will be top dressed with John Innes, if any compost can be worked in amongst the knot of roots on the surface, and the foliar feeding will begin. Then they'll be wheeled and hoisted into prime positions, the plastic pots hidden in more magnificent containers. The last time I took any notice of them was in February, with snow outside. A few were blooming in the sub-zero temperatures, in rather wan fashion. There is no heating, but there is leaky glass, and that seems to be enough.

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