One of my new hellebores
One of my new hellebores

Today is my birthday, and thank you to all my blogging friends for the good wishes.  This year I decided that as it was on a Friday I would take the day off work and have a day for me.

As many working Mums will know a day all to yourself, with no chores or having to be somewhere for someone is a complete luxury.  My parents, retired, couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to go out for lunch or even go for a car ride to see some birds of prey.  I suspect they think I am still 12 but it’s probably that having all day every day to more or less do as they like they don’t appreciate the complete delight and freedom I felt this morning.

I had a plan.  As usual it was ambitious but that’s me.  I’m so used to trying to achieve so much in such a limited amount of time at home and at work that when I have time I don’t know how to just relax and chill.  So after stopping at the shops to buy a naughty cake and a disappointing Thai salad lunch, I didn’t know it would be disappointing until I ate it, I went to the allotment.  A good hour was spent weeding and pottering and chatting to my Mum on her plot.  Then home to consume naughty cake before visiting a local nursery to buy a hydrangea serrata Shirofuji which I have been wanting to get for a while but the nursery is only open during the week. Weirdly I wasn’t encouraged to walk round the nursery, just asked what I was looking for, shown the plants and money taken – think they missed a trick there!!

After the disappointing lunch it was time for the garden and sadly the sun had disappeared again behind the clouds so it wasn’t as lovely and warm as this morning.  My goal was to plant my birthday treat to myself a Sorbus vilmorinii.   I have got into the habit of buying myself a present on my birthday and at Christmas since this way I get to buy something I really want without feeling guilty.  I have done a lot of research on a tree since I wanted something for the bed you can see in the above photo.  I am trying to bring height into the garden and also to create more layers so that the back fence is not so predominant.  The tree is to go in the border you can see by the gravel path and as it grows it will slightly mask the slope and hopefully mean that you can’t see everything in one go.

You can see the tree is now planted, I remembered to remove the cane after I had taken the photo!  The border has been dug over and I have divided a large clump of iris siberica and planted it around the base of the tree.  Also in this border is a persicaria, white Japanese anemones, lobelia cardinalis and some mixed lupins.  There are also lots of tulips appearing which are the ones I had in pots a few years back, it will be interesting to see how well they flower in this their third year in the border.  I also added some ornithogalum saundersiae which I think are white and should look good.  Now it’s a case of sitting back and seeing what it looks like and how I can improve it.  I think there are some big gaps but I have some seeds for red cosmos which I think will look quite nice against the white Japanese anemone.

A look at the woodland border showed that my Erythroniums are now emerging which  is very exciting as I was completely reckless in the Autumn and bought  lots of corms (is that the right word?) of erythronium Pagoda and a lesser amount of erythonrium albidum.  Amazingly one of the erythronium albidum is in flower although it is so tiny it was incredibly difficult to photograph as you can see.

So that was my birthday.  Oh and I must show you my favourite present from my two sons.  They are bamboo cloches and I think they are just too gorgeous to go down the allotment so I will be using them in the  garden.