Thankfully today and over night we have had a good deluge of rain, topping up the water butts. Sadly, whilst it appears a lot of rain the actual total for the last 24 hours is only 1.6mm which will only really impact on the top inch of the soil but its something I suppose. My love of strong colours is slowly becoming more apparent in the garden, at the moment I am loving the heliotropiums that I have flowering in a pot. They were planted with vibrant orange calibrachoa but the plants never did well producing one stem at a time whilst the other stems withered. I wonder if I planted them out too early given the coolness of the spring and early summer.
I am particularly pleased with the flowers on the Aloe striatula. This is growing in the front garden under the window by the succulent trough and was a bit of an experiment. It has come through the winter fine and I think I would like to add more although I know that I might lose them if we have a particularly hard winter.
The species Petunia exserta have started to flower. As with many species the flowers are much smaller than the hybrids that we are used to seeing. I like the purpleness of the buds before the flowers open but I’m not really a fan of petunias so I will see how these do over the summer. I’ve also planted out lobelia spicata and some agastache to fill the gaps where the early perennials have been cut back so hopefully there will be a second burst of colour.
I’m also enjoying this flower whose label has disappeared. Its small plant and I know the seeds were from the Alpine Garden Society but that’s as far as it goes, but it is a lovely colour.
A new bench has also appeared by the shed. Hewn by hand from a tree by my eldest during his week on a Ray Mears Woodsman course this week. Its made from Sweet Chestnut which they felled with axe and hand-made saws. It is extra special to my son as the great man sat on the bench with him the other evening when he dropped into the course. I asked if he had asked Mr Mears to sign it but my son scoffed at this suggestion, although I suspect he wishes he had thought of this.
I haven’t shown you the patio border since it was full of snowdrops in early spring. This time of year is it’s next prime moment of interest with the Kirengshoma being the star of the show. I am not one to boost but I have to say that to date I haven’t encountered a Kirengshoma better than my specimen, of which I am every proud. In this combination I like the link between the hosta flowers and the actea behind. I am hoping that the actea may flower this year. It has been blind for a few years now and I’m not quite sure why. In the spring I moved it slightly sideways so it wasn’t competing with Kirengshoma so much and hopefully this will help.
The other end of the border is beginning to fill out and continues the green/yellow/purple theme. I don’t think I will plant the two peony plants you can see in the border as they will quickly out grow the space. Whilst I like the bright colours I also really enjoy the textures of foliage and this seems to interest me more and more.
I’m off to visit gardens on the east coast of Ireland tomorrow so who knows what inspiration I will gain over the coming week.