Notes from the Garden – 8th May 2016
It has finally dawned on me that the best way to photograph the garden is to stand on a garden chair. That way the viewpoint is above the top of the retaining wall (4ft ish) which holds the garden up above the patio – simple when you think about it!
A sort of panorama of left hand side of the garden if you use the orange tulips as the reference point with the first photou. I am really thrilled with the garden this year. Finally after years for labouring, pondering, moving of plants, weeding and wondering it has come together and really gladdens my heart every time I look at it. It will be interesting to see if I continue to feel this way as the garden progresses through the year but so far its scored 100% since the start of the year.
Aside from starting to tackle the front garden planting I have spent quite a bit of time pottering around the garden tidying and weeding. Yesterday was a cooler day with rain constantly threatened so I spent most of my gardening time sowing and potting up in the greenhouse. I have finally cleared all the overwintered plants from both of the cold frames and repotted as necessary. Most plants have come through the winter and it was nice to rediscover seedlings that I had forgotten all about such as a tray of 12 eucomis seedlings.
Today, with the heat I retreated to the shady end of the garden and spent time cutting back snowdrop leaves from the slope so that my fern collection can emerge. I am sure there are those that will say I should leave the snowdrop leaves to dry out and wither and I know they are right but the snowdrops and ferns live cheek by jowl and the ferns are more important to me that the snowdrops so its a case of tough love. While I was tidying up I discovered the flower buds above growing amongst very long strappy leaves. After much pondering I think they are the buds of Moraea huttonii. I sowed the seeds years ago and the seedlings have languished in pots in the protection of the greenhouse or cold frame as I assumed being South African they needed some protection. Last year I got fed up with them and planted them out. The result seems to be healthy looking plants with big fat buds – fingers crossed.
The Buddleja salvifolia is beginning to flower, a beautiful blue which has come out almost true in the photograph. However, what really surprises me is the lack of insect activity on the flower heads. I rarely see butterflies in my garden but it is groaning with other pollinators so I would have thought they would like this buddleja – very strange, maybe its too exotic for the local wildlife.
Finally I am really enjoying this garish combination. There are other white honesty in this area so the white is even more dominant that this picture implies. This is where I was thinking the Tulip Rosy Bouquet that I saw at Malvern would help to bring the planting together. Alternatively, given the honesty is biennial maybe next year I could go for something else in this area, even Lunaria Chedglow would probably be an improvement! What you can’t see is that on the other side of the rhododendron there is a small pale pink rhododendron which looks wonderful with the white honesty so its all about the choices and viewpoints I suppose.