A hint of summer

Anemone pavonina

We have been truly spoilt this weekend with temperatures more akin to June than early April.  It has been a wonderful opportunity to get on and sort out seedlings that have overwintered in the cold frame which in turn has made space for seedlings from the greenhouse.The sunshine this weekend has been an early indicator of the changes to the lighting in the garden since the boundary was cleared by my new neighbours.  The greenhouse has seen temperatures up to 36C which in the past have only been recorded in high summer and just shows how much shade there previously was.  I will need to investigate shading options over the coming weeks so I am ready and my plants don’t fry.

Not only is the greenhouse much hotter than previous years but the patio across the back of the house which has always been shady is suddenly sunny.  Of course it is nice to have a sunny patio; the trouble is I have been struggling to find shady places for my seedlings so they don’t wilt in the sun.  What is even more amusing is some of the seedlings were sown two years or more ago, things like peonies and ferns, all for filling shady borders and now I am sowing sun lovers such as eryngiums and dianthus! As my son says at least I get a chance to try some different plants.

Some will recall my staging area made of scaffolding boards and bricks on which I have housed seedlings hardening off and then succulents in the summer.  It has increasingly been annoying me as it always looks messy and I am fed up with all the pots so this weekend, after a massive planting out or potting up exercise, the staging was removed.  I have acquired a small table and two chairs which just need a lick of paint and will be put in this area.  I intend to grow a climbing rose up the fence and surround the table and chairs with large pots of tender exotics which should do well in the increased sunlight. Once it is organised properly I will share a photo.

All in all a lovely weekend, I hope you have been able to enjoy your weekend as well.

 

 

 

 

My Garden This Weekend – 7/2/16

IMG_4081

What a glorious morning we have had today especially given that yesterday we had at least 14 hours of non-stop rain.  Having spent yesterday feeling sorry for myself with a bit of  head cold and a blocked ear which has affected my balance a little, I only went outside this morning to see how the garden had stood up to the wind and rain.  Two hours seemed to pass in the blink of an eye and I only came in when my fingers were becoming painfully cold.

IMG_4046

There is something quite special about the sun in the early spring especially after gloomy days and it has a wonderful ability to really illuminate the early spring bulbs and the hellebores.  I have said many times before that Spring is my favourite season especially in the garden.  I enjoy the real thrill of spotting something starting to flower which seems to be so much more intense at the start of the year when we are desperate for reassurance that the winter is retreating.  Not that we have had much of a winter this year.

IMG_4067

The mild weather over the last few months has led to a strange mix of plants flowering.  I was very surprised to have my attention caught by a flash of red and on investigation discovered that Anemone pavonina was flowering probably at least two months early.

IMG_4061

But then again some plants have stuck to their normal timings. Hamamelia x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ is a good example of a plant doing what it is meant to do at the right time regardless.  I have been watching this shrub for some weeks.  Last year it had only three flowers on the whole shrub.  After a bit of research I concluded that the plant was too dry probably due to the neighbour’s sycamore roots; so after a long period of rain I gave it a heavy mulch to try and lock some moisture in and I made sure I watered it during dry spells in the summer.  The plant has rewarded me with a full covering of flowers which are all just opening – how lovely!

IMG_4052

Having taken some photos I pottered around cutting back the deciduous grasses and the ferns which had gone  over as well as collecting other debris from around the garden. Then with the sun still shining and not feeling too bad I decided to sow some seeds from the local HPS seed exchange.  To be honest I have no idea what half of them are, I think they might be shrubs as I seem to remember requesting these as I have a fancy to grow some shrubs maybe for a future garden, not that I have plans to move, but its good to have a challenge.

IMG_4071

Finally, having been thrilled with the Hamamelia flowering I was just as thrilled to discover three flower stems on the Melianthus major; two more than last year.

It always amazes me how uplifting  a couple of hours in the fresh air pottering around can be.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – April 2015

2015_04130003

The last couple of weeks have given us the occasional bright sunny days with temperatures just nudging 20C.  It seems like the garden has had its touch-paper lit and the plants are rushing forward.  Every day there seems to be something new opening or germinating.  Today’s thrill is the first Anemone pavonina opening its flower.  I bought three plants last year from Stocktonbury Gardens, taking great care where I planted them and carefully not removing the seed heads so they might self-seed.  They can be hard to establish so I was grateful for the mild winter and the fact that all three have reappeared and have flower buds.

 

Narcissus Angels Tears
Narcissus Angels Tears
Narcissus Sophies Choice
Narcissus Sophies Choice

There is still quite a variety of narcissus large and small flowering in the garden but my two favourites are Angels Tears and Sophies Choice, both quite elegant and pale.

2015_04130011

Tulips are rare in my garden as over recent hard winters they have been dug up by the badger so I no longer plant them in the borders.  However, there are one or two which the badger didn’t get and which flower year on year.  Tulip ‘Jan Reus’ is one of the few flowering in my garden at the moment.

2015_04130012

Iris bucharica is another new delight.  It’s a Juno Iris which aren’t generally easy to grow in the garden, prefering pot culture, but Iris bucharica is the exception and will grow in the border so here’s hoping that they will reappear next year.

2015_04110028

I had forgotten I had Leucojum vernum in the woodland border so it was a delight to see it reappear.  Hopefully one day it will start to bulk up.

Epimedium Black Sea
Epimedium Black Sea
Epimedium Rose Queen
Epimedium Rose Queen
Epimedium x warleyense 'Orangekonigin'
Epimedium x warleyense ‘Orangekonigin’

I have a growing passion for Epimediums and the first are flowering with more to follow.  I love their dainty flowers and the way they waft above the foliage.

2015_04110001

Another new tiny delight is Dicentra cucullaria which I have started in a pot but I think will be fine in the border once I have looked up the right conditions for it.

2015_04110048

The honesty has started to flower.  I think this one is Lunaria ‘Corfu Blue’; I remember  sowing seeds for it but I don’t remember it germinating well but maybe I was too hasty in throwing the seed tray on to the border.

2015_04130016

I do though remember sowing Lunaria annua ‘Chedglow’.  I bought the seeds last year from Avon Bulbs at Malvern show, sowing them that weekend and I am very pleased with the plants.  I really like the dark foliage with the purple flowers.

2015_04110025

2015_04130010  2015_04130004

Primulas and polyanthus are flowering away with new ones putting in an appearance on a regular basis.  It seems that the polyanthus start flowering later than the primulas. I am particularly fond of the (Drumstick Primula)

There are lots of other small floral delights in the borders and I have included a few of my real favourites.

Omphalodes cherry ingram
Omphalodes cherry ingram
Anemone nemorosa 'Westwell Pink'
Anemone nemorosa ‘Westwell Pink’
Anemone Lipsiensis
Anemone Lipsiensis
Bergenia 'Bressingham White
Bergenia ‘Bressingham White
Sweet Cicely
Sweet Cicely

For more Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts visit Carol over at May Dreams