Six on Saturday – After the Rain

Darmera peltata

I’ve been moving a lot of plants around over the last couple of weeks partly to clear the Big Border for edibles but also to address some of the plants that have outgrown their space or just aren’t looking great any more.  It has made be really aware of how dry the soil was becoming and I have found myself having to get the hose out several times a week to try to help the plants survive the trauma of being unceremoniously hauled out of the ground.

Yesterday late afternoon the rain finally appeared, fine rain, nothing much to write home about and to be honest a little disappointing. But this morning I was thrilled to wake to heavy and persistent rain which only really eased early afternoon.

Going out to take some photos for Six on Saturday post it was lovely to smell that wonderful fresh smell that you only get from a good downfall of rain.  Not only does it smell fresh but there is that wonderful light that comes with the sun starting to push through the mist and clouds making everything feel soft and lush.

So to my Six on Saturday.  First up is Darmera peltata, also known as the ‘Umbrella Plant’.  I grow this plant mainly for its leaves which are umbrella like, hence the name, and do very well in the damp shade border.  However, the flowers make a welcome and interesting addition to the shady border.  Next up are Bluebells.  I have no idea is these are English or Spanish but they have been in my garden for years and come from the hedgerow near my parents old house in the country so I would like to think they were English.

Trillium grandiflorum (probably)

My third is this Trillium which I am super pleased with.  I think it is Trillium grandiflorum but happy to be corrected.  I have had it for some years now and it has appeared every year with one flower.  This year it has decided to produce three flowers which is just wonderful and makes me incredibly happy.

Primula denticulata

Number 4 is Primula denticulata. This individual is just one of a group of ten or more which have developed from one plant grown from seed probably ten years or more ago.  Back in the Autumn I was sorting out the Woodland border and decided to divide up the Primula denticulata quite aggressively and I have been rewarded with more and stronger flowers, proving that plants sometimes do respond well to a little rough treatment.

Camassia

Number 5 are Camassias.  These are starting to be a bit of a weed in my garden.  Having bought a couple of bulbs years back they have been either seeding around or the bulbs bulking up either way I have been redistributing them around the garden and to be honest composting quite a few.

Deutzia

Number Six: Deutzia.  This shrub was in the garden when we moved in 17 years ago and never fails to deliver an abundance of flowers every year.  I’m sure its early this year as I think it normally flowers around the time of the Malvern Spring Show which is the second weekend of May.

I’m anticipating that with the warm weather forecast for next week and the amount of rain that we have had today the garden will really be bursting with new growth and flowers by next weekend.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: April 2017

Dicentra spectablis ‘Valentine’

I have finally got my act together and am joining in with the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day meme for the first time in 2017. I thought I would start with Dicentra spectablis ‘Valentine’ as I moved it last Autumn, from a position where it was hidden and sad, and it has rewarded me with some wonderful blooms.

I featured my new tulips in my last post.  This is a lone tulip which has appeared in one of the borders and is a stray from a previous year.  I am rather pleased with the feathering on the petals which have shown up well in this photo.

Lunaria annua

The honesty (lunaria annua) is so tall this year, I suspect because of the additional light in the garden.  Over the years I have grown a number of different ones included white and purple and those with variegated leaves – the result is a random selection of white and purple variegated leaves and different shades of purple flowers.

Sweet violets, are wild flowers, which pop up around the garden of their own accord, I have never planted them; such a wonderful blue.

Bluebells appear around the boundary of my garden.  They are from a small clump I bought from my parents’ garden when we moved here and I have now got to the point where I am dig them up and removing them as they are so prolific.

Omphalodes cappadocica ‘Cherry Ingram’

I can never remember the name of this plant except it is named after Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram – the cherry reflecting his passion for Japanese flowering cherries.  So every year I have to google Cherry Ingram to find the proper name of the plant.  This year it is looking better than it has ever looked – much healthier and floriferous.

Camassia

The garden is moving into its blue phase not just because of the bluebells and forget-me-nots but also, and probably mainly, because the Big Border is full of Camassias which are just coming into flower.  I can’t wait for them to all flower as it should be quite beautiful.

The first Rhododendron is flowering.  I have always had a fondness for rhododendrons as they remind me of my childhood and visiting Saville Gardens, near Windsor, not far from where I grew up.  Looking at the photograph the leaves look a little unhealthy so I will have to look into that.

The yellow of the daffodils is now being replaced by the yellow of primulas and also auriculas.  I have quite a few auriculas grown from seed but they are all the same colour as above despite the packet, a few years back now, saying they were mixed.  I have them growing in a row of terracotta pots along the top of the wall where I can see them from the kitchen and they are very cheering first thing in the morning.

There is also lime yellow coming from the Bupleurum longifolium which I think I might have managed to establish at last in the garden after many attempts.

Thank you to Carol over at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this meme which brings so many of the garden blogging community together every month on the 15th.

Malvern Hills Challenge – 1: Raggedstone Hill

2015_05270013

In response to my fidgeting the other day my eldest son offered me a challenge – to climb to the top of each of the Malvern Hills.  Now to many people this really isn’t much of a challenge, after all they are hardly the Scottish Munros.  However, I really don’t do enough exercise and have been saying for a while that I need to get fit.  I live on the lower slopes and despite moving to the area in 2000 I have really only been up a couple of the more frequently visit hills; there are 16 hills in total although some of them are almost on top of each other.

So that’s one down, 15 to go and I think the next one will be at the other end of the chain: North Hill.  I went up this hill a few months back as it overlooks my mother’s house and we scattered my father’s ashes here so the walk may be  a little poignant but on that day we didn’t get to the very top so there is something to aim for.  Today I have been to get my resident’s parking permit for the hills, a snip at £3 per year, and some maps so I am all set.

I’m late for GBBD!

I haven’t done a Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post  for months.  I seem to forget and by the time I notice others the date has passed.  But I’m only one day late this time so hopefully Carol at May Dreams who hosts this meme will forgive me!

Like many other gardens in the UK mine took a real hammering over winter and I have been waiting to see what has survived and what hasn’t.  I have a large prostate Rosemary which grows over the wall on the edge of the patio and it got covered in snow, which I did brush off, but it hasn’t been looking very happy.  I have had to prune off lots of dead stems but it has started to flower now (top pic) and is covered in bees.  I was also thrilled to discover the Trillium above in flower.  I bought it last year at the Malvern Spring show and then forgot about it so it was a wonderful surprise to find it yesterday.

Primulas and Tulips are the predominant flowers in my garden at the moment.  I wrote about the tulips in my last post and here are some of my Primulas.  The Drumstick Primulas (above) don’t seem as big as last year and I wonder if this is due to the dryness

Luckily the birds don’t seem to be as keen on pulling the flowers off these as they do the native Primroses which are now just leaves and flower stalks!  My bluebells are starting to come out and I have a small clump of whitebells which are doing really well but don’t seem to want to spread.

My Lily of the Valley is just opening.  I have noticed that it seems to be appearing everywhere in the garden, it is certainly making itself at home but hopefully when it is all open there will be a lovely scent filling the garden.

Finally a couple of shrubs in flower. A Choisya and a Viburnum – I could find the label and tell you which Virburnum but I am already a day late with this post so I won’t unless you really really want me to.


And yes the observant of you will have noticed that there are quite a few white flowers in there which definitely seems to be a recurring theme in my garden!!

Better than a gym any day

In an attempt to get fit, which I am most certainly not, I have started to go for regular walks on the  Malvern Hills. With such a wonderful landscape no more than 10 minutes from my door it seems daft to waste money on joining a gym and to be honest I can’t think of anything more boring than spending time on a running machine.

The views are stunning before you even get to the top of the peaks.  I prefer the other side of the hills to where I live – the Colwall, Hereford side.  You can just see the Welsh hills in the distance. We went up the hills in the evening, at about 7:30 and the lighting was magical.  Sadly my camera hasn’t picked up the wonderful vibrant greeness that seemed to enfuse the landscape.

The view from the peak I reached, next week going to try and get abit further along but with a better hat as the wind was really whistling by the time we got to this peak.  This is obviously the best time of day to visit the hills – you can see how desserted they are.  We can see the top of the hills from my kitchen and during the day, particularly at weekends, there are always people walking along.  The only living things around were some sheep which just ignored us.

We saw this floriflorious rhodendron on the way back down the hill to the car, peering over the top of someone’s fence.  I thought this was special but there was something even more special as we headed home along Jubilee Drive

I thought I had found the best bluebells the other week over at West Malvern but this display is just something else – it really took my breath away.  I sent my parents to have a look today and they said there were quite a few people taking photos of the display.  I wonder if the bluebell displays, like the blossom display, are better this year due to the cold winter.

I have decided that not only is a walk on the hills good for my physically but  also spirtually.

My pride and joy – well at least this week anyway!

These are my tulips of which I am very proud.  Having had a complete failure with tulips planted in the borders last year, probably due to the clay soil, I decided to plant some in pots.  I bought these from Sarah Raven as I have bought seeds from her in the past and they have been good so I thought I would give her bulbs a go – unfortunately I cant for the life of me remember what they are called.  The pink ones in the front have a very faint scent.  I have two other pots of these on the patios as well so they make a lovely splash. 

I wanted to try and show the wonderful fringed edges on the purple tulips petals and I think I just about managed it in this picture.  If I ever find the names of the tulips I will update this blog.

As well as the tulips my bluebells are in flower. 

 I bought a small clump with me when I moved here 4 years ago and they have spread so much that I need to thin them out and move some to other parts of the garden.  You are meant to do this when they are in the green so I suppose I had better hurry up. 

Since taking the photo of the tulips yesterday my Camassia has started to flower and I wanted to include it in this post.  However by the time I got home from taking my son to the dentist (to have his root canal work finished) the heavens had opened and it was pouring and has been doing so for a couple of hours now.  So I put on my waterproof and ventured out – the neighbours will think I am mad but maybe they have already come to that conclusion.  Anyway I quite like this picture – its quite dramatic.  I will take another in a couple of days when it is sunny