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.


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.


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.

GBBD May 2018

Sweet Cicely

Whilst I was away having a jolly time in Austin the garden was busy getting on with life and a new cast was waiting to surprise me.

The first Aquilegia flowers definitely signify the imminent arrival of summer. Sadly over the years the number of long spurred Aquilegias seem to have diminished, something I must redress as they are my favourite.

The Camassias peaked but are still just about holding their own. They will soon be joined by the Alliums and Dutch Iris.

I realised when I was wandering round the garden that a lot of the blooms this month were from shrubs; I hadn’t realised I had so many shrubs.

Lathyrus aureus

On a smaller scale I’m really enjoying the orange flowers of Lathyrus aureus and Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

Thank you to Carol, who I was delighted to meet for the first time last week, for hosting this monthly meme.


In A Vase on Monday – Blue Spires


Given the wonderful display of camassias I have in the garden this year I thought I should feature some in a Vase on Monday post.  Following on from Christina’s idea I decided to add some blue pebbles in the bottom of the vase to help keep the stems upright.  I wanted to add variegated hosta but also added some geranium palmatum leaves to bulk it out.  I am quite pleased with the effect but I’m not sure how well the hosta leaves will last as one has already, in only a matter of hours, drooped.  Not having any flower arranging experience or knowledge my approach is to give things a go and see what happens.

Last week’s vase which featured violas and other small spring delights taught me that I need to pick the flowers as they are opening as the violas only lasted a matter of days.  That requires a bit more thought and planning so is unlikely to happen!  I also have learnt that the flowers from my garden probably won’t last as long as a bunch bought from the shops which I presume are treated in such a way to help keep them fresh for longer.  But I am enjoying this meme and thinking about what I can include each week, it is making me look at the plants slightly differently and it is nice to enjoy the flowers inside as well as in the garden.

Thank you to Cathy for hosting this weekly meme – you can find links to more Monday vases over at hers if you look in the comment box.


My Garden this Weekend – 30th March

Ranunculus 'Brazen Hussey'
Ranunculus ‘Brazen Hussey’

Another lovely weekend and this time a three-day one as I had some time due to me.  I started clearing the slope on Friday although the rain stopped play after an hour.  I am moving the asters and grasses and a few other bits from the slope to the Big Border.  I want to plant up the slope with hardy exotics aiming for a jungley sort of look. I have the overall effect in my head but am still working on the possible plants to include plus we 2014_03300006logoneed to cut back the slope to allow for a bench.

Saturday was the monthly HPS meeting.  Always a good day and despite my initial reservations when I first joined at spending a whole day of my precious weekend at the meeting I really enjoy it and rarely don’t stay for the whole day.  This month’s talk was on cut and come again perennials which was interesting. Our speaker, a local nursery woman, showcases a whole range of perennials which I would never have thought of cutting including solomons seal as well as old favourite such as asters and aquilegia.  The morning discussion or show

Muscari latifolium
Muscari latifolium

and tell featured a collection of heritage daffodils, various alpines, a Melianthus major flower and to the amazement of everyone an Aeonium Schwarzkopf in flower – I really should have taken my camera.  Needless to say I came home with some plants a veratrum  for the woodland border and also two small aeoniums which are destined for the succulent border in the front garden.

Today I was outside at 9 setting to.  I started off with finishing off re-potting some alpines, mainly primulas, which I am hoping might be up to showing in the novice section of an Alpine Garden Society over the next month.  Then I relocated some plants to the cottage border and also the woodland border which really is beginning to have the right feel about it finally – its only taken 3 years.


The next big job was to finish clearing the plants I wanted from the edge of the slope as we want to push the wall back to make way for the bench.  This involved relocated a number of Camassia to the Big Border. Hardly, the ideal time of year to do this but I had to do the same last year but with different Camassia and they did OK.  As you can see the Big


Border is filling up and I am hopeful that the image I have in my mind will come to fruition.  Aside from the shrubs and a couple of structural perennials such as the

Corydalis solida
Corydalis solida

Melianthus the main plants are asters and Calamgrostis overdam which I am hoping will link the Stipa gigantea in to the border.  I have spread the Camassia through the border in between the perennials as I read or heard somewhere recently that tall late summer perennials were a good way of hiding the dying Camassia foliage.

Having completed the required plant moving I started to dig out the dry stone wall.  I have to admit that I was running out of steam by this time but thankfully my eldest son came to my rescue.  Any excuse to wield his pickaxe.  The stones making up the wall were soon removed and he has dug quite a way back into the slope ready for the wall to be rebuilt and a seating area made.   As we worked I could start to see how the planting on the slope could work to create a good jungley effect.  I am going plant buying at the end of the week with some friends to Pan Global Plants and Cotswold Garden Flowers so I think this will give me the opportunity to get the main structural components I want.


Oh and we also moved the sink trough into the succulent border in the front garden but I will save that for the End of Month View post tomorrow.

Narcissus 'Sophies Choice'
Narcissus ‘Sophies Choice’


End of Month View – April 2011

They said that March broke records with being the dryest month in something like 50 years but I think that April has been drier.  We only seem to have had a couple of hours of very light rain all month and the plants are really beginning to show the effects.  In March the sun seemed to push them forward but now many of them seem to have stopped in their tracks.  I think it is just too dry and they are conserving energy.  Needless to say this means that not a lot has happened in the End of Month border since my last post.  Many of the plants in the border are young or were moved from other parts of the garden so I have been watering a lot in the evenings to keep them going but it all looks very dry.

However there are one or two little gems that are doing their bit on the border.  Like this Aquilegia canadensis which I grew from seed last year.  It doesn’t really go with the planned pink, blue and creamy white theme I had in mind for the border but as none of the flowers that will fulfill that scheme are flowering yet I think I will leave it be as it works well with a reddy pink flowered Heuchera I have just by it and a creamy white Camassia to the other side.

I love this Camassia, a photo of the whole flower stem just wouldn’t work as only the bottom buds have opened.  It has a soft creaminess about it and was the plant I thought I had bought for the slope but they turned out to be more blue Camassias!

As everything is all over the place with the weather I still have some Narcissus in flower, I think these might be Tete a Tete which I had in a pot last Spring.

There is no End of Month Allotment shot this month as there is nothing much to see.  I have sown seeds and planted out peas and broad beans and 1 row of potatoes are just coming up but a shot of the plot will just look like a load of bare earth with some canes in.  When there is something more substantial to show I will do a post.

In the meantime I have been working hard on a new border at home and spent today lifting turf.  This is normally a hard job but since my ‘turf’ is mainly moss and there are lots of tree roots in the soil it lifted fairly easily.  I think I am happy with the shape but had dithered around so much that today I just decided to go for it and see what happened.  I now have to wait for some serious rain as there is no chance of me being able to properly dig the border over until there is since being predominantly clay it is pretty hard at the moment. I have to say though from the angel in the photo the shape doesn’t look quite right but I think that is due to the slope – it looks right from upstairs!!!!!

Please feel free to join in the End of Month meme.  Use it however you like – some people focus on one bit of their garden, others just show whatever is looking good.  If you join in please post a link in the comment box so I know who you are!!

GBBD 15/05/10 – this month’s stars

The colour has  really exploded this last week in my garden.  Typical, the plants could have shown their faces a week ago when I was descended on by the Malvernmeet bloggers but never mind this way I get to tempt you with small  glimpses again.  I love the delicacy of the Brunnera above (even if I can’t always remember its name!), it very similar to the forget me nots which I also love at this time of year.

The shrub above was only just beginning to flower last week. In the six years I have lived here I have never known what it was but with a plethora of garden bloggers in the house it wasn’t long before Zoe declared it was a Deutzia – thanks Zoe!

Today my first Iris has decided to open.  As per usual I dont know what this one is called but the plant has 17 stems on it each with several buds and is looking stunning, not bad considering my clay soil isn’t meant to be the Bearded Iris’s favourite residence! Which is lucky as I bought another two at the Malvern show – opps!

I love the Maianthemum racemosum above and in fact prefer it to the Solomon’s Seal below, its certainly easier to photograph and has a lovely scent if you get close enough

There is definately a blue theme begining in the garden especially with the Bluebells and the Camassias which seem to get better from year to year.  My Mum bought me another Camassia this year at the Malvern Spring show but managed to chop its head off in the car door and she only lives 10 mins from the showground! No hope!

and the final star of the show this week in my garden is the Gorse which lives on the bank at the back.  It took quite a beating over the winter, with the snow weighing the branches down causing it to look very mis-shapened but it has really come back now with vengence and is looking better than it has ever looked before

So those are the highlights in the garden on the 15th May 2010.  The garden is definately a couple of weeks behind last year when there were alliums and geraniums in flower but never mind I think the delay makes me appreciate the plants even more when they come into flower.

For more Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts visit May Dreams Gardens