Every gardener I know seems to be saying this last week ‘Goodness hasn’t the garden shot up this week’ and yes we have been blessed finally with warmer temperatures which coupled with the rain has given plants a real boost. Needless to say having moaned about the cool spring for weeks and weeks those same gardeners are now moaning that they can’t keep on top of things! Personally, with my more lackadaisical approach I don’t worry too much about weeds or that the last bit of lawn needs cutting – they will all be dealt with as and when I have time. At this time of year I am spending more time looking and spotting familiar friends reappearing or studying new acquisitions to see how they grow. So for this month’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post I am going to showcase my favourite flowers this weekend.
I am completely obsessed with the trilliums that have reappeared this year, there are two more but they aren’t flowering yet. To be honest I had forgotten about two of them so did a ridiculous little dance when suddenly I spotted them in the border. I can’t work out what the bottom one is, it might be that the flower will develop more and be easier to identify over the next week.
Another woodland delight that took me by surprise but not for long and I soon remembered what it was. Such a pretty dainty flower and I do like the way the petals twist.
On a larger scale in the shady side of the garden the rhododendrons are flowering, these two are my favourites. If I ever am lucky enough to have a larger garden with the right soil I will definitely indulge myself with lots more rhododendrons especially those wonderful ones with furry leaves.
Moving out of the shade into the sunshine the first of the umbellifers is flowering, lovely Sweet Cicely, such an pretty flower.
Allium cameleon is in its second year in the garden and already bulking up well. It is a short, front of the border allium, much daintier than alliums such as Allium Purple Sensation. I really like the way the flowers are blushed with pink.
One of those bigger blowsy alliums just starting to open; I can’t remember which but I suspect it is Purple Sensation. I do love alliums in all their varieties and have them flowering in the garden right through to high summer.
The sea of camassias which have dominated the Big Border creating a delicious blue haze for the last few weeks is coming to an end. It is only the very top of the stems which still have flowers and I can’t bring myself to remove them until they have lost every single flower.
My favourite Aquilegia, its a seedling of the mckenna varieties with the long spurs at the back of the flower which I much prefer to the more chubby looking aquilegias which I think are varieties of the native columbine, whereas the mckenna varieties come from the USA. I have lots of aquilegias, I went through a slightly obsessive period of growing them from seed and interestingly certain colours predominate. I think I will weed out the ones that don’t appeal so much and maybe try to increase the mckenna varieties. There are some who argue that over time all aquilegias revert to the muddy pink variety. This just isn’t true what actually happens is they loose their original aquilegias and the muddy pink ones are seedlings which tend to revert back.
So those are the stars of my garden this week for other gardeners blooms pop over to Carol at May Dreams and check out the links.
Not such a gorgeous weekend as last weekend which was disappointing given it was the Spring Equinox but fingers crossed Easter will see a change and temperatures will start to improve. The garden certainly appears to be waiting for the green light although the epimediums seem to have decided they have waited too long. I am particularly pleased to discover flowering buds on the majority of the other epimediums; worryingly I seem to have accumulated 13 over the last few years.
I do like spring as you have time to really look and see all sorts of delights emerging rather than being overwhelmed with things to look at as you are in the summer. I would like to claim that the combination of the white hyacinth and phormium (above) was planned. But it was a lucky accident with the lime green on the leaf seems to pick up the same colour at the base of each flower. There are lessons to be learnt here about how plants combine well and that is something I have been reading a lot about recently.
I am reading Andrew Lawson’s The Gardeners Book of Colour which is brilliant. I have read essays and books about colour with the obligatory colour wheel before but none have ever explained colour, tones and saturation as clearly as Andrew does. I haven’t got far through the book but I am already thinking about how colour creates an atmosphere and how I might try to use this in my garden especially given the big rejig that is going on. I am also reading Sarah Raven’s Bold and Beautiful which is also inspiring as I love strong colours but I worry about them looking garish in English light. I am hoping that between the two books I might learn something useful about combining plants and colour and take my bitty garden forward.
In the meantime I have sown the first seeds in the new propagator – Cobea scandens which I have wanted to try for some years. I have pruned the prostrate rosemary that falls over the wall back hard so it looks a little embarrassed showing its legs but I know it will re-shoot like mad. I have also cut back some of the tatty fern foliage from around the garden; it is great to see the new furry fronds ready to emerge as soon as the weather warms up. Peering in the borders I found both Iris danfordiae and iris tuberosa flowering but my photos arent up to standard so I will try again for next weekend. This is the first time both have flowered in the garden so I am hopefully they might establish.
I’ll leave you with what is in my opinion the maddest narcissus