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.

Spring at last

I think that Spring has definitely sprung in my garden, there is certainly a lot of colour, lots of pastels.

The hellebores are certainly beginning to go over with the colour starting to fade although the yellow hellebore seems to retain its strength of colour and picks up the yellow of the Forsythia well.

The garden is animated by the clumsy wanderings of the Bumble Bees bouncing from one spring flower to another one. They are accompanied by smaller bees, whose species I’m not sure of, which take more time to spot but are inevitably on the Pulmonaria turning them from blue to pink.

Primula denticulata

 

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – April 2016

Primula denticulata
Primula denticulata

The garden is sparkling with colour, lots of spots of colour much like an impressionist painting and I have to say that this is certainly my garden’s best season.  The colour and shimmer is created from lots of small flower heads in a myriad of pastel colours.  So for this month’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post I thought I would zoom in on my favourite flowers this week.

Narcissus Baths Flame
Narcissus Baths Flame

Alot of the colour comes from the various Narcissus which I add to every year.  This year’s new additions include Narcissus Baths Flame which I am rather taken with.  The petals are a buttery yellow, very soft when you compare them to the hard yellow of the obligatory large trumpet daffodils that you see in public planting.  The flowers glow as the light fades and I think that is because of the whiteness of the petals.

Narcissus Sailboat
Narcissus Sailboat

Narcissus Sailboat is another new addition and it definitely reinforces my preference for the paler narcissus; I do like the slightly yellow trumpet.

 

 

Narcissus Thalia
Narcissus Thalia

Narcissus Thalia is an almost pure white – very pure.

Narcissus Cheerfulness
Narcissus Cheerfulness

Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’ is my favourite double narcissus, it has the most wonderful scent which you catch as you are weeding away in the border.  I prefer the single daffodils and I really dont like the blousey over breed narcissus which seem to popular at the moment.

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As the narcissus go over the tulips start but sadly I only have three tulips in the borders this year.  I haven’t planted them for a few years due to badger damage but these three have persisted year on year and are very pretty.  I have decided to risk them again next year as we haven’t had a visit from the badger for a couple of years now.

Imperial fritillary
Imperial fritillary

A lot less elegant than the narcissus is the Imperial fritillary.  This is the first year I have grown them and I am a little disappointed that the plants don’t seem to have developed a tall stem for the flowers as you would expect. I have two from different sources and both have done the same so maybe it is a result of the weather.

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I always forget the Leucojum vernum and are surprised when I first spot their nodding flowers thinking at first they are late snowdrops.  The clump has been planted for some years now and is expanding very slowly; maybe I will invest in some more and create a bit of a drift.

Anemone Bourdeux
Anemone Bordeaux

Anemone ‘Bordeaux’ is a very recent acquisition.  I was seduced by the almost velvet flowers which are working very well with the ageing flowers of Helleborus Anna’s Red and also Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’.  I really hope it reappears next year.

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Not all the colour is from bulbs or primulas as the blossom is beginning to appear.  This week Amelanchier decided to start flowering picking up the blossom of Prunus kojo-no-mai and will soon be joined by the large unknown Prunus that dominates the garden at this time.

Thank you to Carol over at May Dream Gardens for hosting this meme.

My Garden This Weekend – 29th March 2015

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My garden this weekend is soggy and blustery which is fine as I have the start of a cold and as I have next week off as annual leave I have decided to give in to the cold in the hope that it goes quickly.

So there has been no gardening – instead there has been photography as I have a new camera which I am surprisingly thrilled with.  I broke my beloved original Fujifilm camera two years ago replacing it with another Fujifilm point and click which was good but has broken twice now and I never really thought the close ups were as good as the old camera.  Anyway, when the camera refused to hold a charge last week despite trying numerous different batteries and chargers I decided to start again.  As ever with anything technical as soon as I start researching the options my brain goes blank just as it used to when I was at school learning fractions.  There is too much choice and I don’t understand all the technical camera jargon; well I understand it for about 5 minutes and

Primula denticulata
Primula denticulata

then it leaves my brain.  I looked at SLRs – don’t want to be lugging one around, I looked at bridge cameras – again they are cumbersome and don’t fit in a bag easily.  I tried to find my original camera no joy. Fed up! I then remembered that when I bought the last camera the guy in PC World had explained to me that all the zoom information was irrelevant if I wanted to do close ups – a step forward.  After reading a few more reviews I decided to buy another Fujifilm but to go for a cheap option with a view to researching something better for the summer.  I can’t cope without a camera available, more so than not having access to the internet so a quick purchase was needed.  I bought a Fujifilm FinePix T500 which is the smallest camera I have ever had and it really is simple – there is a zoom and a macro feature and that is more or less it.  However, this post shows the quality of the photos and I think it is pretty good.  The next challenge will be to see how it does when I go to Rome in May.

Narcissus 'Beryl'
Narcissus ‘Beryl’

Yesterday was the monthly meeting of the HPS Western Counties group, my favourite garden club.  Needless to say there were a few plant purchases but I was surprised to only find one Epimedium for sale despite the number of plants people selling.  Epimedium ‘Black Sea’ came home with me as well as Mertensia virginica, Iris dardanus, Geranium ‘Johnston’s Blue’, Muscari ‘Jenny Robinson’, an Anemone nemorsa, and a herbaceous Clematis.

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The morning discussion is always the best part of the day and it was interesting to hear others views of soil test kits.  The general consensus was that the ones you can buy in garden centres weren’t that reliable and it is more important to see what is growing well around your garden so I am less worried about finding I have alkaline soil having just bought two rhododendrons!  In the afternoon we had a talk from Leila Jackson of T3 nurseries on ornamental legumes which was interesting and a few new to me were noted to investigate.

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Today between the showers I took advantage of a sunny moment to try out the camera and see what had emerged over the last week.  It was very satisfying to find Trillium grandiflorum appearing above ground.  I purchased it over the winter, potting up the corm which had just started to show signs of life when I planted it out a few weeks back.  I did spend some time improving the soil here adding lost of home made compost and wood chips so hopefully it will like its new home and flower next year as well as this year.

Soldanella alpina
Soldanella alpina

I got ridiculously excited when I found Soldanella alpina flowering in the cold frame.  A week ago there was no sign of any flower buds and with one thing and another I haven’t opened the cold frame all week so this was a complete surprise.  I suspect the cold frame has warmed up during the sunny spells which has brought on the flowers.  The reason for my excitement is that I bought this plant, in flower, some 3 years ago and it has never flowered for me since.  This autumn I re-potted it adding fertiliser and I applied slug pellets and gravel around the base to prevent the molluscs eating the flower buds before they had a chance to appear – it seems to have worked.

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In the greenhouse and the propagator indoors the seeds sown a couple of weeks ago are germinating and hopefully this week I will be pricking some of them out.  I will need to rejig the greenhouse yet again to make room for the seedlings and more pots of seeds that I want to sow this week.  I am slowly but surely emptying out the cold frames of plant purchases yet unplanted, with the intention of finding them all homes, and last year’s perennial seedlings.  My biggest thrill are four Meconopsis hensol violet seedlings from last year which have reappeared and I hope will flower this year once I have planted them out.

For the rest of today I am sitting on the sofa looking at the garden which I am rather pleased with and doing embroidery – well there is more to my interests than plans, honest!

GBBD April 2010

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At last I have more than 3 or 4 blooms to include in this month’s Garden Blogger Bloom Day post.  Spring is definitely here. A lot of colour in my garden at the moment is coming from various Primulas.  I have a growing fascination with them and have realised that the number and variety in my garden is increasing.  Many I have grown from seed but one or two I have bought.  I am particularly pleased with the Primula Dark Rosaleen (above) which has bulked up nicely and I am considering dividing. But then I am also very pleased with my Primula Denticulata which I have grown from seed (see below).

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Needless to say there is an awful lot of yellow in the garden from the wide range of Daffodils that I seem to have accumulated over recent years.  Every year I  buy some of a different variety and promise myself I will remember what they are but I never do.  Here are two that I particularly like this year if only I knew what they are!

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Other blooms out at the moment include my Camellia (below) and my Bergenia ‘Rosi Klose’ (below the Camellia) which is really flowering its socks off at the moment.

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There are lots of other bulbs and spring flowers doing their bit to add to the colour at the moment including the ones below

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I notice from last year’s April GBBD post that things were much further along this time last year.  I have tulips in flower and bud on the Irises but its hardly surprising that things are behind given the rotten winter we have had this year.

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

A Happy Weekend of Spring Gardening

This weekend has been a very good gardening weekend.  Having done my regular housework chores, shopping etc the weekend was mine and the sun was almost shining. I have been so desperate to get out and to start putting all my plans into  action; plans that I had devised standing and looking at the garden from the landing window during the winter months.  I have quite a collection of young plants that I grew from seed last year and which are waiting to be planted out.  I did have the notion of selling plants this year at the garden club’s plant sale in May but life never  works out as we plan  does it.

For various reasons my priorities have changed in recent months and time for gardening is scarcer than it used to be so I don’t want to spend this precious time preparing plants for sale.  On top of this the blogging get together that VP and I decided to organise more or less on a whim as grown beyond our expectations and in a moment of madness I said I was happy to host a get together on the Friday evening.  So now I am panicking that I will be having a house full of gardeners visiting and I really must get my garden sorted.  Consequently, I have been busy this weekend starting to work my way through the borders and using my young perennials to fill the many gaps.

As I have said in previous posts I do like this time of year in the garden.  It nice to see plants re-emerging after the winter, some I  have forgotten and some I had convinced myself wouldn’t have survived the winter.  This spring I am thrilled to see my Erythronium Pagoda had re-emerged and is looking quite healthy, also my Fritillaria acmopetala bought last year at the Malvern Spring Show has appeared again which is a real thrill.

The garden is finally beginning to have more colour in it than just green and brown earth.  There is plenty of yellow from the daffodils and primroses, purples just appearing from the Honesty, Erysimum and Primula Denticulata.  I was surprised to find a white Primula Denticulata amongst my Primula seedlings it seems so  perfect sitting there waiting for me to plant it out.

I can’t wait until this coming Friday when I will be off work and hopefully the weather will be conducive to more gardening.