Contrast and Compare or Chercher les Fleurs

This has been wettest drought I can remember.   It has been announced today that the Drought Orders in the South West, Midland and Yorkshire has been lifted but we in the South East are still waiting for the reservoir to reach the level they should be at this time of the year.   Apparently, according to the Water Boards, despite the rain there is still a serious groundwater shortage.   Maybe they would like to come and check my garden  for any shortage of groundwater.  Today it is warm and sunny, but the lawn continues to squelch as I walk on it and the water has not drained from the flower beds yet.

It was only a few days ago I tweeted that compared to my blog post Hope Grows Day on 6 May 2011,  the Allium, Aquilegia and Astrantia are still nowhere to be seen this year.  Everyone agreed that things are behind this year,  or maybe it was just that everything was ahead last year from 2010.  I had an idea that I was going write a post along the lines of contrast and compare  but  it should never be any surprise to see how quickly nature catches up on herself.

As I walked around the garden this morning, the Aquilegia are beginning to bloom, although only a few.  These are in full sun (when it is out).

The other varieties that have scattered self-seeded themselves around the garden are still in bud so at the moment it is difficult to tell what colour they are going to be.

©AarTeePhotography 2011 – 2015

I find Aquilegia an exciting plant because the flower differs  year on year, although the older ones are now all a dusky pink, but still pretty.    The one variety that has come true every year is the lovely Nora Barlow.

©AarTeePhotography 2011 – 2015

However, this post is not all about Aquilegia, although I could wax lyrical about this favourite plant of mine – maybe I will save that for another day when more are out in bloom.

The Allium have just burst through in the last few days which is bringing colour to the garden.

©AarTeePhotography 2011 – 2015

Now for the contrast and compare bit – last year the Astrantia was flowering beautifully:-

©AarTeePhotography 2011 – 2015

This year, there is not a bloom in sight:

The Peony was just unfurling on 12 May 2011:

©AarTeePhotography 2011 – 2015

This year, it is just a mass of leaves and again not a bud in sight:

As for the vegetable patch, well raised bed really, I don’t want it to sound too grand!   The carrots last year were in need of thinning out:

Not much room between my carrots

This year, they are looking very sparse, but surprise, surprise, putting the two photos together to compare, it could just be that I have been a bit more careful when sowing the seeds so they do not need to be thinned out:-

The sweet peas are chomping at the bit to get out into the big wide world and I suspect if it stays warm and sunny for the next few days, they may well find themselves in a new home by the end of the weekend.

15 May 2011 I posted Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, with photos of roses, poppies, hardy geraniums and Ceanothus all in full colour.  This year, they will have to work hard to get to that same stage in the next 4 days because at the moment, there is an abundant of lush foliage only.    It needs to warm up at night too, the weatherman has just forecasted cold nights ahead 3C to 4C,   fingers crossed it won’t reach -0C that would be dreadful.

I leave you with a photo of the Sambcus Nigra which is beginning to flower so I am hoping that this year I will get a decent amount of Elderberries.  Last year, I pruned it hard and there was hardly any blossom at all.

©AarTeePhotography 2011 – 2015

Is your garden behind from what it was this time last year?  Please share so I don’t feel to dejected.   Perhaps I can gain some assurance that the Peony and Astrantia will flower eventually.

© Hurtlingtowards60 and Hurtled to 60 and Now  Beyond, 2011 – 2015.   ©AarTeePhotography 2011 – 2015

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11 thoughts on “Contrast and Compare or Chercher les Fleurs

  1. Beautiful pics, as always! The hot weather that we had earlier in the spring here in Chicago caused some havoc in my garden, encouraging things to come up too soon and then nipping them with frost. The crown imperials didn’t flower this year (not sure if that’s weather related) but the weeds are growing a treat!

    • I think an early warm spell in March affected all of us no matter where we where in the world. Yes you are right the weeds are loving it – what a pity slugs and snails don’t eat weeds that would be great!

  2. Hi Ronnie,

    Now you mention it… We are now behind, funny how this month really has left the garden in a strange suspended animation with bloom development slowing down or in some cases grinding to a halt.
    I had Alliums by the beginning of May and had been photographing Sweet Rocket for weeks. My Alliums are now popping open, Sweet Rocket is a way off yet. But the Aquilegias are blooming – some are at least and yep my Astrantia were in bloom – none yet. I also had Roses (they’re beginning to open now), my Brooke thistles are almost blooming too so no great difference there.

    • Hi Liz – my roses are full of buds and with a warm few days forecasted everything may shoot into life. Let’s hope we don’t have cold nights then it’ll be ‘now you see me, now you don’t ‘. Will feel happier to see some peony buds though.

  3. Hi,
    I think keeping a photographic record of our veggies is a great idea. It’s amazing when you look back over the months how quickly things grow, or not! I love Aquilegia but have not tried to grow here. Think I’d better buy some seeds next time I’m in the UK.

    • Your veggies are just wonderful must be all that Potuguese sunshine. Aquilegia is a lovely plant and once you have it it is there forever self seeding all over the place.

  4. Very behind this year, Ronnie – so chin up. Aquilegias are only just ready to flower (mine are behind even yours) though the peonies have plenty of bud on them. And I keep on forgetting how much I want a black elder. Dave

    • Thanks Dave that makes me feel better. The Black Elder is a fabulous tree although it really is a little too tall now – at least 10ft if not more. The more I prune it the more it grows and it is so pretty now with the clematis rambling throughout. Amazing considering it was a B&Q plant for £6.99 about 8 years ago.

  5. Oh Ronnie my garden is squishing as well and so far behind…no lilacs they were frozen…hostas seem to be recovering from the freeze as well thank goodness but many flowers like clematis and Aquilegia are smaller and starting to bloom. My veg garden is slow as well and the veggies are smaller.

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