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.
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.
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.
Now for the contrast and compare bit – last year the Astrantia was flowering beautifully:-
This year, there is not a bloom in sight:
The Peony was just unfurling on 12 May 2011:
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:
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.
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.
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