It seems to be alternate months that I have contributed to the Meme run by Helen at Patient Gardener called End of Month View. As the sun is shining (at last after a few wet and cold days) and its the weekend I have managed to get out there with the camera and make a record of how the garden is looking on the last day of May 2014. It is looking very lush and green.
The roses are coming out just as they should in time for June, but the Aquilegia are turning to seed and the Alliums are almost over.
The Alliums and Ceanothus are a mass of bees which I find heart warming in the knowledge that I am doing my bit for the bee colonies.
Rather than grow vegetables this year I decided to grow cutting flowers in the raised bed. I bought summer flowering bulbs and scattered them across the bed. The slugs have eaten their way through some, including an Agapanthus which is disappointing. The Anemones are in flower and there are some very pretty white doubles.
The side patio is filling out and becoming a wonderful tranquil place to sit, weather permitting. The Fuchsia is in flower, although it seemed to have been flowering throughout the winter also, such has been the mild weather. I am also hoping that the white Agapanthus will flower as well as it has done over the last few years. It is now quite pot bound but I am loathe to do anything with it until the summer is over. Meanwhile I am feeding it with a mild solution of tomato feed.
Last year after seeing a very pretty French patio with a large white Hydrangea in a terracotta pot, I felt I wanted to replicate the scene. After some searching I located a variety called Madame Emile Mouilliere – it was a small plant and I bought a large pot for it. However, within a year it has almost outgrown the pot but is looking fabulous.
This year I have grown Money Maker tomatoes from seed. A couple of plants I brought out of the greenhouse several weeks ago and, out of interest, I nurtured two plants inside on the lounge windowsill. Last week, I bought a small plastic growbag greenhouse from Wilkinsons, the intention is to test the difference in taste between the plants grown outside to those grown within the greenhouse – this will be the first year I have grown tomatoes in greenhouse conditions.
There is a very dark shady spot at the end of the patio which is underneath the honeysuckle. Generally I have just left this patch but this year I decided to grow orange begonias to give a little colour. I bought some tubers (from Wilkinsons – no surprise!) and then a couple of plants from the local garden centre. They have grown well and so far the slugs and snails have ignored them.
I saw on television last week that the strawberry growers are a happy bunch this year due to the healthy crops and large flowers which will mean large strawberries. Mine are doing really well also, as are the raspberries. If I can dissuade the slugs from chomping at the strawberries, there is going to be some serious jam making.
The very grand sounding “north border” – is just a border down the right side of the garden facing north. It gets very little, or no sun, but the Astilbe, hydrangea and ferns are more than happy in their shady and damp conditions. For the first time in two years I recently took the loppers to the Ribes when it had finished flowering. I am pleased to see lots of new shoots.
Slowly colour is arriving in the garden, the Salvia Hot Lips made it through the winter again, and the Astrantia is looking wonderful which is great because I thought I had lost last year due to a strange brown blisters on the leaves.
I have lots of plants in pots this year and am growing sweetpeas in a Long Tom terracotta pot and rather than have the beansticks in a tepee fashion I have placed them so they grow outwards so it will be a “sort of ” cordon effect. I am not sure how well this will work but fingers crossed it will work.
Finally, I leave you with another photo of the garden taken from a different angle. As you can see the Ivy is very overgrown now, it belongs to my neighbour who seems loathe to cut it down and I have left it too late because the flower bed is filling out and there is little room to get to it. I think I may try and chop some of the hanging branches back, although because the bed is south facing it is not creating any shade, just sapping some of the goodness out of the soil.
Thank you Helen for hosting this meme, and I would recommend that you pay her blog a visit and check out all the other contributors and what is in their gardens at the end of May. Click HERE to take you to The Patient Gardener Weblog.