Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – April 2017

There is a sense of nervousness around for gardeners at the moment.  In the South East it has been very dry and my water butt, along with many others, is now empty.  Pots need watering along with perennials now appearing with vigor due to the warm sunshine.  However, there is still an outside chance of ground frost, nipping at new growth.   I am waiting for the much needed rain to fill the empty butts and watch the nightly weather forecast hoping we don’t have frost.  However, there are lots of flowers in the garden to show off on this Garden Bloggers Blooms Day. 

 

The daffodils and narcissi are almost over, as are the early tulips.  There is a very pretty triple headed pale yellow narcissi that has appeared in the flowerbed which doesn’t match up with any of the packet labels, so I can’t name it for you.   The fading yellow tulips above are the last remnants of  Sweetheart and Yellow King.   A late pink tulip Synaeda Amor has made an appearance which is good, because it continues colour in the border, as the early tulips drop their petals.

Some combinations of colour are more by luck and judgment.  I am really taken with the peach tulips, no name (sorry) poking through the blue forget-me-nots.   These tulips are some of the few bulbs I left in the border from spring 2016 and have come back this year, but can’t remember what they are called.


At the end of the year, I bought a few bunches of bare rooted mixed wallflowers, on sale at half price to clear.   You know the sort, very wilted looking, wrapped in newspaper and a bit smelly!   I spread them around the garden, some didn’t make it but those that did are looking good.  I especially like the pale pink one.

If there was a test on how to prune clematis I would fail miserably.  I know the rules should be easy to follow but there are some things I can’t get to grips with.  In 2015 I over/incorrectly pruned the Montana ‘Elizabeth’ and had a dismal display of flowers in 2016, so I left it alone and this year, thank goodness, it is an abundance of flowers.  It does make getting into the shed a little tricky at the moment.

In past posts I incorrectly named this Clematis calling it ‘Josephine’ which if anyone knows their Clematis would know wasn’t right.  I know it’s not ‘Josephine’ so have no excuse to get it wrong.  It is in fact Montana ‘Mayleen’.  I have entwined it around the Sambucus Nigra (Elder), which is throwing up new shoots like there is no tomorrow.  

The Honesty (Lunaria) grown from seed last year have surprisingly produced both white and purple plants, although they came from the same seed packet.  They are in different parts of the garden, and the purple variety looks good in front of the Euphorbia. 

At the back of the spring flower bed, the lime green Euphorbia is giving a splendid backdrop to the tulips, and as I said above, the purple Honesty.  It’s looking a little unruly so may be the next thing on my list to give a bit of a tidy up.


The Choysia on the side patio is in flower and a lovely sight from the kitchen door.  I chop it back regularly to keep it tidy and in retaliation it continues to grow and if left to its own devises would take over the side flower bed. 

Even one of the best plants this time of year can disappoint, the Euphorbia ‘Fireglow’  in past years has always been so good, but this year it hasn’t spread its shoots about and there are only two or three stems.  The flower is not as vivid either. 

Another shrub I didn’t prune last year was the Flowering Currant Ribes.  It is a mass of pink flowers which the bees are loving.

The Bay Tree (Laurus) has lots of little greenish-yellow flowers.  This poor tree is usually ignored by me, but I have moved it to the edge of the back patio and another job for me is to repot it.  This is going to be quite some job, I have read it should be done every two years, and this tree has been in its same pot for over ten! 

I have always wanted a Tree Peony and last month I bought a spindly plant from a garden centre, deliberately choosing a pink flower and the only one that had a bud on it.   After deliberation as to whether it should live in a pot, or go in the flowerbed, I chose the later and this week it delivered the most enormous, beautiful pink flower. 

Under the spring bulbs, I planted a number of violas – the vivid colours are quite breathtaking.  I love these little plants, they have such smiley happy faces.

I have bombarded Twitter and Instagram with photos of my most favourite tulip and make no apology for including  Tulip ‘Bastia’ in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.   It may not to be everyone’s taste, but this double fringed tulip will appear in my garden again next year.

Thank you Carolyn at May Dreams Garden for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day monthly on the 15th.   Jump over to her blog and take a look at all the other blooms in contributors garcens from around the world. 

Overview of my Garden : End of Month View April 2014

A little late, and more like Review of my Garden: Early May!   I can’t believe where April has gone, one blink and it was over.  Seems like most of us have had the same feeling about April disappearing.

Everything, at least most things, in the garden are coming along madly, that is those plants and seedlings that the snails and slugs are not chomping away at – it seems to be a never ending battle.   I have taken to using a solution of 1:10 household ammonia/water in a spray bottle morning and evenings.  For me it feels a better way of eradicating them, other than throwing them into the neighbours garden (only to return) or stamping on the them (horrid) !  It doesn’t prevent them from eating their way through the garden, but does get rid of the ones I find.   Also it is nitrogen for the soil so isn’t doing  harm to anything apart from the slimy critters.

Last year I didn’t prune the Ribes, and although it looked wonderful in full  bloom it was taking up a large part of the flowerbed.   Before attacking it with my loppers, I read that I could chop it down to the ground and it would recover.   Loathe to take such drastic action, I gave it a good prune and took out 20% of the branches as recommended.  It certainly has opened up that part of the garden.

Garden (1280x924)

I didn’t write a post about the greenhouse in April either, but it is performing its job – as well as providing an upmarket restaurant to the local snail population.   The Cosmos (Sea shells) and Borage are doing well as are the Moneymaker tomatoes and Sweet Peas.  Some of the trays I have brought back inside in order to protect them from being eaten.   There is a selection of plants I nurtured over the winter in pots and when they are large and strong enough to place in their new  homes they will be decamped.

Greenhouse (1280x924)

The garden is beginning to produce flowers which is a great sign of Summer being on its way. Here is a selection of what is in flower at the moment.

  • Alliums

Alliums (1280x853)

  • Choisya

Choysia (1280x853)

  • Aquilegia – I recently bought what was labelled as “William Guinness” to replace one I lost last year.  It is now in flower and definitely NOT  William Guinness.  If you recognise it, please do let me know what it is called.  It is very pretty soft red and yellow.

Aqualegia (1280x853)

  • Dicentra,
  • Geranium “Kashmir white – so pleased to see this because I thought I had lost it;
  • Euphorbia “Fireglow”;  and
  • the first rose bud!

Flowers (1280x853)

  • Welsh Poppy –  this has self seeded itself under the Choisya which is a surprise as it gets no sun.
  • Ceanothus (Californian Lilac) – There were a few flowers on this plant throughout the winter also, possibly due to the warm winter.

Flowers1 (1280x924)

  • Hydrangea (Macrophylla)  – I am growing this in a pot in a shady area of the side patio.   This is its second year and was only a tiny plant when I bought it.  Judging by its size I may well have to find a bigger pot.  The first flower has been out for several weeks now so it must be very happy.

Hydrangea (1280x924)

Finally, my raspberries are looking wonderful so hoping for a bumper crop this year.

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Helen from The Patient Gardener’s Weblog hosts the End of Month View, hop over there and take a look at the other contributions.  It is always interesting to peak over the wall at other gardens.

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