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.