Where did last month go? I can’t believe it is May already.
It has been difficult to do anything garden-related recently as the weather has not been very good. Along with a lot of the UK we have just emerged from a really cold spell. We didn’t have too many frosts,( or if we did I didn’t get up early enough to notice!), but we had more than our fair share of low temperatures, hail and snow. Some of my more delicate plants had their fleece jackets on and off more times than I can remember.
Meanwhile some of my seeds have been growing too well, while others have been really slow to germinate. My Verbena rigida took 3 weeks to germinate – I was about to give up when they finally made an appearance. Larger seeds like sweet peas, nasturtium and sunflower, which had been growing in next door’s greenhouse, are all getting rather leggy and really need planting out.
I have been moving them outside during the day and into the garage at night and whenever another hailstorm threatened. Hopefully this week should be a little warmer and I can maybe get the sweet peas planted out.
Despite my lack of attention, the garden is still progressing, with lots of new growth.
Here is the usual view at the end of March
And again at the end of April
You can see the Clematis Montana on the back wall has really filled out is is almost ready to burst into flower. The tulips to the right of the border are almost flowering, but unfortunately the ones to the left have not got many buds this year. The crocuses and snowdrops have been replaced with muscari and anemones, while the geraniums and astilbes are making lots of foliage. There are other herbaceous perennials too that are through, but are difficult to see just yet: penstemon, sidalcea and veronica.
Looking left it is quite colourful,
And the night-scented Phlox is looking wonderful.
This is such a pretty little plant – I would certainly recommend getting one or two.
Some of the foliage is looking good too:
The Heather aboria is coming on leaps and bounds. Do you remember what a pathetic looking specimen it was in its first year?
Now look at it! It is in flower at the moment, though you can hardly see it, so I guess it will be a good time for pruning soon.
Elsewhere in the garden the rockery is looking rather nice – all pinks and purples, though there is still a lot to come out.
At the top of the garden, the dry shady corner is all pale green and yellow.
The azalea is flowering as well as ever and I am happy to report the erythroniums (On right) have flowered for a second year. I put some new bulbs in on the left and they possibly have more flowers per stem than the originals, but they are both looking lovely.
The background yellow/green is provided by the new bracts of euphorbia.
Also in this bed the little fern at the front is uncurling its new growth – it looks a bit like a seahorse.
Having pulled out a rather old forsythia at the bottom of the garden it has now left a few glaring gaps, both in the bottom hedge and at the entrance to the stumpery behind the garage. I had been wondering what I could put in to replace it that would provide good cover and as soon as possible. Last week we were wandering around Homebase (as you do) and came across some Salix contorta shrubs. They were a good size and a good price and I thought they would be ideal for the Shrubbery entrance.
However when I got home and started to read about them I wasn’t so happy. It seems willow trees are likely to grow very tall, but also that they will seek out any water sources and can be a real problem blocking drains and pipes with their roots. I am not sure that ‘contorta’ is even a proper variety of Salix. These trees will definitely be planted in containers!
I will finish with a few more photos from around the garden.
With thanks to Helen at The Patient Gardener for hosting this meme.