End of Month View: May in Aberdeen

After a lovely weekend the weather has changed back to winter today! Well, not quite the frost and snow, but cold and windy anyway. I am glad I have put in all the bedding plants that are going in for now. I still have some to do, but they still need a bit of hardening off. I am also glad I took my photos a few days ago!

There is a big change in the normal view this month.

Here is the view from April

Romantic border April

Romantic border April

And here is the view for May

Romantic border looking more romantic this month

Romantic border looking more romantic this month

This is one of the best times of the year for this border. The Clematis montana is so pretty. I try to keep it cut back so it doesn’t take over everything.  The chamomile path is growing now and smells lovely as you walk with your morning coffee to sit on the bench under the wall.

At the back of the border you can see the Geranium phaeum with its lovely black flowers.

Geranium phaeum

Geranium phaeum

Does anyone have any success cutting this right back to encourage a second flowering?

Coming up fast at the front left is another hardy geranium. This blue variety (maybe Johnson’s Blue) only flowers once, but is lovely when it is out and the bees love it.

Moving along the front we have a pink astilbe with the lovely bronze leaves of Penstemon ‘Husker Red behind it. I had this in a shady spot near the bottom of the garden, as this is the conditions it is supposed to like. However as it didn’t perform I moved it last year to this sunny spot and it is already looking better. It should have lovely white flowers, which I have yet to see! Does anyone else have this plant. If so what conditions does yours like?

Further right is a little geum, ‘Leonard’s variety’ and back right is a small mock orange, Philadelphus ‘Mrs E.L. Robinson’, in its second year. It didn’t flower last year, but I think it has some buds now. It could be quite a show.

Looking left from this central border.

Looking left

Looking left

The oriental poppies are really good this year with loads of buds. A plant further over has just started flowering – see last post.  You can also see the tree heather Erica arborea Albert’s Gold is covered in little white flowers. I must remember to prune it back soon.

Looking right

Looking right

Looking right

Here we have some blue Camassia leichtlinii ‘Caerulea’. I think this is a lovely plant and am determined to get some more, maybe of a brighter blue or a white. It is grouped with some ‘Queen of the Night tulips and some white veronica.

You can see the cotinus is just coming into leaf. It looked lovely with the early sun behind it.

New cotinus leaves shining in the sun.

New cotinus leaves shining in the sun.

Finally here is an overall view of the main border from an upstairs window.

The main border is really filling out now.

The main border is really filling out now.

You can see my fan-trained plum tree is doing well this year. I think those red tulips might be the Jan Reuss ones I lost earlier!

As you can see, I don’t have room for many more plants now. I really should follow in the footsteps of a couple of virtuous bloggers who have vowed not to buy any plants for a year. Unless of course anything should need replacing, or someone were to donate me any plants – well it would be rude to refuse wouldn’t it!!

Thanks again to Helen at The Patient Gardener for hosting this great meme.




33 thoughts on “End of Month View: May in Aberdeen

  1. Wow, what a transformation!
    I have cut Geranium phaeum back and got a second flush, although not as tall or thick as the first time around. Failed dismally with the penstemon though, what it doesn’t like is cold wet clay soil!
    The view from the upstairs window is fabulous Annette.

    • Thanks Jessica. Isn’t it wonderful how a garden can grow so much in such a short time. I was starting to think it wasn’t going to do anything this year and then it happened all in a rush.

  2. Oh what a difference Annette between April and May, the romantic border is very aptly named, its quite lovely. Your once flowering Geranium Johnson’s blue maybe Geranium × magnificum, the leaf is very distinctive compared to G. J,blue. Occasionally Geranium phaeum flower a second time here but they do not form very large clumps, a bit spindly. Really lovely back lit photo of the Cotinus too.

    • Thanks Julie. I have just looked up Geranium x magnificum and I think you are correct. It is a plant I have had forever and have never known what it was. Thank you so much for the id.

  3. I have Camassia leichtlinii and it does very well, though it doesn’t last long. I have a smaller species, possibly C. quamash, which is a deeper blue and follows on from C. leichtlinii.
    I agree that your Geranium is probably G x magnificum. If you want long lasting flower I don’t think anything comes close to G. ‘Rozanne’. It flowers for months.

    • Hi Jim, Thanks for visiting. I have looked up that geranium and agree that it is x magnificum. I am so glad to have an id for it. I have ‘Rozanne’ too. It is a wonderful plant isn’t it. The first year I had it, it grew so much it nearly took over that part of the garden. I have now split it! I will look out for your Camassia.

  4. Hope your winter weather scoots aways. The growth between April and May is just grand. Lovely, Annette. I grow Penstemon ‘Husker Red’ in full sun. It’s been blooming for several weeks and does have a white flower. I took a zillion pictures of it today for posting soon.

    • Thanks for that info – I must have got it wrong about it liking a shadier spot. I must say it looks happier already in the sun. Will look out for your photos.

  5. I’m pretty sure that this Penstemon is one of the few that prefers drier soil and more sun so you did well to move it. The clematis looks beautiful, very romantic indeed.

    • Thanks Christina – if something doesn’t do well I always move it to a different part of the garden. Things get two moves and then they are out!!! Here’s hoping it does better here – it can only stay there until the Stipa gets too big though, but I have other sunny places it can go to.

  6. Goodness, what development in the space of a month. The borders look just wonderful. Your clematis montana is the perfect backdrop for all that romance. I have three big healthy cuttings taken from my neighbour’s huge montana hedge and am just plotting where to put them to show off their best. It’s wonderful to see everyone else’s in such a profusion of blooms. And fingers crossed the good weather returns for you. It’s pretty sunny here in Edinburgh so I do hope the sunshine makes its way North in good time.

    • Thanks Joanna, yes the garden has really taken off finally. Montana is a great plant but you have to show it who is boss! I cut mine back quite hard every year and somehow manage not to cut off all the flowering stems for the next year. It is sunny here today but still a bit chilly.

  7. The montana is such a good backdrop – having cut both mine out I am without such a display just now, but may reconsider in a different location. In fact as I write I am thinking maybe along the shrub border fence – but that would be for another year!! I cut my phaems back and tend to have flowers off and on throughout the year so it’s definitely worth doing. Lovely clump of camassia too. As always it’s great to have that view from above

    • Montana can get a bit out of hand, can’t it, but I am quite ruthless at cutting it back. It is wonderful for the few weeks it is out if you have the right place for it. So far it is the only clematis I have had any success with so I rather like it. In fact I put in another one, a white one, this year.

      • I did add a montana grandiflora last year which has white flowers – it is growing in the hedge to the left of the rose arbour and is coming along nicely. It has bigger flowers than some montanas.

        • I can’t remember the type of montana my new one is. The flowers are in bud just now. I don’t know if it is later than the pink one or just because it is new.

  8. I’ve had no success with Penstemons over the years here even ones they say are hardy Annette. It might be worth bringing on cuttings you can keep for the following year as I do with Salvia Amistad. I cut back all geraniums after flowering purely because I don’t like their scruffiness later in the year. I’ve found most of them will rebloom sporadically. I hope you’ve been getting some of the good weather we’ve been getting down here.

    • Hi angie. I have one very robust pink penstemon. It takes easily from cuttings and is very hardy. Have a look when I put a photo up. I can easily do a rooted piece for you. This Huskers red seems hardy. It just didn’t flower. We have had some lovely weather too. Doesn’t it make a difference.

  9. I so much enjoyed the way you actually used your April photograph just before the May one – what a transformation, what growth! And the final photograph out of the window was great too – really enjoyed seeing your fan-trained plum. I’ve only just got round to planting clematis here, so your montana is a great spur to make sure it was added (and your chit-chat with Cathy very useful – will try cutting G. phaeum back!) Looking fabulous Annette!

  10. Pingback: Early June In The Garden | pbmGarden

  11. Thank you, Annette, so much for your comment on ‘my’ sand wasps! Your garden is looking utterly stunning. I hope you have some good weather now that we are in to the second half of July. I was up in Dumfries last month … and we got sunburnt at Caerlaverock!

  12. This is a nice idea to show the garden at the end of the month. I am sort of doing so in my monthly round-up of where I live, https://cornwallincolours.wordpress.com/ but because I have moved and have inherited a garden I’m not sure what to expect each month! Lots of wild flowers and lots of weeds! And some very overgrown climbers, including a couple of clematis and a jasmine. Not sure whether to hack them right back to the ground and start again with training them, so if you have any ideas, please let me know. I love your Geranium phaeum – what a beauty. I am sure I can find space for one of those 😀

    • Thanks so much for having a good browse round my site. I am not very experienced with clematis or jasmine. I think it depends on what type of clematis you have – some of them you should cut right back every year anyway. Happy to send you a piece of Geranium phaeum if you would like to send your address to my contact email on my site. By the way we have a similar work background in IT (software training, helpdesk and eventually web development). I have now retired thankfully.

      • I am retired too! And happy to have a garden to play with. The clematis that needs a chop is an early flowering one, flowers over by end of May. I might just attempt to trim it this year and then chop it right back next year after flowering. I ‘m the sort of gardener that believes in tough love 🙂

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