Sunday, 31 May 2015

End of Month Review - May 2015

May was a bit quick wasn't ?  Like most months this year it appears to have been at least a week shorter than usual.  Its ok though, we are not half way through this year just yet, that will be in another four (three?) weeks.

May has been a busy month, the garden has decided to shrug off the slow Spring and start growing.  it has been a little chilly at times but there has also been rain and sun, a good combination for growing.
I begin in the driveway, which is fully of frothy cow-parsley-loveliness.
The Pin Oak is growing well, I am very pleased with it.
This is a recent addition, Exochorda giraldii wilsonii (or Gerald Wilson to its friends).  I bought this a few weeks ago whilst visiting Barnsdale.  It will get quite large, well I'm hoping it will be anyway.
Into the front garden proper and the magnolia is still flowering.  I think it is its best ever year, superb flowers and not frosted at all.
The Knot Garden looks different, can you tell?  The obelisks that I grow sweet peas up have been relocated to the back garden.  What you should be seeing here are four cypress trees in their place but the order has yet to arrive.
By the front door the roses are blooming and the aquilegia are flowering.
Around to the side of the house and the gravel garden is mainly green.  It is spreading out further across the gravel and this is good.  As long as I can put the washing line out when I need to it can spread where it likes.
By the back door two birds have appeared.
There is a small clutch of pots nearby, mainly mint, tarragon, auriculas, fuchsias and pelagoniums.
Pots are also appearing on the way into the back garden.
and on the table this group is growing,
and in the courtyard there is the beginning of a pellie-stand.  I have more to go out but I need to buy some more terracotta pots.
The Rhododendron luteum is flowering its heart out and mixing well with the red azalea.  This is the courtyard's best time of year.
The view across the garden shows aquilegias, poppies, Cirsium riulare (red thistle) and probably (definitely) too much geranium phaem, a great plant but seeds around like it is going out of style!
In the Conservatory border this cerinthe, allium and cardoon combination makes me incredibly happy.  They complement each other perfectly.
I'm also loving these firey tulips and orange geums.  I am not so fond of the dandelions but they are running riot at the moment.
In the Pond Border this white wisteria makes me happier than I can say.  I wanted to grow one as a tree and so far, so good.  It has been there a few years now and is developing really well.
The Spring Border is looking full and colourful, it is now quite well planted up and looking like I hoped it would.
The Prairie Borders are still not at their best just yet.  The Stipa is growing though so it won't be much longer before they start to really look good.
The Dancing Lawn is mowed now and the scent from the Wild Edric rose growing up the apple tree wafts across it beautifully.
The Wild Garden is mainly cow-parsley at the moment.  I have been chopping it back though to let light into the plants that need it.
The Bog Garden and Woodland Border are looking very full.  Yes there are a lot of forget me nots in there, but I am steadily removing them to make more space for the plants to come through.
Its taken a few years for these beds to look well planted, but I am now much happier with them, they are coming on well.
The Sorbus cashmeiriana is flowering (there will be berries)
The Catalpa tree is coming into leaf at last, it is always the tardy one in the garden.
The Medlar tree is covered in blossom and spreading out its elbows wide.
The Tree Lupin border is a froth of umbelifers: woad and angelica and Melanoselium decipiens.
But look, look, something horrid is happening to my Prunus Ben-chidori, I am really worried about it.
The Four Sisters are growing very well, the lack of late frost has helped them hugely.
The veg beds are full of veg- full! yes I know the paths are full of long grass but the beds themselves are (currently) well weeded and I am on top of looking after them.  Make a note of this as it will not last.
The greenhouse is full of seedlings and cuttings.
and on the rescue bench is this tree peony.  It was planted about six years ago but has struggled from day one.  I realised this year it was still alive but tiny and pitiful.  I dug it up and put it in a pot and it has grown much bigger already.  I think I will keep it potted for quite a while, maybe a couple of years, until it gains real strength.
The pond is full of weed, I don't want to tackle it whilst there are tadpoles and all sorts of wildlife in there.  I shall do (shall) in the Autumn, promise.

Thanks as ever to Helen for hosting this meme.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

The Coton Bluebells

I have visited Coton Manor in Northamptonshire many times over a period of many years, certainly more than ten.  They have a very good Garden School and I usually attend one or two sessions a year, some years I go wild and attend three.  I have, however, never visited during bluebell time, I have always been a week or so early or a week or so late.  This year I decided I would go and see their bluebells.
Before reaching the bluebells the rest of the garden has to be admired, and I do mean has to.  It is a great garden, gardened with love and skill.  The wisteria was at its peak and was breathtaking.  The scent was fantastic but also peering into the structure you could see it was incredibly well pruned.
Small touches, well this was quite large, but small touches add to the garden such as this wonderfully weathered tub of tulips.
Tulips were flowering well, these orange ones shone out.
My current 'plant of the moment' the tiarella was in evidence in the woodland garden.
The first of the bluebells were also to be found in the woodland garden.  After a good wander it was time to head to the bluebell wood.
Which could only be greeted by the word, gosh.
gosh
crikey
crikey, gosh, crikey.  It was the most beautiful sight.  The beech trees went straight up and the silvery bark complemented the blue of the bluebells perfectly.  It was the most quintessential, perfect, bluebell wood you could ever hope to see.  The sun knew to shine through in patches, the fresh green of the leaves made a beautiful canopy.  No really, it was awesome and the scent was amazing as well.  There were quite a lot of people there, yet there was space for us all to wander around and not feel crowded.

The bluebell wood only opens briefly every year, but I will definitely going again.

My other bluebell adventure can be found here:  http://www.blackberrygarden.co.uk/2015/05/hodsock-bluebells.html

Sunday, 24 May 2015

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the apples and pears of it

It is quite the done thing to identify trends when visiting Chelsea Flower Show, so I could write a piece about growing more orange flowers or maybe creating a mini-Chatsworth in your back garden.  I have already mentioned these in my previous posts so today I am writing about the surprising about of fruit I found.

For example: I was wandering along when I suddenly saw this pair of pears,
and a rather large face almost looking like it was about to kiss them.  As ever I ponder about placing them in a landscape, they would need a larger space than I have.

Further along I find apples and pears, yet no Cockney rhyming slang references at all, well it is far from the sound of Bow Bells.
A wicker pear here
A slate apple there
A gourd or two 
and then a rather odd statue of two cherubs fighting quite viciously.
I really, really do not like the expression on the lower cherubs face, there was something quite disturbing about it so I moved on swiftly.

I had hardly recovered from this when I found the stone balancing stones which looked a little like they were from the art display in Beetlejiuice, but my eye was caught by this one is particular.....