End of Month Review May 2024

May has felt like a brief month, no sooner has it started then it finished.  I think its because its been a busy montth.  There has been a lot going on in the garden. 

Let's start in the back garden: we have had some warmer weather and some sun and of course, lots of rain.  This means the garden has suddenly exploded into growth.  This view of the Long Shoot evidences how fond I am of astrantias and geraniums.  They billow over the edge of the lawn and attract so many bees/insects.  I always like it when the garden looks like this.

In the Conservatory Board the Rheum is flowering well and the roses are adding pops of colour.
Further along the Conservatory Border the Black Elder, Sambucus nigra is having its best ever year.  I planted it a few years ago and it has done ok, but this year it is spectacular.  Can you see the enormous bramble climbing through it?  I have a huge issue with brambles and I had spent a couple of hours on the morning I took this photograph carefully working my way through most of the garden cutting through the thick bramble stems and treating the stems with roundup.  Clearly I missed one.  Sigh.
This is Rosa The Lark Ascending who is also haveing a fabulous year.  As Elvis C would say, its a good year for the roses.  This rose was a gift from a friend and I would in honesty say, I don't think I would have chosen it for myself.  I would have been wrong, I could not like this rose anymore than I do - well, that's not totally true, if it had more scent it would be perfect but I am not going to hold that against it.

Not only is it pretty as itself, but it plays nicely with the other plants in the Pond Border. 
The Rosa Peach Melba, Rose of the Year 2023, Rose of the Year 2023, I was gifted this rose when its award was announced in 2022.  I always think roses need a year to settle in and get growing properly and this rose proves this completely.  It has grown well and it has flowered nicely, but this year it is really going for it.  It is getting tall and growing through the rusty tree just as I hoped it would.  It is covered in buds and I cannot wait for when it starts to flower.
The tree ferns are having a good start to the year, they are loving this wet weather.
I planted this Cornus Miss Satomi last year and this too has now put its roots down and it is flowering nicely.  
This is the Rhododendron Nova Zembla (New Zombie to its friends) that I planted four weeks ago.  It has flowered really well and shot up a good six inches of growth.  I think it is happy.
The leaning Catalpa is also growing really well.  I love this tree as it moved with me from my previous house.  I love the colour of the leaves though I am disappointed that it does not flower.  I have no Indian Beans from my Indian Bean tree.  You can also see the Wild Garden in full cow parsley mode.  This is no mow since last October.
The garden is reclaiming Trev's chair.  I have not really been able to sit on it since Trev died in 2021, it just hasn't felt right somehow.  I think this is the garden telling me that if I move the chair I might start using it again, so this will happen.  
However what has been mown is the Dancing Lawn.  The foliage from the Spring bulbs has died back so it is now time to give it a mow.  It will take it a couple of weeks to look green again.  There is a huge ant nest in this lawn, which is now a muddy blob because I mowed it.  I don't remove ant nests in the garden, but it might need to reconsider its options as it will get mown again.
The side lawn has also had its first mow of the year.  The big blob of ivy to the front of the picture is a semi-collapsed fence, this needs replacing but there are birds nesting close by so I don't want to disturb them.  There is much to be done in the front garden.  I have plans!
I have also cut back the Cypress trees as they were getting rather tall.  The eagle eyed amongst you might think something else looks different in this photo.
My neighbours are in the process of removing the large leylandii hedge that separated us.  We have discussed this and I am not sorry to see this hedge go.  Yes it was green and in some years (not this year, I checked) it has robins nesting in it.  But it takes a lot of maintenance and you can see how the roses have grown away from it.  We have agreed we will have a fence and this is good, I can grow things up a fence so it will be green again.
I distract myself by looking at Gertrude Jekyll by the front door, she is having a fabulous year.
and back in the back garden the pond looks totally overgrown, this is because the edges are very tall and the pond is overgrown with irises.  Both will be dealt with - eventually.

Take care and be kind.

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  1. Your 'Lark Ascending' Rose is stunning! All the plants look happy. :) We're having great weather for plants here in S. Wis., too. Plenty of rain, then a couple of dry days, then repeat...


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