June view 2009

June view 2009
View of rose and herb garden, June 2009

Small Garden Story

Over some 15 + years, I have been photographing the evolution of my small (85 x 15 foot) garden and it seems a waste not to put these records into some sort of context. Beginning here in April 2010 this Blog is intended to both act as a diary and to share past and present successes (and some failures), pleasures and disappointments with fellow garden-lovers. In due course, I intend to fill in some of the background and early days but that will have to wait until the winter months!

Monday, 21 April 2014

More than an April shower and tulip appraisal

Yesterday's forecast showers turned into a prolonged and at times torrential downpour (Easter Sunday - a familiar story?) but by the evening it had subsided and left a lovely misty evening heralding this morning's beautiful fresh start. It felt quite hot in the sun as I took my constitutional with a cup of tea and the bird song was prolific. It's now back to normal (note the raindrops on the window...)!!
So much is bursting into life with enchanting surprises around every corner including some self-set English bluebells and yellow poppies (unfortunately the true deep blue is lost in this jpeg).
My tropaeolum speciosum has survived in its pot, its bright green shoots rushing out to grab whatever it can, there are buds forming on many of the roses - in spite of my very late, heavy pruning, the first geraniums - phaeum and macrorrhizum have begun to flower and buds are forming on some dwarf bearded irises (although I think my choice of colours was a bit dodgy...). Several clematis are budding up well whereas others are very slow to get started. These include Cl Etoile Violette, usually quite rampant, but hopefully this means she will flower late, extending the season. There are even a few spaces - I think I can even justify a new summer-flowering clematis.
I am a bit disappointed with my tulips this year. Ballerina has come out a rather even and much less orange-red and Rai, which was so spectacular last time I grew it, is a rather even and much paler pink than I had anticipated. I think I should stick to Estella Rijnfeld on the parrot tulip front. A few bulbs are keeping going and their raspberries and cream colouring is stunning even if the flowers are now much smaller (as I probably haven't looked after the bulbs properly!). I have made an interesting discovery with my planting of Princess Irene in the front border. Where some of the bulbs have been heavily shaded by some self-set aquilegias they have come out far more yellow than those growing in full sun. They are gorgeous this year. Following on from these observation I am wondering if tulips have the same "chimeric" nature as dahlias (see my post from November last year). Anyway, such variations simply make things more exciting! I am pleased with the contrast of the lily-flowered T Burgundy and T Ballerina with the lovely stripey T Zurel, seen here in the early morning and later in full sun. Having seriously pondered selling my greenhouse the fact that the dahlia corms I planted only 2 weeks ago are already beginning to show signs of life is making me pleased I decided to take no action. I have also decided to defer having my over-grown Judas and hazel trees cut back until after the leaves have fallen. Trying to do anything now the garden is fully "switched on" would be a nightmare - for me and for anyone trying to do serious tree-pruning. Happily, we now have a date for the broken fence panels to be replaced so I need to get busy safeguarding any vulnerable plants in the vicinity. I am not at all concerned about a rampant variegated ivy I brought home as a small pot plant from a photo shoot some years back but a particularly pleasing scented pink Clematis montana (a seedling from my Mum's) which is just getting the hang of climbing over the new arch may need a bit more help. It will be interesting to see what happens! Happily, these days I tend to look on plant mortalities more as an opportunity to grow something new than too much of a disaster. I do not feel the same about my collection of Diana Roles garden ceramics though!!!!

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