Looking for certain topics?
- Wednesday - 16:00 BST: Light Rain Shower, 12°C (54°F)Temperature: 12°C (54°F), Wind Direction: Southerly, Wind Speed: 13mph, Humidity: 91%, Pressure: 1016mb, Rising, Visibility: Moderate
- Wednesday - 16:00 BST: Light Rain Shower, 12°C (54°F)
The foliage focus this month has got to be the sheer abundance and exuberance of it – from the leaves on the trees to the seedlings in the greenhouse and the emerging herbaceous plants. The variation in green never ceases to amaze me, the vividly bright green of this fern being a case in point, and the blue & white borders clearly showing the contrasting shades of brunnera, centaura, geranium, aconitum, hellebore, dicentra, eryngium, echinops and more:
I have added to the pots of hostas in the sunken area recently and they have also astounded me by their almost daily growth – some are already in full leaf but all of them went from bare pots to visible growth virtually overnight:
Every new growth is exclaimed over whether large clump or first showing since last year, or the rejuvenated honeysuckles (below)that were cut right back when the new dividing trellis was constructed at the end of last year. I daresay I am not alone amongst northern hemisphere gardeners in enjoying this seasonal freshness, so do pop over to Christina’s blog and have a look at other foliage in gardens around the world.
I am sure I could have spent more time ‘arranging’ the tulips in today’s vase, or using a holder in the base to keep them more upright, but having had to trim them to the shortest common denominator it did involve more than just a basic ‘plonking’ and they each had a mind of their own anyway. Tulips were always going to be the favourite for today, and here we have five different varieties – Princess Irene (the shortest), Orange Sun, Beauty of Apeldoorn, vvedenski Henry Hudson and an unknown one that has survived a few years in the border. The brimstone concept was accentuated by some of those disappointing wallflowers that I am beginning to quite like after all – just a shame that they are very tall, very woody, and have a discernable kink to every stem! The vase is a usefully shaped clear glass one that one of my nieces had at her wedding a few years ago, filled with roses and astrantia at the time, and the overall effect was completed with a chunk of orange calcite and some polished carnelian.
But where do the boots come in? Well, the Easter weekend sees the start of the car boot season in the UK, so today and Saturday morning saw us looking for bargains. Today’s included some useful vases – a tall Caithness Glass and two smaller ones, the cream and orange jug (Royal Doulton) looking the perfect receptacle for nasturtiums and marigolds later in the year. The watering can isn’t vintage, but looks the part and will be very happy occupying a corner of the garden somewhere.
I eagerly look forward to putting together my vase on Monday and to seeing what other people have come up with. This meme is becoming such an encouragement to those of us who join in, so if you haven’t yet done so please think about it on just occasional or even a regular basis – you would be most welcome! So that we can share in what you have found in your garden to bring joy inside your house, just include a link from your post to this and vice versa – we look forward to seeing you…
As quickly as the petals drop off the magnolia, the pinker and wider open become the petals of the clematis growing through it, Clematis montana ‘Warwickshire Rose’. At first the magnolia merely took on a subtle pinkish glow, but all of a sudden some buds of the clematis have burst open, waiting till the first dull and damp day for a little while to do so. Along with the rapidly green transformation of the trees, the swelling buds of wisteria and the exuberant growth of re-emerging perennials there is no disputing that spring has been busy with his paintbrush.
Another productive afternoon saw the Golfer and I working together in the garden, ostensibly clearing the area at the back of the shed which had become a dumping ground for waste greenhouse bits and the old framework of the fruit cage which is currently being overhauled. Soon distracted by the area shown above, a bed of heucheras around a young Acer griseum, I realised that a simple edging at the front face would enable the soil to be built up and retained, instead of allowing water to wash soil down the slight slope and onto the path – the heucheras might be happier too as currently the soil dries out quickly. Keen to recycle wherever possible, I was chuffed to be able to use a stack of cut tiles, offsets from recent roofing repairs, and an edging was soon in place and soil topped up with ‘spare’ from the greenhouse upheavals.
That quick ‘tarting-up’ was soon followed by replacing the step in the middle of the picture with the smaller slab shown, relieved from the paved area behind the house where the small sink has been inset. Striking while the iron was hot, half bags of slate chippings and gravel were used to fill in gaps between paving and walls, small but outstanding jobs. You will be pleased to know that a cup of tea was then made and taken to the bench behind the shed, now clear of all detritus, and the Golfer and I both sat and talked and looked at the garden together – a rare occurrence indeed. The sitting and talking and looking did generate other little jobs, including emptying the water butt to enable it to be moved next to the new greenhouse and replaced with the bigger one there was no longer space for, but we did enjoy just sitting for a time first!
Encouraged by posies produced by Louise of Wellywoman and The Cut Flower Patch fame and also by Julie at Peonies and Posies, I was thrilled to be able to take advantage for the first time of flowers from the garden to take to a friend I was visiting. I’m sure there have been flowers suitable for cutting before, but I hadn’t really considered it until now and the Vase on Monday meme has really whetted my appetite. Lyd’s posy was a simple bunch of the first bluebells, Leucojum aestivum and hellebores with their now bulging seed pods, tied together with brown string with the ends frayed; needless to say, she was delighted.
The sunny weather this week has seen me, like many others, working industriously in the garden – sweeping the paths and paved areas and teasing out weeds from the cracks has kept me busy for a few hours, with occasional sidetracking to replace damaged labels or inspect new growth. I was hoping to remove the large number of allium seedlings that are populating the main borders but they are proving particularly resilient and tend to come out without their bulblets -doh! Nevertheless, the bergenia that began as a trimming picked up from the pavement adjacent to a Council border over 30 years ago has been removed, having long since outlived its usefulness in filling a space in a previous garden – nothing against bergenias, but it never really did anything except fill a space. Likewise, a clump of polygonatum has been ousted from one of the main borders (there are still clumps by the stream and in the woodland edge) and I am looking forward to filling the gaps in these borders with the annuals that are being grown from seed.
Annette of My Aberdeen Garden mentioned the use of a photo gallery when she commented on my GBBD post earlier in the week, inadvertently offering me a challenge. I have not used a gallery on WordPress before so investigated the process and if you would like to check out a slideshow of images from that post click here. I thought it was too black and ‘in your face’ to include on the main page so have linked to another page from the original post – but it still seems a bit clumsy and I would welcome alternative suggestions from other bloggers.
The post brought me more seeds this morning – not that I had forgotten I had applied for seeds to take part in trials for Which? Gardening again, but I had forgotten which seeds I had applied for…. more courgettes, more tomatoes, more cosmos……