On the Lookout

white.tulipI was able to spend some time both yesterday and this afternoon weeding my way round all the borders in the garden, quietly pleased at the prospect of being able to stay on top of that routine maintenance which so easily goes by the board when paid work and other such things of the past get in the way. This weeding meant an even closer inspection of what’s new and what’s different, so I was treated to many more delights but not all as obvious as the above two beauties. I couldn’t work out where this tulip had come from at first, as I knew it was new but I didn’t remember buying it and had no idea what it is; eventually I recalled that I had bought a couple of bags of tulips on impulse from somewhere quite random, with the specific intention of putting them in pots. One of the varieties was a dark purple and I suppose the other was this creamy white, but I don’t seem to have labelled them which is unusual.  On the right is the first flower on Clematis alpina ‘Constance’ which after its treatment last year will not be rewarding me with its usual floriferous display. I was caught by a rare (but short) shower of rain just as I came to take these pictures, bringing our monthly rainfall total up to 6mm so far!

The first of the clusiana tulips are now in flower too – a clump of ‘Lady Jane’. I love the delicate size of these species tulips and the narrow leaves, although this group look a little bedraggled. When I revamped the main borders last year the clumps of Lady Jane were disturbed and I have individual girls popping up all over the garden – but maybe they seed themselves too? I shall let the odd ones flower and then move them later in the year, along with various allium that have suffered in the same way. Many of the cowslips in the woodland edge border are also fully out, and make a fine display against the backdrop of Pulmonaria ‘Raspberry Splash’ which although here for less than a year is already making a big impact.

My eyes have continually roamed as I weeded my way round the garden, triggering plans and schemes and changes. The mangle has been moved from its temporary location near the shed to the side of the house where with a new wooden frame to replace the now rotten original it will support a number of pots; the nearby slice of ancient tree with its quotation made up of individual letters tacked on is also rotting and has almost outlived its usefulness as an art installation. The letters will be re-used when I can find a suitable alternative – I am on the lookout already!


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8 Responses to On the Lookout

  1. I planted cowslip two years ago as a medicinal herb. I really love its appearance in spring. I planted Wood Betony and Lemon Balm around it for visual impact. I have been trying to grow more from seed with not much luck. How did you come by the beautiful cowslip in your garden?

    • Cathy says:

      I started with buying just one plant, Charlie, and it readily self seeds here – not just next to the existing plant either. This little group was brought together from seedlings a few yards away from the original. Perhaps yours will do so given a bit more time?

  2. croftgarden says:

    I rather like your decaying art installation. The combination of the slowly rotting wood and the tumbling letters is really quite profound.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes – ‘The changing year’s successive plan proclaims mortality to man’ – indeed…. we are all subtly rotting away in our little corners, just like that chunk of wood…. 😉

  3. I like the creamy color of that one tulip, also I’m jealous about your old mangle (that name is new to me). There’s something about old tools that make them very fine garden art.

    • Cathy says:

      Is there a US name for a mangle, or did you not recognise it all, Jason? The wooden rollers squeeze water out of wet laundry. You can pick them up at auctions or outdoor antique fairs, and ours was a bargain as no-one else wanted the effort of lugging it home! You can tell that we love a bargain!

  4. Helen says:

    Fantastic now I know the name of the tulips that are just flowering in a large pot on the patio – Lady jane. The label from 2 years ago had faded and so I was considering searching my blog in the home that I had mentioned them last year and now I dont have to 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      You’re welcome, Helen – and they were the first species tulips I had so I am confident I willl never forget what they are. The label issue has really frustrated me as I am fairly meticulous about labelling my plants but permanent white marker does fade in time and my black T labels snap if they are trodden on. I got a Brother labeller at Christmas but am still dithering over whether to get more T labels (perhaps bigger ones) or more flexible stick ones (but still black)

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