Having had visitors yesterday afternoon I didn’t tick many things off my mental list, but today I have been able to finish tying in some of the fruit laden raspberry and blackcurrant shoots, whilst fighting the longer and pricklier loganberry stems, regretting later that I was wearing my gardening T-shirt and not something with longer sleeves. I have also made a point of planting out some of the seedlings – nasturtium, calendula and tagetes, now occupying the hot borders inbetween the geums and crocosmias and day lilies.
Whilst deadheading over the last couple of days and during this planting out I have had a good poke around the borders and found all sorts of surprises. The echinops above, E. sphaerocephalus ‘Arctic Glow’ has bulked up over the winter to a sturdy plant, a good recommendation for Constantine Garden Nursery as it is already sporting several distinctive embryonic globes. I think there another couple of echinops doing equally well in the blue & white borders, all bought late Autumn last year. From the cool tones of this border to the nearby hot borders I spotted another of the helianthemum collection I purchased last year – how I could have missed the bright scarlet of ‘Fireball’ I do not know, and I certainly did not overlook the warm orange of these pot lilies, set against the terracotta of the chimney pot. These came in bud from Aldi last year and are available again now; at £1.79 they are a bargain and I shall be buying more.
I have been watching the buds on ‘Blush Noisette’ around the perimeter of the rose garden, and on ‘Rural England’ to the right of the sitooterie, getting my first glimpse of flowers on both in the last few days. The former were newly planted last year and have just begun sending out long shoots this year, so we have put wires in place to tie them into – I love the almost fluffy bundles of pink on these. ‘Rural England’ is, unusually, meant to be a continuous flowering rambler but has only been in place for a couple of seasons so is not rambling very far yet. The flowers seem to vary in their shade of pink and today were looking darker than they sometimes do – maybe they open to a lighter shade and then darken with age?
A flower on Rebecca, a clematis with a story behind it which I was given for Christmas, was tucked away behind the callicarpa from my Wish List, a little nibbled and bedraggled and probably not in the best location. I plan to move it to the colonnade after pruning later in the year, it being too involved with the callicarpa at the moment to consider spoiling their relationship. I was intrigued to see what I assume are the tiny buds of callicarpa flowers which will turn into those surreal purple berries later in the year.
Equally intriguing is the random appearance of a white foxglove in the woodland edge border, pre-empting the trayful of white foxglove seedlings I have, and the unfurling of the candelabra of Primula beesiana, a purchase form Gardeners’ World Live last year. Pauline at Lead Up the Garden Path featured many of her candelabras in a recent post; in time I hope to have a good collection of these late spring beauties too and this is a small start.