I can now appreciate that wallflowers can indeed have a very pleasant fragrance, but it has taken rather a long time to find out. In late summer 2012 I bought some wallflowers from our local garden centre – trays of plug plants I think – ‘pink’ for the pots with the Peach Blossom tulips outside the kitchen windows instead of the pink polyanthus that the pigeons attack, and ‘red’ to add early spring colour in the hot borders. I then waited, and waited – the Peach Blossom came and went but the pink wallflowers just grew a little taller but with no urgency to flower, whilst the red wallflowers grew taller and taller and showed a similar reluctance to do anything more exciting.
Deciding they had had long enough I ousted the pink ones from the pots last autumn and planted them in the main borders – where they are all now flowering very prettily in a lovely shade of pink (seen here next to Tulipa clusiana ‘Lady Jane’ and the emerging red tinged foliage of Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’) and smelling very fragrant. The red ones have deigned to show flower buds in the last month or so which have finally begun to open in the recent sunshine, but proving that they are NOT what I would call red but veering instead towards a typical wallflower maroon so will therefore be yanked out very shortly to make way for this year’s bold additions to these borders. Since the buds appeared they have, however, been home to several families of ladybirds which is some small consolation for their otherwise total lack of success.
My after breakfast ramble today took about an hour as there was a lot of stopping and gawping to be done – even with several rambles a day it is hard to comprehend how much progress the garden makes when my back is turned at this time of year. Not just the seedlings in the greenhouse, or the herbaceous borders that are now far more green than brown, but the trees too which are adding green almost exponentially. I love this time of year – but there again, I have learned that I actually love the garden whatever time of year it is. In sharp contrast to the greens though there are now two pink obelisks, JTF bargains painted this afternoon with tester pots of my favourite Cuprinol Garden Shades, but this time in ‘Sweet Sundae’ instead of the usual ‘Wild Thyme’ – these will add a touch of pink brightness to the bold borders. I might just plant the autumn sown sweet peas against them this weekend….