Tardy or What?

wallflowersI 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.

IMG_1793My 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….

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18 Responses to Tardy or What?

  1. Chloris says:

    Lady Jane looks gorgeous with the pink wall flower. The trouble about buying wallflowers is that they often come in mixed colours.
    You are right about this time of the year, I spend so much time looking and enjoying. I go round and round several times a day.

    • Cathy says:

      I do like Lady Jane – the first species tulip I had. I had a quick scan of your post on my phone earlier today but have saved a proper look till I was on my laptop – look forward to those longer views!

  2. AnnetteM says:

    I think I have the same batch of ‘not red’ wallfowers! They are only just coming out, but they don’t look very red to me. No ladybirds either, but they do smell nice. I do like your obelisks – I need something to grow sweet peas up.

    • Cathy says:

      I dithered with these once I got them home as I tend to prefer the rusty metal ones, but they were cheap (less than £2) and the pink stain was quick and easy to apply

  3. Anna says:

    The ladybirds certainly seem to be happy basking in the sun Cathy. I like the colour of your ‘red’ wallflowers and the fully open flowers look much to be a much brighter colour than the bud. What colour sweet peas will be clambering up your obelisks?

    • Cathy says:

      The autumn sown ones are Purple Pimpernel which is a purple bi-colour, but I have some later sown red ones which I was going to put in this border too, so they will need a different obelisk. I have never worked so hard at sweet peas as I have this year!

  4. bittster says:

    I’m far too much of a softy to get rid of the wrong color wallflowers. Good for you and your vision! I’m sure if I had just a little more discipline on design, things would prove remarkably…. But I really do enjoy the surprises and clashes!

    • Cathy says:

      Crikey, Bittster, are you implying I have things like vision and design discipline?! Optimism and serendipity perhaps… 🙂 But hey ho, even walls aren’t set in stone – if it doesn’t work, or doesn’t look right then it can be yanked out, like the ‘red’ wallflowers! (or reworked and tweaked to make it successful). Surprises and clashes are exciting though! 😉

      • bittster says:

        Maybe I used the wrong word, maybe instead of saying I was a design “softy” I should have said “lazy”! Most of what I do stays as is because I’m just to lazy to rework it, and have been distracted by another part of the garden!

  5. Pauline says:

    Your sweet peas will look beautiful on your obelisks, very colour co-ordinated! Morning walks are taking so much longer these mornings, there is so much newness to take in each time..

  6. If you love your garden, whatever time of year it is, then it’s a good garden! I think your obelisks are a very brave shade of pink! But they will work well with your sweet peas – I like them!

  7. Mmm, nice, those obelisks will contrast well with your “usual” colour, and will be spectacular with sweet peas clambering up them. I came to wallflowers late too, though I think I will concentrate on the perennial(ish) ones, I am trying to cut down on what I feel I MUST sow each year. Oh, and I agree about spring being a sneaky season that seems to make your garden change as you turn your back to walk away, but also that I too love my garden whatever the season, or weather for that matter. Even the bits that are works in progress. Perhaps those particularly, thinking about it, as they are full of dreams, all promise and no failures. Unlike my ability to get round to painting the trellis to make way for clematis planting, which has suddenly become an Autumn job…

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Janet. This year is an experiment for seed sowing for me too – it will good to see what works and what isn’t worth the effort. I am chuffed with the autumn sown sweet peas but in a colder winter they may not be as successful. Talking to my Mum on Saturday she wonders what I will do if I run out of things to create or space to create them in!

      • Hah! You” just rebuild things, or possibly move… Ever thought of self-build? I could see you two doing that…

        • Cathy says:

          Oh well, we did throw the extension together ourselves, Janet (she says in a throwaway comment) and it is still standing – but no, we are not moving from where we are as house and garden have become an extension of who we are…

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