Missing the Sweet Peas

IMG_7267As soon as we got back home yesterday I rushed inside, pausing only for the loo and to put the kettle on, and straight out of the back door to reacquaint myself with the garden. Sunshine and very warm temperatures while we were away had speeded up the quick transitions expected for this time of year and there was lots to discover, like the ‘Aveyron’ tulips shown above and frothy pink blossom on the apple trees below:

IMG_7258A collection of tulips from Peter Nyssen called ‘Harlequin’ were now in full flower in the cutting beds and will no doubt contribute to my next vase; I meant to plant them in a pot but forgot when planting time came around so am currently having to plant out seedlings amongst them.

IMG_7263Rhododendrons are not to everyone’s taste, but I was pleased to find these four newly blooming – on the left dwarf ‘Wren’ and R impeditum in the rockery and on the right ‘Percy Wiseman’ and one flowering for the first time in the woodland which will have a label buried at its feet somewhere.

rhododendronsColumbines are coming into flower throughout the garden, many raised from seed, so it is exciting to see how the blooms are turning out. Sadly these are not quite in focus (and are in the pinks and purples border!):

IMG_7261Most of my hostas are in pots and are all suddenly pushing their spikes through the slate chippings which I hoped might deter slugs but don’t. Slugs are less prevalent in the hostas at the side of the house, perhaps because there is less vegetation around, and the sink and several of the pots here have miniature hostas, which I am very fond of.

IMG_7268The crab apples are in full bloom, but looking particularly attractive this year is ‘Royalty,’ replanted in the shrub border nearly two years ago and seemingly much happier; previously the dark pink blooms have disappeared amidst the red foliage but this year they have been positively glowing in the sunshine. Behind it is the pink hawthorn, smothered in buds for the first time, which will accentuate the pink backdrop in due course.

IMG_7264I was particuarly eager to check the health of the seedlings in the greenhouses which had been kindly watered by a neighbour in our absence, and could hardly believe the growth that had taken place in just a few days – planting out was definitely a task for this week. Such was my eagerness, however, that it wasn’t till the Golfer had his own ramble and was exclaiming over the sweet peas in the greenhouse that I realised I had ‘missed’ them – how this was possible I have no idea, as the heat had boosted their fragrance and there were masses of blooms! Making up for my omission there is now a large jug of them on the kitchen table, my second vase on Monday I suppose:

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23 Responses to Missing the Sweet Peas

  1. My sweet peas are just breaking through the soil…I can’t wait to see them in a month or so…lots blooming there to make so many vases!

    • Cathy says:

      These are the Winter Sunshine ones and bred to flower early – but even so it’s still astonishing to see them doing it! Must make sure I keep picking them 😉

  2. rickii says:

    Your garden threw you quite a homecoming party!

  3. Christina says:

    Welcome home Cathy. It’s all looking fabulous.

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    A great welcome – the dark sweet peas are spectacular!

  5. johnvic8 says:

    Ah, the joys of coming home to a garden. Incomparable.

  6. Pauline says:

    Coming home and catching up with the garden again is so good,it is all looking beautiful.

  7. Cathy says:

    It’s hard going away from a garden at this time of year … but almost worth it to come back again! Wonderful sweet peas.

  8. What a lovely jug of sweet peas to welcome you home.

  9. Chloris says:

    What a joy to come home to all this burgeoning garden and greenhouse. Your sweet peas are sensational. I gave up on them this year after having two lots eaten by mice. The slate may not deter slugs but it looks lovely. I use coffee grounds which do help. The trouble is I don’t have enough for everything.

    • Cathy says:

      I tried coffee grounds but didn’t find them effective – apparently you can ask for used grounds at one of the coffee shops (Starbucks?). Someone told me yesterday she bought pellets from QVC made from geraniums that really seemed to work…really?! Sounds a bit far fetched to me – but I will investigate further…

  10. How lovely to come home to such bounty. It really is the most fantastic time in the garden.

  11. Wow, your sweet peas have come on splendidly. Mine have become slug fodder. Never mind, plenty of seeds left to sow.

    • Cathy says:

      I suppose this is the advantage of them being in the greenhouse – although there is now the small problem that they have reached the roof… 😉 Defibitely recommend these Winter Sunshine ones, if you have a greenhouse that is

  12. shobhna says:

    The sweet peas are beautiful.

  13. Anna says:

    Your routine on returning home after a break sounds much like mine Cathy. Malus ‘Royalty’ more than lives up to its name. The first sweet pea pickings of the year are most special. Does this early variety have much scent?

    • Cathy says:

      The sweet peas are a resounding success although don’t seem to be as fragrant as some. It’s interesting about Royalty as this is the first year it has looked in the least bit striking – and I have had it a few years

  14. croftgarden says:

    Welcome back. I know we’re further north, but I confess my sweet pea seeds only arrived today. Careless, slapdash, age-induced absent mindedness? Nah, it’s still freezing here – a just-in-time strategy worth of Harvard Business School!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christine – hope you have enjoyed your recent sunshine, even if it has still been chilly! These sweet peas needed to be sown early as they were bred to be early flowering – do you think they might do well in your polytunnel? I am glad to hear that you are not suffering with careless, slapdash, age-induced absent mindedness though 😉

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