For most of us who consider ourselves gardeners, coming home after a break away is highly anticipated, with a ramble round the garden a priority after the usual urgent loo visit and perhaps putting the kettle on. Daylight was just about hanging on when we returned on Friday, but I was just about able to see that things in the greenhouse were still OK but now ready for a watering after what was a hot day; elsewhere I could make out the general lushness of the garden but with no real detail, so it was a daylight ramble the next morning that really brought me up to date. Naturally I was champing at the bit to get on with all the necessary garden tasks but the coincidental timing of a visit by Elder Daughter and the Poppet meant that patience was needed whilst those tasks were largely deferred.
Weatherwise it has been a hot and sunny few days in much of the UK and this has worked closely with early April’s natural spring resurgence to boost growth, most borders filling up with fresh green foliage and quickly camouflaging the bareness of the brown earth that has predominated over the winter months. Have I really got room for all those plants I am growing from seed, I wonder?
It would be hard to say what has brought me most pleasure on these post-holiday rambles: my greenhouses full of healthy seedlings of course, all those trays of hardy annuals ready to be planted out as soon as I get the chance and, excitingly, the first (out-of-focus) bud on the Winter Sunshine sweet peas:
The alpina clematis are in their element on the colonnade and looking glorious:
The wood anemones in the woodland now form a deep pile carpet but with a splash of blue from the first bluebells, strays from the other side of the path through the woodland:
It was a good decision to supplement the Anemone blanda last autumn as the blue ones have been an absolute delight on the fringes of the blue & white border. On the ground is blossom from the amelanchier above, something I sadly managed to miss seeing on the tree this year along with the lovely coppery new foliage which has now turned green.
Blossom is apparent on many of the fruit trees and it is good to see that crab apple Malus ‘Evereste’ has settled in and is well on the way to becoming a creditable replacement for the magnolia that previously occupied the same approximate space (in the background, the Golfer is replacing the guttering around the sitooterie):
Noticeable because it is in our faces each time we open the front door, foliage on climbing rose ‘Pink Perpetué’ is bright and green and so far unblemished by black spot (although I did notice a few aphids as I took the picture), whilst strands of Clematis ‘Étoile Violette’ are once again clambering happily through it:
Finally, I am thrilled that the seemingly dormant mason bee cocoons are gradually coming to life and at least four now show evidence of bees having hatched and flown off to do their own thing – most exciting, and I am sure they will enjoy the blossom in the garden as much I do!