…to oust these violas, the pretty ‘Cool Wave Frost’ (the photo makes them look more blue than the lilac mix that they are) variety that I have grown from seed for the last 3 or 4 years. They germinate so readily, are so reliable and flower for ages so these will be replanted elsewhere to add a bit of colour for a few more months at least. For the second year running the tulips that are also planted in the pots have failed to materialise – well, the leaves have appeared but that is clearly all they are going to manage. It may not be coincidence that I replaced the pots two years ago so perhaps the pots are too small to cope with the tulips as well; next year perhaps I will dispense with the tulips as the violas have performed admirably enough on their own. Once the violas are out, they will be replaced with overwintered pelargoniums which have been champing at the bit to get into bigger pots.
After a day of very welcome rain yesterday (not quite an inch) which meant catching up on indoor jobs instead, it was also time to start clearing the streamside grass , now that the bulbs have had a decent number of weeks to catch their breath. This cut is always done with hand shears, and leaves the grass in a bit of a mess for a few weeks but it will quickly perk up. The ferns on the bank were also trimmed back, so now you can actually see the stream again.
Whilst trimming the ferns, it was a pleasant surprise to find flower stems appearing on the dwarf rheum (centre of the picture), R kialense – not seen those for a long time!
Now that potting on and planting out is up to date, I plan to progressively work through the garden weeding, staking and removing overhanging stems. After yesterday’s rain, it may well be a full scale battle against the weeds but with many borders stuffed to the gunnels a few weeds won’t be very noticeable and I am not going to lose any sleep over it.
The long period of hot and dry weather brought a necessary modification to the Mason Bee’s home: having followed the advice to tilt the tube downwards to prevent rainwater entering, we found that the cardboard inner tubes began to slide out as the plastic outer tube expanded in the heat! A couple of temporary wedges have returned the tube to a horizontal position and the whole support will be revamped over winter when the bees are not in residence, giving the tube an overhanging roof instead. In the meantime, it is pleasing to see that after the early weeks when only a few cocoons had hatched, most of them seem to have done so now.