In this period between spring and summer one could easily be swallowed up by the green leafiness of the garden; green is such a soothing colour and the abundance of greenery must surely provide an environment not only for healing many ills, but a place for the ‘soul of the world to find ease’.*
Until this last week, May was a very dry month in this part of the UK, with lots of sunshine. We had solar panels installed in April 2011 and this has been the sunniest month of all during that time, with nearly 10% more energy being generated than the previous sunniest month (June 2015). It reminds of the typical May months of yore, revising in the sunshine for A Levels and then University exams, way before lack of rainfall in the garden was any concern of mine…
The added moisture, in conjunction with the warmth, has really boasted growth in the garden and hence the all-enveloping greenness. I was going to suggest that it was in the cutting beds that this was most apparent, as these were completely empty three weeks ago so the rate of growth of seedlings planted out since then is particularly apparent; however, as you will see from all the photographs in this EOMV, the evidence is everywhere and accentuated where there are trees, as the above view from the back of the house indicates. I have updated the map of the garden to take recent changes into account, so if you want to see where the photos refer to, then please refer to Version 3 of the map under The Garden tab above.
Below is the area to the right of the first photo (taken from both directions), showing the revamped streamside border and the streamside grass, but not as much of the shrub border as is usually shown.
Wood anemones, bluebells and wild garlic are over in the woodland now, with all the latter’s seedheads snipped off to reduce seeding. None of these die gracefully and the woodland floor is currently a mass of horizontal greenery, obliterating the bark path that runs through it.
The main borders, full of aquilegia and alliums and geraniums, with the promise of much more, are shown from the bothy and ground level; as you can see, the hostas are still fairly slug free of slug damage.
The clematis colonnade has had a severe hair cut, with all the top growth of the alpinas removed, giving the later viticellas a clear run to the top for a change; in front of the colonnade, the bronze heuchera bed has been suddenly been transformed from looking tired and sorry for itself to a surprisingly attractive feature again.
The woodland edge border, seen from both directions, carries on doing its own thing in one of its many variations, with Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ beginning to breathe fire into the border once more:
The bold borders are looking green rather than bold still, apart from the very bold oriental poppy and a few alliums and aquilegia, but that will change soon. The foliage will helpfully hide any weeds that may be lurking when visitors arrive for the open days!
Here are the cutting beds I mentioned earlier, with cosmos and gypsophila in flower, but dahlias, rudbeckia, calendula and amaranthus budding up in anticipation of later floriferousness.
Green is still the predominant colour in the blue & white borders, but there is plenty of activity amidst the greenery:
The first buds have opened on Darcey Bussell, one of the new roses in the rose garden; she will be accompanied by pink rose James L Austin who it is to be hoped will prove to be her ideal dancing partner. Blush Noisette clothes the surrounding fences whilst the petals on the ground are from the 100s (I joke not!) of blooms of Madame Alfred Carrière flowering above.
Heading back in the direction of the house, the special snowdrop border is on your right, now full of white and green seed-sown annuals (mostly), which I hope will prove to be a worthwhile summer display.
Now to the newly developed area at the side of the house, where the chickens used to be. You can see from the map that it is a useful amount of space, previously very much underutilised especially as we had no reason at all to access the part now being called ‘The Courtyard’, which was beyond the chicken’s enclosure and merely a neglected corner. Now all of this area – new greenhouse, shady bed, hosta and fern steps, courtyard – are part of my daily rambles. Oh, and I have another use for the ‘blue bowl’…
The pink wall in this last photograph is part of our house, whereas the other two are not, so this is a very odd piece of land to belong to us, but it does – and doesn’t it make a pretty little shaded courtyard, perfect for ferns and hostas?
So, as summer beckons, this is what our garden looks like at the end of May. Helen the Patient Gardener hosts this end of month meme, so my thanks go to her for the opportunity to do so; please visit her blog to check out other EOMV posts.
My thanks also go to Christine of Croft Garden who some months ago not only explained how to reduce the resolution of images but also that reducing the size of images in a post did not reduce the space they used; thanks to her I can now include much larger photos which are still of reasonable quality.
*from the poem ‘God’s Garden’ by Dorothy Frances Gurney