I recently reread posts from this time of year to remind myself how I was feeling in the lead up to garden opening days, but I seemed to have been strangely silent. A lot of the general preparation work had been done well in advance last year and I seem to recall feeling pretty well organised in those weeks, so I was a little perturbed to find myself feeling slightly nervous last week – aware, I think, of all the itty-bitty things that still had to be done and wondering if it would all be done in time. And in utilising fewer lists than last year, was I in danger of forgetting something important?
Although the garden was doing its best even without my input, there were certainly many challenges – like the heat and lack of rain which will be fine for the Open Days themselves but has led to the frazzling of young seedlings AND, despite the weather, many well-fed slugs and snails who seemed to be chomping almost anything that was freshly planted out if it was young and tender enough. It is making me think again about planting annuals out into the main beds – they do brilliantly in the cutting beds…
…but amongst established plants in the other beds they quickly become slug fodder, and I am reluctant to pop the pots of zinnias shown in the lower picture into gaps in the beds because of the same rapid demise that greeted the agastache in the top left:
Some of the hostas are still pristine, but others are not:
On the plus side though, the first dahlia bloom has arrived (‘Dorothy Rose’, albeit not the small ball shape she is meant to be) – and for the first time I have a bloom on Anemone coronaria ‘Sylphide’:
A flurry of activity and the completion of many little tasks since those fleeting moments of self-doubt, not to mention a baking blitz and the safe storage in the freezer of half the required cakes, has restored my equilibrium and although tasks will be tackled right up to the first visitors arriving once again I have every confidence that all will be ready. We know from last week that the roses are looking good, and as June unfolds most of the borders are now becoming big and blowsy (and perhaps next year the perennials will have filled out enough not to require any annual fillers to plug the gaps anyway). Looks like it is ‘all systems go’ after all.