Six on Saturday: Focussing on Spring

I meant to show this last week, one of the first buds on the ‘Winter Sunshine’ sweet peas in the greenhouse – last year the first blooms were open by this stage of April. Sadly, the picture seems to be focussing on ‘string’ rather than ‘spring’, despite several attempts to get it in focus.

Similarly out of focus is one of the first rose buds evident this year, this one being ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, a rose that came to me late last season:

Healthy new rose foliage is one of the many joys of spring, particularly  when suffused with pinks and reds, as it is on ‘Olivia Rose Austin’:

Despite being cut down virtually to ground level earlier this year, viticella clematis are sprouting and scrambling as if there were no tomorrow. C viticella ‘Rosalyn’ produces probably the most luxuriant of growth of all my clematis, and it has already made a good start:

Spring also means tulips: most of mine are in pots and many of them are in bloom. ‘Exotic Emperor’ always looks striking, although not especially exotic:

More exotic looking are these species tulips, T humilis: I have had ‘Persian Pearl’ (below right) for a number of years but decided to add more, along with T humilis ‘Eastern Star’, underplanting roses in one of the borders. I was certainly not prepared for the startling redness of the latter, which was not how it was described.

In the borders herbaceous plants are also girding their loins and focussing on all this new growth in the garden has meant numerous rambles throughout the day to make sure I haven’t missed anything. I am pleased to say, however, that when I step out of the back door for one of these rambles I am no longer faced with a blank grey screen against the hedge:

Thank you to Jon the Propagator for hosting this weekly meme.

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28 Responses to Six on Saturday: Focussing on Spring

  1. Fabulous color on the red tulips! Also, I really like the screen with the leaves. Snappy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Laurie – I knew I would know when I found the right thing to add interest to the screen, and these are perfect!

  2. bcparkison says:

    and it is so welcome.

  3. tonytomeo says:

    That clematis is wasting no time. It is impossible to see how severely it was pruned back. There are a few at work that I did not prune. I do not know if anyone else pruned them either. (They are in a region that I do not get to often, and I did not ask about them.) They are some of the fancy hybrids that we should not grow anyway. They bloom surprisingly well here though.

    • Cathy says:

      The viticella clematis I really do prune to just a few inches above ground level Tony

      • tonytomeo says:

        Hybrid clematis and others with big and colorful flowers are rare here because they do not perform very well. What is worse is that no one seems to believe that they need to be pruned while bare in winter.

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What an interesting tree trunk to the right of your beautiful new screen.

  5. That’s a beautiful sculptural screen. Lucky you! Sweet to have sweet peas almost blooming…and roses and clematises. Happy spring!

    • Cathy says:

      These sweet peas are bred to grow at low light leveles, but in a greenhouse here in the UK. It will still be a few weeks before we have an actual rose bloom, but it’s good to see them coming!

  6. It’s always a pleasure to see the fresh shoots on the roses. They always start so well, it’s keeping them looking good that’s the problem!

    • Cathy says:

      Ha, yes, that’s true! I do strip all the leaves of mine in the autumn now, which should reduce blackspot – I am pretty sure it has helped

  7. Noelle M says:

    Screen adornment or sculpture panel is very appealing, as are your little tulips.

  8. Roguegarden says:

    The rusty (corten?) leaves on your screen look fantastic. The more I hear about the enthusiasm of clematis, the more tempted I am to try one in my garden.

    • Cathy says:

      If they grow well in your part of the US they are a wonderful asset to a garden. I like these alpina ones in spring and the viticellas for summer into autumn. Their care regime is fairly easy and they will certainly repay with you their blooms

  9. Welcome to one of the first shoots of Sweet Peas, soon it will open and fill the Greenhouse with color and perfume. “Rhapsody in Blue” has a lovely cocoon, I love it. I love the foliage of “Olivia Rose Austin”, divine. Your clematis grows and grows, it is the most fabulous thing about a plant, says Primavera, I love it. Tulips “Exotic Emperor” I love them. What colorful and magnificent tulips: “Persian Pearl” and “Eastern Star”, I love them !! I love the hedge screen with those giant rusty iron sheets, they are wonderful, fantastic, I love them. Happy gardening Cathy and have a nice Sunday. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks you Margarita – there are many tulips in bloom in the garden now, adding lots of colour

      • How lovely your garden must be with so many blooming tulips with their colors: wonderful, splendid, I love tulips. Thanks to you Cathy for showing us the beauties of your garden. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

  10. I featured exotic emperor this week too. I agree there doesn’t seem to be much exotic about it, although it is a very nice tulip.

    • Cathy says:

      It’s certainly not what one would have been expecting if you bought it solely for the name – I think I would expect a parrot tulip in bright colours!

  11. Cathy says:

    Love the new deco for your screen. 😃 I am trying to grow more species tulips as the mice seem to ignore them and Persian Pearl is a favourite. Exotic Emperor is lovely too, but I do wonder how some tulips get their names. I have one called Akebono… he was a famous Japanese sumo wrestler some years ago! LOL!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I find te species tulips come back reliably and do multiply, certainly here, anyhow. Is the Akebono tulip particularly chubby in stature perhaps…?!

  12. Heyjude says:

    Tell me more about the leaves on your screen. Looks like one is the cut-out from the other and I like them. Your clematis is way ahead of any of mine!

    • Cathy says:

      When I saw these rusty ferns on Etsy I knew they would be perfect for the screen, so was well chuffed to have found them. I agree it does initially look as if one is cut out from the other, but if you look again you would see a cut-out would not be in just one piece – but they are cut give that impression. You could get them in 3 different sizes and these were the biggest. This clematis is always particularly leafy, with multiple stems from the base, and is currently well ahead of any of the others.

  13. Pádraig says:

    Do your tulips last from year to year in pots? I’ve just a few and I’m wondering how best to keep them for next year.

    • Cathy says:

      I don’t try to keep them, Padraig – some might choose to feed them and let them die back naturally before lifting and keeping them for another year, but there is no guarantee and I don’t bother

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