Pleasures, Pressures and Puzzles

There are lots of things bringing pleasure in the garden at the moment, not least this twisty-petalled tulip in the purple mix I used in my Monday vase and the raindrops on it after a proper shower of rain, albeit still short, and the first rose I shared yesterday. In truth, I could post numerous photos of the abundance in the garden that brings new pleasures every day, but I will share just a few of them today, mixed in with a hint of pressure and puzzlement.

We open the garden for the National Garden Scheme (NGS) again on the 22nd and 26th June but have a group visit the week before, so there is a little bit of pressure from the reducing number of weeks till then. Fortunately, I feel pretty much on top of preparations at the moment, especially having planted out most of my seedlings and dahlias over the last few days – they will enjoy the current warmth and dampness, but no doubt so will slugs and snails, so I must be vigilant. The cat deterrent has been switched on again too, in an attempt to discourage the local neighbourhood felines from jumping off adjacent walls and fences onto the cutting beds below; although the beds have not yet been netted, a cat caught in the netting could have disastrous consequences for the plants below (and may not do the cat much good either).

Much as I love to admire trays of seedlings in the greenhouse, I have been gawping just as enthusiastically at the newly-planted-out little plants in the cutting beds:

I sowed a batch of Lagurus ovatus (bunny tail grass) back at the end of September, belatedly planting them out in March and making a second sowing, now also planted out, and I was pleasantly surprised to spot this today:

I am also loving how quickly the trees reclothe themselves, embracing the garden in a big green hug:

I mentioned that the Golfer has revamped the water butt next to the new grass border, so painting the new fence and trellis behind it was one of my jobs this week. It certainly seems to open the area up, assisted by the removal of the ivy that had somehow become entrenched in this corner and was challenging a clematis that grows on the existing trellis. Behind this is now an empty area of about one square metre, tucked in the back corner of the woodland edge border and not quite visible on the second photo, the product of removing a dead and now decayed tree stump. An unexpectedly empty space is a bit of puzzle, but with no idea yet with what it could be filled, the emptiness will have to simmer for a while:

The rhododendron next to it is one of a number currently bringing pleasure, especially as their promise of blooms belies the dryness of last summer:

I am loving the blue and white frothiness of bluebells and wild garlic in the woodland, the largely blank woodland floor of a couple of months ago now a distant memory; it doesn’t however, distract from the sorry sight of the Lanky Lodger on the bench, awaiting a decent burial methinks, nor the sheer overpowering of The Fence, which I am still puzzling about but would like to have made a start on disguising before the arrival of our June visitors:

My biggest puzzle, though, is the (ex) Snowdrop Border, with no idea and not even a vague one of its potential new role – the only definite is that it will need to have some year-round interest, as it is in full view of the kitchen windows. There is a constant whirring in the background of my brain as I puzzle out a potential theme or scheme, dipping into books and magazines and television programmes to get some inspiration. Fortunately, there is no pressure to make a decision as the bed is filled with annuals for the summer, but I am hoping for inspiration to strike by autumn so I can begin its makeover – definitely a case of watch this space (but don’t hold your breath)!

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10 Responses to Pleasures, Pressures and Puzzles

  1. Su says:

    What a nice set of puzzles. The possibilities are endless, and annuals will give you time to mull. Perhaps you could put up a suggestion box for your open garden visitors.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, new planting space definitely makes for a nice puzzle! Will certainly give visitors the chance to make suggestions – my inspiration comes from a range of sources. Any suggestions yourself, Su? πŸ˜‰

  2. Heyjude says:

    Having a few empty spaces is a nice conundrum to have!

  3. Great to see all those plant supports in action! Wish I was as organised πŸ˜‰

  4. Cathy says:

    I also noticed those nice sturdy plant supports. πŸ˜‰ They are hard to find here… I need to start making my own I think! May is such a wonderful month in the garden. Your woodland area with blue and white amongst all the lush green is very effective.

    • Cathy says:

      We did find a local metal worker who was able to make some bespoke stakes for us but they have either moved or gone out of business. These round ones with the grid are from

  5. Your enthusiasm and joy in this post are contagious Cathy πŸ˜‚ It’s always amazing how that big green hug seems to come from nowhere. I didn’t sow any bunnies until spring but one or two have self seeded outside and are now in full fluffiness. I’m sure that in true persistent jigsaw style you will eventually crack that puzzle.

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks Anna 😊 A local friend has visited this afternon and it took us 2 hours to get all round the garden!! The bunny fluffiness seems to appear out of nowhere, with nothing but a clump of grass one day and then fluffiness the next! 🀣 I have begun to think of artefacts I would like to find a use for in the ‘new’ border so perhaps that will help me crack this puzzle…

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