With so much going on in the garden at this particularly fecund time of year it is very easy to get distracted and diverted to another task, tying in wayward stems, checking progress or otherwise being reminded of things other than the task in hand that want doing – but overall it has been a more than satisfactorily productive time recently, aided by the weather which has made any task more pleasurable. Spotting new things emerging or blooming results in further distractions, like admiring the tulip above, T ‘Victoria’s Secret’. I planted some of these in one of the borders some years ago and they have regularly returned since then, so for this season I splashed out on a further 50 of them which are distributed around different borders, where their crinkly buds are now beginning to open.
During the week, I noted in my 5 year garden diary that climbing rose ‘Mme Alfred Carriere’ had been the first rose to open one of these preceding years, and realised that I hadn’t checked on her this year (too busy looking down at burgeoning borders than up at clambering roses like this one); sure enough, there were a number of blooms which we can be sure were flowering before Wordless Wednesday’s ‘Munstead Wood’, which has now been summarily knocked off the top spot of First Flowerer. As always, Madame is difficult to photograph, due to her clambering habits:
Also discovered between tasks was this emerging plant in the woodland edge border, not seen before. There is a possibility it might be Fritillaria persica ‘Ivory Bells’, a bulb I bought last season but which didn’t make itself known then, so I shall be watching the developing buds with great interest. I removed 2 lily beetles from the plant today, critters known to like fritillaries as well as lilies, so that adds weight to the identification.
One task completed without distraction or diversion was netting the cutting beds, carried out now that the beds are fully planted out other than a couple of spaces reserved for a delayed sowing of rudbeckia. It is such a satisfying moment getting to this point and knowing that, subject to marauding slugs, snails and cats, the beds will be a mass of colour in little over a month (the bottle collars are protecting sunflower seedlings and the handful of larger plants are overwintered antirrhinum and scabious):
For the last couple of years I have made the effort to trim back the old fronds of ferns, and the effort is always so very much worth it, to see the beautifully architectural new fronds emerging. Not all these new fronds are the fresh green we often expect, and this fern with a long-hidden label is a gorgeous russet colour (the luxurious foliage behind it on the left is that of colchicum, still looking healthy because it hasn’t been battened down by a lot of rain):
When we open the garden all the helpers have name labels, with mine also informing visitors that I am the Gardener and the Golfer’s that he is the Dogsbody, and true to form he is very diligent when asked to do specific tasks and especially in the lead-up to the openings. However, he took it upon himself to make a start on weeding the paths, so I must share with you how good a job he makes of it – and of course the difference it makes. We have used various materials for our paths, but this section certainly requires the most intensive work so do feel free to ‘ooh and ah’ at the result. The metal birds in the forefront of the picture had been perched on a nearby wall but the wooden base they were attached to disintegrated and they fell off, adding another job to the Golfer’s list.
Jon the Propagator kindly hosts this Saturday meme, giving us the opportunity to share six things from our gardens every Saturday, so do consider popping over to his blog to see more sixes.