Six on Saturday: Distractions

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.

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25 Responses to Six on Saturday: Distractions

  1. I’d completely forgotten about using plastic bottles as collars – and that I’d stashed a pile of bottles to do it with! Thank you for the reminder! All looking lovely. And that path really is a triumph!

    • Cathy says:

      Generally I find them effective for sunflowers, especially in the sunflowers’ early stages, as if the stems are nobbled early on the plant is done for 🙄 I have planted out 5 different types of sunflower and strangely one seems to be proving particularly appealing as 3 plants have been got at despite the collars and a scattering of ‘friendly’ slug pellets…

  2. bcparkison says:

    Things are moving right along and the brick path looks great.

  3. tonytomeo says:

    That is quite a bit of new growth on the fern. I suppose that it is more obvious without the old foliage. When I see some of our ferns doing this, it reminds me that I should just cut them back completely, prior to new growth. I never do though.

  4. Oh that fern is a glorious colour Cathy! Please let me know the name if you ever find that long lost label. Full marks to the Golfer for not only showing diligence but initiative too for making a start on the paths. A job well done. We thought of you both when we visited Arley Hall this week which was our first visit there since we met up last year. Too early for the roses and the double herbaceous border but the Grove was magical especially the rhododendrons and azaleas 😀

    • Cathy says:

      I had another look today and the label wasn’t obvious – all the ferns will have started as 9cm pots from Morrisons, so the lavbel will be right in the centre of the clump I expect. I saw some pictures of Arley Hall recently and remember thinking how different it looked from when we were there – rhododendrons and azaleas en masse must have looked wonderful. I think we ought to make a point of having a garden day out soon too…

  5. Oooooo! Aaaaah! To have a willing Dogsbody in a garden must be a wondrous delight!

    • Cathy says:

      I asked him if he had seen the oohs and aahs, but he tends just to look at the pictures and skim through the text, without looking at the comments – and only out of a sense of duty of course!!

  6. Noelle says:

    Well done Golfer that path is picture perfect. Your garden is a real picture and ready for the visitors to enjoy.

    • Cathy says:

      It’s getting there. Mostly it will be keeping on top of things – and holding back the roses from flowering too soo!! Also the ‘non gardening’ tasks, like my plant list, which need to be made a start on soon

  7. Heyjude says:

    I have often said that I want to borrow the Golfer, now I know he has weeding capabilities to add to his talents I envy you even more!

    • Cathy says:

      Only weeding paths though Jude – he wouldn’t be asked to do the borders, although generally I don’t weed there anyway if the weeds aren’t immediately visible

  8. Pauline says:

    Could your plant in your woodland edge border be a Martagon lily, it looks very like mine? The fern is a gorgeous colour, I have one similar but it changes to green later, does yours?

    • Cathy says:

      That was something I considered too but I haven’t planted any for many years and I don’t recall planting any here – it’s quite exciting waiting to see what it is!

  9. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Your garden is lovely and you put so much work and thought into it (helped by the dogsbody of course). I hope the open day goes well.

  10. Rosie Amber says:

    That Tulip is stunning.

  11. Cathy says:

    I have never seen a fern emerge in that colour… very striking. And that tulip is a gorgeous colour too. The Golfer has done a great job with the path. 👍 Weeding is tedious, but so rewarding when you look at the finished result. 😃

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – and the Golfer is quite thorough with the paths, more so than I would be I think! The fern will turn green in due course

  12. Su says:

    Ooh and Aaah! The Golfer is a gem!

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