Sunday, 29 May 2011

Spring into Summer

The garden is starting to look very summery. The geraniums are looking good, the roses are coming out and the bird babies are visiting the garden.

Mother feeding baby Great Tit. I took this through the window

The view from the kitchen door

Digitalis purpurea, Digitalis purpurea Alba and Geranium psilostemon next to Cotoneaster franchetti
Unknown Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)
A couple of years ago a Snapdragon appeared in the garden. Although I wasn't keen on the colour, I left it to grow. It re-appeared the following year when I pulled it out. I bought the plant pictured above from a farmers market last year. Despite the winter it is thriving. I have tried to grow snapdragons from seed sown in the spring but didn't have much success. I think I will try again but sow them later in the year to over-winter.

Rosa glauca
This is a favourite rose. I first saw it when I was researching plants for a drought tolerant garden I was working on. I loved the blue grey foliage, the small pink flowers and the rose hips in autumn and winter.
 Rosa glauca hips

I have been enjoying the TV coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show this week. My favourite show gardens were the Laurent-Perrier garden by Luciano Giubbilei and The Daily Telegraph garden by Cleve West. I loved the planting in both of these gardens.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

This week in the garden

The garden has a look of early summer, I keep having to remind myself it is still only May.

A shower of rain overnight has made the Alchemilla look very pretty. The raindrops resemble little glass beads.

Alchemilla mollis

I am fond of Hardy geraniums (Cranesbills) and so are the bees. The blue flowers look good with the Alchemilla, and most have nice leaves.

Geranium possibly magnificum. 
Geranium, possibly 'Johnsons Blue'

I recently bought this rose bowl from a charity shop. It has a wire top to hold up the flowers. Its very pretty but it has occurred to me that it is best for a table centre rather than my window sill.
Rosa 'Aloha' and Alchemilla mollis.
I always have a small vase for any bits and pieces. In the photograph, there is pink 'Pimpernella' which I trod on and broke in the garden, a Sweet William (Dianthus) which broke from a bunch bought for me, and tiny alchemilla stems from those in the rose bowl above. The foliage is from Jaminum nudiflorum, it has been in the vase for weeks.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Rain at last

Since I last blogged we have had rain, for a couple of nights it was very heavy so the garden has had a good drink. It has also been slightly cooler, more like May should be.

The garden is still showing the effects of the mad weather over the past few weeks. The rose 'Gertrude Jekyll' is already in flower and the foxgloves are starting to open but they are half the height they should be. The Lupin 'Gallery Rose' is also starting to flower.

On my kitchen windowsill is a small jug bought yesterday from a charity shop. I've put in some 'Gertrude Jekyll' roses and Aquilegias with some foliage.

'Gertrude Jekyll' Roses with Aquilegias

I've also treated myself to some 'Sarah Bernhardt' peonies. I have recently planted some of these lovely flowers but I think it will be a year or two before I see any blooms.

'Sarah Bernhardt' Peonies

Another plant that has required patience is Ilex aquifolium  'J C van Tol'. This is a holly that is almost spine free. I planted it two years ago and it is in flower for the first time. Hopefully, there will be berries later in the year.

Ilex aquifolium  'J C van Tol'

I have been planting more seedlings for cut flowers. This is a wigwam made from the straight pieces that also grow amongst the contorted stems of Corylus contorta, the Corkscrew Hazel. These straight stems used to really annoy me but now I am happy to have them as they are so useful. I've wrapped string around the poles and planted sweet peas. 

Wigwam made from Hazel

Monday, 2 May 2011

May Day in the garden

The early hardy geraniums such as g. sylvaticum 'Mayflower', g. sylvaticum alba and g. macrorrhizum are in flower.

The Rowan is in full flower. By the end of August these will be berries, a favourite of the Blackbirds.

I bought this tree peony 'Cardinal Vaughan' two years ago. This year, for the first time, it has one flower. The petals look like crumpled silk. I can't wait until it opens.
These are flowers I picked from the garden a week ago, they still look good.