Garden blogger’s bloom day – May 2012


It’s just as well I took the photographs for this post yesterday, as the weather is letting us down (again). During the night we had thunder and what appeared to be hail; now we have torrential rain. Oh, and sleet. In MayAnd I planted things out yesterday evening, and moved my pots of alliums into position. Hm.

Growing alliums in this garden is heartbreaking. I love alliums; I grew all sorts of interesting ones in my last garden. I’ve planted all sorts of interesting ones here. Where they go is beyond me (presumably they rot; I can’t think why…). So I’m trying pots this year, just with some basic alliums I found in a ‘reduced bulbs’ box. If they work, I’ll get some others. We shall see. Their leaves have been damaged by the cold, but the flowers are fine. So far.

The semi-wild flowers in the garden are suffering too. The bluebells are late but they are finally here,

and I’m pleased that we gathered up a load of self-seeded forget-me-nots and put them in one place. I now have a drift of blue beneath one of the ash trees.

But yesterday was lovely if a little chilly and, cold weather or not, the garden has decided it can’t wait any longer. One good day, and it moves on at breakneck speed. Welsh poppies spring into life, growing so fast I swear you’d see their stems lengthening if you stood still for ten minutes.

I’ve been trying to contain them a little by removing seed capsules as soon as the petals fall, and it does seem to be working – or maybe their reduced numbers are another consequence of the mad weather. It might appear to be a little odd, restricting something so beautiful, but they are a bit of a pest round here, coming up everywhere. I suppose I could look on it as some sort of compensation for the disappearing alliums.

One breath of sun, and the apple trees start to go mad too. Look, blue sky!

They are now in full blossom. Or were until the sleet / hail, which might mean damage and a reduced crop, but I wouldn’t mind that – normally I have more than enough. Lots more than enough. Masses more than enough.

I was amazed to see that the aquilegias had begun to flower. Yes, they’re later than last year, but I’d assumed the weather would just be too cold. But no: when you gotta flower, you gotta flower:

And they don’t even seem to be shivering (unlike me).

Quite a few of my hardy geraniums have started as well. No surprises there; I suspect that they’d get cracking whatever the weather conditions. When I think back to my last garden – um, ten years ago now – I am amazed at how many different hardy geraniums I had managed to cram in. But there is one that haunts me. I tried to move it but, what with one thing and another, it died. It was a delicate one, a lovely little thing, and it grew in cracks in my paths. I even kept a proper planting record in my old garden, like a proper gardener. So I got it out, unfolded  the plan, spread out the lists – and I’d not recorded the name. I knew exactly where it was, too. Grr.

Of course, other hardy geraniums are- well, hardier. No messing with the G. renardii:

or G. phaeum ‘The Widow‘:

(At least I was told it was The Widow, but it’s brighter than I expected. Admittedly the sun is shining through it here and anything would look bright in those circumstances, but it does seem to be paler than I remember The Widow being.)

And what’s true of those two is especially true of the G. macrorrhizum album.

No sign of weakness there. I managed to give away eighteen – eighteen! – plants last year, and you wouldn’t think I’d offloaded any. This year I am going to ‘lop it till it squeaks’, to use my mother’s direct phrase when threatening a plant (it worked, generally) and see if I can at least control the spread. I don’t want to get rid of it – in the way you wouldn’t want to actually murder a disruptive teenager – but I do want to control its exhuberance a little. Stop it doing the G. mac equivalent of playing computer games all night and leaving socks on the kitchen table.

And here’s a plant which flowers its socks off most of the year. It stays roughly where it’s supposed to, it has spread just the right amount. Are you listening, G mac?

My chamomile daisy, Anthemis cupiana – er, I think; do feel free to correct me. I really, really, really must keep better records…

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this meme, as always!


20 Comments Add yours

  1. Christina says:

    Very nice indeed; happy GBBD, may the sun shine and the sky be blue at least until the end of the month for you. Christina

    1. kate says:

      Oh, please! And happy GBBD to you too!

  2. Dobby says:

    I have no clue why, but some of my plants seem to be ahead of you. My bluebells have been out for a couple of weeks as have my aquilegias. Yes, everything seems to have gone mad this last week. Including the weeds! Your flowers look fab though. Yes, more sun please.

    1. kate says:

      Maybe they’re getting reflected heat from your wall? I think I’m probably catching up though… well, until tomorrow, which is supposed to be vile.

  3. Crystal says:

    I was going to try some alliums but didn’t get round to it. They are definitely on my wish list to plant this year for next year’s display.
    My Aquilegia must be feeling a bit nesh. They are refusing to flower until it gets a bit warmer. Can’t say I blame them.

    1. kate says:

      I’m with your aquilegias – I’m certainly feeling a bit nesh!

  4. elaine says:

    My alliums haven’t opened yet but I love to see them popping up inbetween everything else. I think the forget-me-nots have been later this year but I think they unify the borders – your garden is looking great despite the weather.

    1. kate says:

      I do wish I could get alliums to flower in the borders reliably, you’re so right about the way they pop up; it’s so effective. BUt I get a good show one year and then zilch. Diddley squat. Nowt. Pots it is…

  5. paulinemulligan says:

    My Alliums are a disapointment too this year and yes, our bluebells are later than usual, just getting into their stride now. You have a lovely selection of flowers and I wish you lots more blue sky!

    1. kate says:

      I wish all of us more blue sky, milder winds and NO HAIL!

      (I was talking to a gardener from round here, and he said he’d had a small drift of hail yesterday – insane)

  6. hillwards says:

    Wow – sleet?! We didn’t even see a spot of rain yesterday, fortuitously, but the wind is still quite lively.
    I’ve planted alliums this autumn for the first time, we have lots of leaves but no sign of even a bud yet. I love your Welsh poppies too – funnily enough we don’t have a single one, it’s on my list to rectify! I really love the blue Meconopsis, wonder whether they would make it here…
    Hope the weather picks up for you!

    1. kate says:

      I’m not speaking to you any more, no spots of rain indeed. Mind you according to Derek, BBC Wales’ Weather God, we’re all in for it. Again.

      I’ve been wondering about meconopsis too… should work for us here in Wales, don’t you think?

      1. hillwards says:

        *looks slightly abashed* Sorry. Our little corner does seem to get away with the weather a bit some of the time.
        And yes, I think the blue meconopsis could have a fair chance for us. Certainly worth a punt. Though I think I have bought rather enough plants for the minute!

        1. kate says:

          Humpf. I just get it straight off the Irish Sea and slap into the side of the greenhouse. But I do have a sort of sheltered-ish bit, shady, bottom garden, which might do for meconopsis…. I didn’t go mad at Malvern, so…

  7. croftgarden says:

    Lovely flowers – I will eventually contribute to bloom day, weather permitting! Until then I’ll just enjoy your garden.

    1. kate says:

      Thanks – I keep forgetting about Bloom Day, but it’s a good exercise for making you really look, especially when you’re convinced there’s not much in flower (that would be me in autumn). I post wildflowers then, but this year I’m hoping for some more domesticated plants too…

  8. wellywoman says:

    My alliums are just about to open. I seem to have the same problem with them not coming back this year. Although I wondered whether it was because we had such a dry autumn that they didn’t get enough moisture to prepare for the next year. Who knows?It has been a very topsy turvy spring with some flowers blooming early with the warm March and then others being held back with the cold spell. No geraniums flowering here yet.

    1. kate says:

      It is insane, this year, isn’t it? Everyone I know is reporting different strange behaviour from their gardens. My irises are weird, for instance: there’s a patch in the middle of the bed which has no flowers stems at all, for instance. The rhizomes look healthy; they’re in as much sun as the others. Maybe that bit got too wet? Maybe it got chilled? Who knows…

  9. Lyn says:

    Thanks for giving me my morning chuckle, Kate. The Bluebells with the Forget-me-nots look lovely. Would you believe I have both these in my front garden and have never put them together? Seems obvious now. I’m sorry your weather has been so awful, hope it’s blue skies from now on.

    1. kate says:

      I can’t claim credit for the blue combo, the garden did it all by itself – well, I suppose I did group the forget-me-nots in that place, but I must, in all honesty, admit that I’d forgotten that some bluebells usually came up there. I’m now wondering if I can move a few more!

      Sky grey. But it’s not raining…

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.