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 May. And 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!