It’s Friday evening as I write this. After the warm and sunny Easter break it was back to work on Wednesday, just as the weather was on the turn. The rain was welcomed, replenishing an empty water butt and giving the garden a good soaking. But the gales that are expected in the early hours of tomorrow morning are triggering a sense of foreboding. The new plant supports have been deployed, prioritising the plants of the tall and floppable variety like the alliums, and some of the smaller pots of seedlings have been taken off the swing seat and tucked safely away in the mini greenhouse. Will there be casualties? Will the fences survive another battering? I’ll let you know next Saturday. For now let’s focus on the garden as it was towards the end of the week…
1. As welcome as the rain was on Wednesday it does have a major downside after a dry spell: it tends to encourage the garden riff-raff and hoodlums to visit. A few years ago I planted some Pheasant’s Eye narcissus bulbs. They weren’t very successful. Only one appeared the following spring and that was that, they were never seen again. Last Autumn I decided to give them another go. Five were planted and four came up (the fifth may have been one of the bulbs I sliced through with a spade earlier in the year). The flower bud on one of the plants near the bird feeder was snapped off a few weeks ago (I’m assuming by the squabbling wood pigeons) but the others have started to flower. And oh how beautiful they are. This photo was taken on Tuesday before the rain arrived.
And this photo was taken on Thursday.
Initially I thought the rain had flattened it but upon closer inspection it appears to have been nibbled. This was no accident. This was wanton vandalism. Wool pellets have now been deployed around the remaining two and the trowel has been wielded with murderous intent against the slimy plant assassins of the night. The innocent victim has been plonked in a bud vase.
2. Remember the new seeds I accidentally purchased last week? Well, the Cosmos ‘Fizzy’ and the Pink Dandelion are coming up already.
3. The sweet peas were planted in their final pots. These are a mixture of Heirloom Mixed and King Size Navy Blue. I re-used last year’s wigwam, though I probably should have redone the string as it’s looking a little slack (laziness on my part).
And these are dwarf sweet peas, sown from the left over seeds that came free with the Garden News Magazine last year.
4. The Clematis montana is in full flower and has also managed to escape into the neighbour’s Pyracantha. It has a lovely fragrance that reminds me of egg custards. Why? I asked myself that same question and then it dawned on me. Nutmeg. I always apply a liberal dusting of extra nutmeg to my shop bought egg custards and the flowers of this montana have that same nutmeggy scent.
It’s providing a rather nice backdrop to the deliciously scented Viburnum carlesii ‘Compactum’.
In an attempt to provide some extra support for the clematis and the new Gertrude Jekyll climbing rose (which you can just about glimpse to the right of the Viburnum) I added a few more vine eyes and wires, snapping the odd clematis bud off in the process. Like the narcissus, they were put in a bud vase. Let’s hope the fence is still standing by the end of tomorrow.
5. The rock rose in the front garden is in full flower. This came from a cutting from my mum several years ago. I attempted to take a cutting of it this last year but I’m not convinced it’s going to make it. I’ll have another go this year.
6. And finally… the perennial cornflower. Another plant that originally came from that free garden centre up in Wales. Over the past few years it has gone forth and multiplied. It has to be kept in check but the flowers are so lovely and exotic that I don’t care. The bees love it too.
And they were my Six on Saturday. For more Sixes on Saturday, from all around the world, take a look at the site of the chap who started it all over at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.