Friday, 2 May 2014

End of Month View April 2014

My mood of late as been a bit down, I've been stuck in the doldrums - I found that I had been a wee bit scunnered with the garden.  For days on end I struggled to get myself motivated to do any sort of garden related activity.  So apologies for not being quite up to date with what's been happening in your gardens.  I'm not entirely sure of what caused my mood but knowing I had to put a post together for my End of Month View at some point this week really encouraged me to get out and take stock of what's been happening.  Do join me and other garden bloggers over at The Patient Gardeners Weblog, where I'm sure there's been a lot more activity going on in other garden bloggers' gardens than there has been in mine!

The last couple of days this month was pretty much identical to the end of March - wet, windy and a chill in the air.  Temperatures this April have been way above normal and indeed what would be expected for springtime here in Scotland.  Although we've had rainfall - a couple of days heavy rain here and there certainly does not constitute an East of Scotland Spring!

End of March view

I stated at the end of March that it was my intentions to work on the area that was being returned to lawn.  The area, having been compacted by me walking back and forth for the last couple of months, was somewhat waterlogged and I had to wait for it to dry out thus setting my plans back a few more days.  I was faced with two choices here - first choice drop the level and grass using turves, alternatively work over the remaining soil,  removing as many of the stones had had appeared as I could, level with fresh top soil and seed.  I opted for the later, it seemed that this would be the easiest option, labour wise.  Indeed it was, it took about half a dozen bags of top soil to level it over and raise a few remaining dips.  Grass seed down and the area has been strung and tied with torn plastic bags to discourage the birds, however, my cats were not discouraged and found it an extremely useful spot to hone their hurdling and hunting skills! Hunting each other that is.  Thankfully, the novelty wore off after a few days and not too much damage was caused.  I've remedied the damage they caused and now hopefully the seed can germinate.

End of April view

 As you can see from this month's End of View shot - planting has finished - I'm not entirely happy with the layout.  I feel my inexperience always get the better of me when planting out such a large area.  That can be improved on and will find my end of month shots a great help in the coming months.  Of course,  I will have to source bulbs in the autumn for early colour.  I mentioned last month the Photinia, which was already growing here when work started - it's purpose was, eventually, to disguise the front section of my shed - although it's still not 'doing it' for me.  The Hydrangea paniculata growing next to it has taken an absolute age to put on some growth.  Now that May is here, it's distinct lack of leaf is not the look I am trying to achieve! I might need to find a replacement. The taller shrub is Deutzia Strawberry Fields - a favourite of mine and has transplanted well, whether or not it will flower this year is another matter.

I took a bit of a chance back in March by lifting and moving a couple of Peonies - an early flowering lactiflora and an Itoh hybrid.  An early flowering variety was a good size and was full of buds - it doesn't appear to have flinched.  Time will tell soon enough if those fat buds mature enough to flower, I'm keeping my fingers crossed I get a few flowers.    The Itoh is doing well and was only just putting on growth, it's only got one flower bud though.  I brought with them huge rootballs, this may well be why they are doing so well.

A new plant to my garden and one I've never tried in any garden before is Bergenia - the variety is Overture.  Admittedly it was a bit of an impulse buy - I just wanted something that flowered around now.  I've chosen Geum Bell Bank as a neighbour - the colour of the flowers is picked up in the stems of the Bergenia.  I shall see how this combo works out.


Bergenia Overture
As well as the Peony for early flowers, a plant that had been on my wish list for a heck of a long time but was proving difficult to source Papaper Orientalis Patty's Plum, I couldn't believe my luck when I came across it at a nursery local to me.  I've chosen some Allium Purple Senstation to partner it.

Papaver orientalis Patties Plum, Allium Purple Sensation, Helenium and Daylily foliage 

Further round just out of shot, more Alliums are happily growing - I've left a gap in the planting as I want to buy a new Peony - which one, I'm not quite sure.  The trouble is my local nursery is an award winning Peony grower and there's just too many to choose from!  I will wait until Peony flowering time and make my final selection then. 

Well, that's about all for my End of Month View post this month except to share with you all the good news that as of this afternoon - the grass seed has finally started to germinate!  We shall have grass! Wishing you all a super weekend, with some lovely weather to boot!

 

30 comments:

  1. Hi Angie,

    I think we all get a bit in the dumps, or perhaps just can't be 'bothered' to blog... I've plenty of images left ignored and posts unposted. Ya know. Life happens.

    Good luck with your new grass... Now, there's an idea.... Sorting problems out by sowing fresh seed/levelling lol. I can honestly say I've never even considered it and had no real idea how to go about it. Interesting! Oh dear.

    Lovely Bergenia; a plant that doesn't like me. I've had one probably 5/6 years now, still only leaves and never a bloom. Another to add to the list, along with my affinity for killing Heather and some others I forget now but gave up on years ago.

    Your border really has filled out nicely considering the work you've done! Is there anything planted along the fence? It's taken years for my fence to even remotely look covered with plants... I hadn't realised it would take this long... There are still large bare patches though where I have no climbers at all which need some sort of cover - I'm thinking a nice cotoneaster horizontalis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've a list of plants that just don't like me either Liz, we really must not take it personally ;)
      Odd you should mention the Cotoneaster to cover the fence - I've actually got 2 in pots I bought a couple of weeks ago, an idea sprung to mind and then I decided against it! Your comment might just help me decide what else to do with them now, thanks for that!

      Delete
  2. I think you have planted your garden very nicely. Now it is time to be patient, not changing to much, you will see it will turn out beautifully, but it takes time......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course, I know you are right Janneke. I'm certainly not going to fiddle about with it until the plants are settled and as my garden is growing, so is my patience. Thanks for the lovely comments.

      Delete
  3. Well I think it looks lovely.
    I moved a Patty's Plum this year and it's just started to grow again after a bit of a setback, very difficult to dig up with a root ball because they tend just to break off. Well done with your peonies.
    Brilliant news on the grass too.. look forward to seeing it all next month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jessica - I've never had much success in moving poppies, they start off ok then die. I've often wondered why, maybe I do too much damage to the roots. Thanks for thinking it looks lovely :)

      Delete
  4. I think it looks great, those perennials will all work well together. Sorry you've been feeling down lately. I have been too, a bit. Gardening helps with that, it's my version of therapy. I have an area of grass in front that we sowed with seed back in early March. Most of it has sprouted, but some areas were sown more thickly than others, so it's patchy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know Alison, I think I just took on too much to do this winter, rather than concentrating on a specific area, I decided to make over 3 areas. Still, I'm glad it's done now - hopefully I can enjoy me efforts for the rest of the summer.
      I'm not terribly great in sowing grass seed evenly, it will be interesting to see how mines turns out. I hope yours comes right.

      Delete
  5. In my own case, when I've worked hard on a garden project and don't get the immediate results I was looking for, I can feel deflated for a time but then I realize that all gardens are - and always will be - works in progress and I get on with it. Your efforts and achievements are clear in the contrast between your end of March and end of April views - you should be very proud of yourself! And congratulations on getting the grass to germinate - I'm going to try my hand at restoring the hideous grass in the area surrounding our Magnolia myself but I have to wait out the miserable heatwave we're currently experiencing first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, deflated describes exactly how I feel Kris. One thing we do well here in Scotland is grass! It's always lush and green. I'm imagining it must be quite difficult to have a great lawn in your conditions. Good luck with it when the time comes.

      Delete
  6. Hi Angie, the new area looks great! It will fill in and look better next year, just give it time, and your choice of plants seems all great for this corner. I got Bergenia for the first time in my garden too. Only two of the three plants have flowered, not sure what happened with the third one but it’s got plenty of leaves. Your end of month view is a great way of keeping track of what’s happening in the garden, I tend to use the GBBD for that – and write way too long posts every month :-) But I can’t seem to produce more than 3-4 posts per month so I’ll just have to do it that way – there are so many other things to do than blogging, especially right now. I hope you get some fresh energy to spend in your garden once the weather warms up a bit again, we are promised some nice weather over the week-end, a welcome change for a Bank Holiday - have a good week-end!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Helene. I'm hoping the 3rd of your Bergenia finally produces flowers for you. You often find that there is always one that doesn't quite do what you expect and the majority of the time they come right in the end.
      3 or 4 posts is more than enough I think - I'm not a terribly efficient writer to produce more than that. Wishing you a great holiday weekend too!

      Delete
  7. Lovely update and my apologies for not always commenting on your posts but I read every one and I am sure your garden will glow in the coming months

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda, you are not alone. I read most blogs and don't always comment myself. It's sometime much less time consuming doing just that. Thanks for taking the time to comment this visit. It's much appreciated :)

      Delete
  8. Well done with the grass sprouting, all your hard work is paying dividends, your border looks beautiful. Now you just have to be patient, gardening has certainly taught me patience! Bergenias are good for spreading as ground cover especially in the shade, the main one I have is white and I must take some from where I have it in the front, to my new bit in the woodland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Believe me Pauline, I'm far more patient now than I was when I first started this gardening journey - but I've a long way to go in getting the balance just right.
      A white Bergenia would look great in your woodland - my local nursery has white ones in the woodland at it's entrance.

      Delete
  9. Your border is great, full of nice plants. Of course, gardening is all about delayed gratification. I think gardeners must be the most patient people on the planet. I hate the idea of a ready- made garden with nothing to plan for and dream about.
    Patty's Plum is a lovely colour. I also grow the rather faded pink peony Cedric Morris. Sir Cedric used to say it looked just like dirty knickers so that is hardly a recommendation. But I like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chloris. I'm learning to be patient :) I've read differing reports on the colour of Patty's Plum and apparently it's often rather wishy washy if planted with the wrong neighbours. I've never heard of a peony named after Cedric Morris - I must look it up. Ah, dirty knickers - I'm sure there are many plants that could easily be described as that but doubt it would catch on with the breeders :)

      Delete
  10. Hi Angie, I think your newly planted bed looks fabulous! And what a difference to March. The plants have filled in so nicely and everything comes across so lush and fresh. I love the cardoon! The bergenia variety that you have chosen is very pretty. I always wanted to try out if bergenias are growing here in Southern California, but have not gotten around to acquire some. How lucky that you found the papaver orientalis 'Pattie's Plum' at your local nursery, it is a gorgeous variety. Hope it will flower well for you! Wishing you a nice rest of the weekend!
    Christina

    ReplyDelete
  11. At least with most perennials you can move them if they don;t work as expected. It looks good though to me.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Angie, you are so good, you really think about plant placement and plant partnerships. Love the idea of 'Patty's Plum' picking out the stem colour of the geum.
    The 'Hoehoegrow' philosophy is not quite as thoughtful, and it goes like this:
    see a plant; like it ; buy it; take it home; wander round the garden to try to find it a home.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think, from your photos, that everything is looking lovely, Angie and that you'll have some beautiful flowers to look forward to. I wish my alliums were coming along. I planted several bulbs in the autumn and hardly anything has come up. I can't blame the rabbits (for once) because I'm sure they don't like them.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well my vocabulary has widened today Angie as your post made me look up 'scunnered' so thanks for introducing me to a most descriptive word. Hope that you are soon feeling more positive about what you have been achieving in the garden. We are usually are own harshest critics. 'Patty's Plum' is a great poppy which will give you much pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I too grow "Patty's Plum". It is the most gorgeous colour! I have it in two different areas of the garden - one in the black bed with other dark coloured flowers and leaves, and the other in a "Pink Champagne" bed, with dusky pinks. And yes, scunnered is a great word! Nice to hear these so descriptive Scottish words again - I quite miss them! You have no need to feel scunnered. You have obviously been working hard, and it all seems to be flourishing. Looks like you should have a wonderful display shortly.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think everything is looking wonderful right now, but as we all know, we change things around as they grow because it doesn't work for us the way we wanted. Yours looks good though.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sorry to hear you have had a bit of a down patch Angie, but you have achieved lots despite the motivation gap, and given how thoughtfully you have chosen your plants and combinations, I'm sure you will be chuffed when you start to see it coming together. The hard bit is waiting for plants to mature. If it helps at all I usually freak out a little in the immediate aftermath of planting a new area, convinced I've "got it all wrong". I sometimes find things I want to tweak, and always come up with ideas to improve things, but no outright disasters when I have approached things thoughtfully. Its when I bung things in I regret it and end up moving things... Enjoy your new grass seed germinating, how satisfying it will be to walk on it bare foot this summer knowing you sowed it yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I look forward to seeing which peony you choose. Our may is more like March as well and April was mostly cold....so not much growing here still.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am sure your new border will look great in the summer- you seen to have given it a lot more thought than I did with mine. When we had a new area I just moved some old plants from other parts of the garden and then started adding new ones. Then of course everything needed moving. I don't have an ability to think how things will look until I see them. We planted a photinia to hide some of our garage; the first one snapped in the wind and the second got hit hard by the weather last spring. This year it is still wrapped up! Our neighbour has some really large ones, so anything is possible once they get going.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Well I think it all looks jolly super!
    An array of gorgeousness, thanks for the introduction to Geum Bell Bank. Mr TG is partial to the ol' Geums, I'll see if this one floats his boat.
    Poor you....living so close to an award winning peony grower. I feel your pain :-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think you are being rather hard on yourself - the garden is looking good. I think you should let it develop before you make any further changes. Some plants may take time to settle in, even up to a year or so. Give yourself a break, sit back and enjoy the growth and allow yourself and the garden time to see what's up.

    I like that Bergenia - it holds its flowers up much higher than others I've seen. Good choice.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are appreciated. My blog is currently experiencing issues with some readers reporting problems when posting their comments. Please bear with me whilst I try to rectify the problem.
I have temporarily switched on word verification. I apologise for this, personally, I don't like it either, I am hoping this may help.