Tuesday, 31 May 2016

End of Month View May 2016

Having spent a glorious long weekend in the garden I am not feeling guilty one single bit for taking time out to join Helen and other garden bloggers over at the Patient Gardener to post my End of Month View.

Pottering around in the garden this weekend I have been taking stock, particularly in the largest of the two borders I am following this year.  This bed gets far more sun than I had realised before.  This just goes to show that I haven't been paying too much attention to this bed.  My planting really does reflect this. There are at least 37 different plants in here, not counting spring bulbs and Hellebores she declares embarrassingly.  While some plants have been deliberately placed others have I suppose you could say have just been plonked in here.  Is it any wonder I am unhappy with it all?  It's just all too mish mash.  Herein lies my dilemma!  Just what to get rid off?

End of May 2016

Anemone trulifolia 
I think the way forward with this area is to work on repeating more of individual plants.  One such plant I want more off is the very gorgeous Anemone trulifolia, I like it paired with the yellow Lamium. Having made my mind up about this the other day I have removed the clump of bulbs that have come up blind this last two year and the over sized (for this particular spot) daffodils.  I have purchased new plants but want to make sure they flower with pale blue blooms rather than white before I get them in the ground.  Thus far 2 out of 5 pots have bloomed blue, so all good there.  This little anemone bloomed for most of the summer last year so worth adding more since if obviously is happy where it is planted.

Pulmonaria with Bergenia and Epimedium
Towards the Cotinus (I am not mentioning it's lack of foliage again this month) a mass of foliage with some Solomon's Seal and Pulmonaria that are blooming righ now.  Later the Hostas in here will take over when the others have had a cut back.  Next to bloom here will be the Heuchera, Camassi and Polemonium.  The Pulmonaria is another I've decided to get rid of.  It is in dire need of being chopped back too but the bees are still buzzing around it and I haven't the heart to do that quite yet.  I need though to decide whether or not to plant some more Bergenia (too the left) or Epimedium (too the right) in it's place.  The Epimedium I suspect will win the day purely because it shouldn't grow as tall as the Bergenia and it won't smother the blue Corydalis.

Beneath the arch May 2016
As planned I will use these months wisely to deliberate over just which plants are keepers and which will be issued their marching orders.

From the back step May 2016
Through the arch, the Enkianthus bed certainly has filled out.  Like the bed above it needs a bit of reorganisation.  I am trying my damnedest to let the plants do their own thing this year.  Regular readers will know just how hard I am finding it.  In the past I've been extremely guilty of ripping out plants in their prime and then having to molly coddle them in pots until they make a recovery.  I am trying to lighten my load not add to it so have decided that they are better off in the ground even if they are a bit cramped.

I have taken this shot at a slightly different angle, you can catch my gist better from this spot.  The candelabra Primula (P. japonica Miller's Crimson) are just coming into bloom as is Corydalis Heavenly Blue.  The Enkianthus is sporadically producing blooms at the moment.  I wonder if the late frost done more damage than I thought it had.  I can't say I have noticed previously that late frosts hamper this shrub from blooming.
The Gillentia trifoliata never did reappear.  On checking around in the soil there is no sign of it what so ever, not even a hint of a root ball.  I have no idea just what I did wrong, it seemed like the perfect spot for it.  I have already purchased replacements for it's spot.  I am hoping they are less fussy. Trollius x cultorum New Moon is more compact than the other taller varieties I grow here.  I hope they like their new home.

Corydalis Heavenly Blue and Trollius x cultorum New Moon
Lastly, a close up off the candelabra Primula.  Really just to remind me that I could do with finding something to grow in front of these to distract they eye when they go over.

Thanks for reading.  I hope your week is a good one.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

A belated Garden Bloggers Bloom Day May 2016

I am at sixes and sevens right now.  My work hours have changed and not only is my body trying to adjust but I swear my mind if suffering too.  I am constantly feeling tired and fed up right now.  I hope that once I get myself into a new routine I should begin to feel more positive.  I am thankful though that I still have a job so shouldn't grumble.  On the up side, I am reconnecting with colleagues I haven't seen for more than 20 years, it's been nice to hear how they've all been and what's been going on in their lives.  I have barely switched on the laptop and definitely not read any blogs for 2 weeks now. Apologies for missing all the goings on from your gardens.  

They say April showers bring May flowers and I think my garden reflects this.  Just not in the way this popular proverb means.  There is not much in the way of blooms right now.  Lack of rain in April and thus far into May sees the garden kind of stuck in limbo.  I could produce a veritable A to Z of plants on the cusp of blooming.  Okay, okay that may be a slight exaggeration on my part and I could more realistically produce quite an extensive list from Allium through to Viburnum.  Abies even if you count the new cones forming on the Korean fir.

Take a donder around the garden with me if you will.  My favourite in the garden right now is the star Magnolia blooming in the side garden.  Sandwiched between two Acers, I can see this from the window when I am standing at the kitchen sink.  Dicentra King of Hearts and the Lamprocapnos spectabalis, that was once a Dicentra pick up the tone of the new Acer foliage.  As does Lamium orvala.

The woodland to is quite a pretty sight just now.  The Laburnum, now in it's third year in my garden, looks set to produce a mass of flowers for the first time.  

The Amelanchier, A. alnifolia Obelisk, is much more suited to it's spot than the hardy Fuchsia that was growing here before.  This spot in the garden has proved awkward to fill.  I think this is my 4th or 5th attempt at trying to get it right.  
Very late but pretty nonetheless, Narcissus Baby Moon, is just coming into bloom in the summer border.

Also in the summer border Muscari armeniacum Peppermint blooms beneath Choisya White Dazzler.

I don't mind the lone bloom on Cornus rutgersensis Ruth Ellen.  I had read it may take a while to produce lots of blooms.

Clematis Pixie smells gorgeous, when it's warm enough that is.  She's been a bit neglected this past year since I brought her pot down nearer the house.  I've promised her a new support and some pampering this year.

Speaking of scent, Skimmia japonica Snow White, blooms happily in it's shady corner.  I've reached the conclusion that scented blooms are wasted here at this time of the year.  

Whilst colour in the back garden may be quite subdued right now, it's quite a different matter out in the front garden.  Colour coming predominantly from the Euphorbias.  I've have a renewed interest in Euphorbia since discovering they seem to grow well in the front garden.  This confirms the suspicions I had previously regarding the fact that they did not appreciate the richer more moist soil round in the back garden.  Once Cotinus Grace is large enough she should make the perfect backdrop for this striking plant.

Euphorbia polychroma or should that be E. epithymoides, from what I can gather it is listed under both names, previously failed in the back garden.  A single plant I managed to rescue has taken a year or two to recover but is now looking great.  Albeit a small single specimen.

Seeing how well it was doing I went shopping for some more to add to the front of the border in the front garden.  In true Angie style that was not what I came home with.  I instantly fell for this wee beauty.  I just couldn't resist.  I planted 3 in a row to edge the path under the arch.  The tones of the foliage should add more interest in summer.

A big thanks to Frances @ Island Threads for the reintroduction.  Another plant I am enjoying in the front garden right now comes by way of another garden blogger.  Annette up there in her Aberdeen Garden.  This acid yellow Potentilla loves the sunny aspect out there.

Lastly, just coming into bloom Verbascum Clementine.  A little too close for comfort to the Euphorbia though.  I moved it further away last autumn but obviously not quite far enough.  They can fight it out for space for the time being.

Apologies to Carol over at May Dream Gardens for the delay in joining in this month.  I'm off now to see what's happening at yours!

Monday, 2 May 2016

End of Month View April 2016

End of March 2016
It's time to link in with Helen and other garden bloggers over at The Patient Gardener. What a rough couple of days we had this week but those heavy rain, sleet and snow showers have given the plants a good drink and everything is looking rather lush right now.  I deliberately avert my eyes from the gaping hole back right of this border.  I suggest you do the same. That Cotinus will leaf out eventually.  So just what has changed since last month?  Nothing major.  I got the whole bed mulched but before that I took the opportunity to juggle around with a couple of Hellebores, it's not quite so obvious from the picture but they appear more balanced now. The evergreen ferns have had their annual chop and  I have removed a couple of the lower branches from the Cotinus.  Something I immediately regretted - it looks rather odd now.  Still, what's done's done!                                            

Admittedly there are a few colour clashes going on here at the moment.  One particular combo I am very pleased with though is the Bergenia Overture and Heuchera Binoche.  The purple leafed Corydalis picks up these tones too.  I do however need to swap out the pale blue Pulmonaria and the orange flowering Epimedium.  I can't remember this causing me much concern last year.  My attention must have been elsewhere.  I will swap the E.Ellen Willmott with E.rubra growing down in the side garden.  The Bergenia is one of those plants that I didn't particularly like but I have to admit like many other plants I now grow, it has grown on me and am glad I added it to the garden.  The bees are grateful for it too.  The drumstick Primula, P. denticulata Cashmeriana add a bit of colour near the back.  I grow these plants at the rear of the borders mainly because I find it helps hide those huge leaves later in the year.  This in my opinion is the only fault of this otherwise useful plant.

At the opposite end there is a bit too much white.  I recently bought some red flowered Trillium, Trillium erectum to be precise to underplant beneath the Hydrangea paniculata - another slow starter here.  I thought the red tones of it's blooms would balance out with the Heuchera and Bergenia.  Alas, since getting the pots home and doing a bit of research on this particular Trillium I have discovered that they are rather smelly things.  Since the spot they were meant for is near the arch I am now in two minds as to whether or not to plant them there.  I can't detect any scent from the foliage at the moment so I am presuming that it's the flowers that whiff.  I will keep them in their pots meantime and find out just how smelly they actually are.  Hostas and Solomans Seal are just coming into growth and some height here will come by way of the Polemonium in a few weeks time.    

End of March 2016
Through the arch everything is filling out just nicely.  Again, the plants have really benefited from the rain.  The hybrid cowslips are delightful, their sunset shades are just something a bit different and are now bulking up quite nicely.  The do clash a bit too with the other Bergenia here so that will be moved to replace the pale blue Pulmonaria.  I mentioned last month that I was concerned by the absence of the Gillenia trifoliate I planted here last year.  It has still not shown face.  I removed the box ball and brought the Liriope from the front garden where quite frankly it was looking some what peely wally (a scot's term for pale). Already it seems to be liking it's new home and putting on some new growth.  The Epimediums I thought I had lost have began to put out some new growth.  Of the three pots of E. Alabaster I planted last year only one appeared to have survived.  I blamed my watering or lack thereof for their demise.  The gap there near the front of the border should now fill up pretty quickly.  Just coming into bloom on the trellising is Clematis macropetala. Although planted on the opposite side of the trellis it naturally scrambles through it to this side.  The wind funneling up the side path dictactes it's growth - who am I to argue?  

The Camellia in the back corner has as you may remember taken a fair beating from to the cats trying to get to the fresh buds of the Actinidia kolomikta growing against the trellis.  The growth was very floppy - I have never notice a Camellia grow in this manner before.  I can only presume the cats have caused the problem.  Finding a solution was praying on my mind, a lot.  I don't want to loose the Camellia.  The other night lying in bed I conjured up a solution.  I had an old piece of metal trellising that I could utilise to give the Camellia the support it obviously need.  What a job I had shuffling my backside in there.  Now that the cats have lots interest in the Actinidia I am hoping it will recover.  If not I will need to seriously consider removing the Actinidia.

Without the trellis on Saturday
With the trellis on Sunday
Camellia japonica Elegans on support
Lastly, I have discovered some seedlings in this area and am hoping one of you very knowledgeable people can help me identify them.  Friend of Foe?  Anyone recognise them or is it a bit too soon to tell?  Thanks for reading.

unknown seedlings