Saturday has come round again very quickly and it is supposed to be really hot this weekend, not yet though. Last Saturday saw me driving up the motorway to my daughter and family in Bristol, the first time I have been there for 18 months- it was wonderful seeing everyone again after such a long time apart, lots of hugs all round. While I was away, I’m sure the weeds grew another 6 inches, so that is mostly what I have been tackling this week. My 6 for this week are as follows.
No 1 Holly Blue Butterfly
This tiny Holly Blue butterfly was enjoying itself on the Cotoneaster horizontalis by the kitchen window.
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Tagged June flowers
It was time to cut the grass the other day, leaving the circular lawn to be a flowery meadow once more for a few months. Asking Derek, the gardener, to cut twice round the edge of the lawn and then just once up the centre towards the pond area, leaves the rest to grow lots of small flowers before the grass gets too long to hide them.
After all the cold, wet weather that we have been having recently, the last week or so with rising temperatures and hot sunshine has made such a difference in the garden. Buds that have been tighly shut and waiting patiently for some warmer weather are now starting to open and the garden is looking colourful once more.
Come for a wander with me, starting on the front drive, English Iris, Iris latifolia, are expanding into the gravel drive. I must try and remember to move some of them once flowering is over.
The weather this week has gone from freezing hailstones on Monday to boiling hot sunshine by Friday. The sunshine is still very hot today and is forecast to continue for some time. I feel the garden is about a month behind what it usually is, maybe now it will catch up. In the meantime here are my six for this Saturday.
No 1. Viburnum plicatum Mariesii.
Beautiful shrub at this time of year with its horizontal branches and lacecap flowers.
My hostas have been popping up in my borders recently and were looking really good, no holes from slugs or snails to mar their beauty, that is , until yesterday. The sun was actually shining for a while, so there I was wandering round the garden, taking photos of my candelabra primulas with a view to another post, all of a sudden it went very dark and within seconds there was a whiteout, I was being attacked by torrential hailstones! I hastily stepped into my border and sheltered under one of my trees, but the hailstones still managed to find me. The hail lasted for a good 5 minutes if not longer, before I was able to make a dash for the house.
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It’s Rhododendron time once more, mine are a bit late this year, due no doubt to our very cold spell in April and continuing this month. Last year at this time all the rhododendrons were flowering and all the roses were out too, the roses are still in tight bud, very sensible! Last weekend we had such torrential rain, parts of the garden were flooded that had never flooded before in the 30 yrs we have been here. In the past the patio has only flooded to half way towards the house, but last Sunday the water was lapping at the step to the back door, thank goodness it stopped in time and has all drained away now!
Here are my 6 for this week.
Azalea Persil is now in full flower in the bed round the dead oak, perfuming the air around her.
Anyone for a paddle? No, not at the seaside but in my flooded garden. The grass is totally waterlogged, the paths are running as though they are a stream, the patio is underwater and I think I need an ark before I float away! The rain has been non stop for many nights now and during the day too, they say be careful what you wish for, there I was in April hoping for rain every day and now it has come, there is far too much of it!
The path which leads from the lawn to the shed by the field is underwater with it running madly down the slope.
At this time of year, early spring flowers are fading and the next wave is getting ready to take over so there are lots of “firsts ” to choose from this time. Lots of buds are just waiting to burst forth, I think they are waiting for our weather to warm up a bit as last month was very cold indeed. However my first photo is of my last Narcissus to flower.
My last Narcissus to flower is Narcissus Actaea, a really beautiful flower with a perfume to match. I first met this variety at Llanhydrock House in Cornwall where they have a bank covered with hundreds, if not thousands of them. The perfume was almost overwhelming! I don’t have quite as many but soon my clumps will need splitting, so I’m well on my way,
Buds start showing on Peony mlokosewitschii during April and I then hold my breath hoping that the weather will be kind to Molly when she flowers and that she won’t be battered by rain or wind. I felt for her on Bank Holiday Monday as she started opening, we had torrential rain, gale force winds and hail stones, was she bothered…no not at all, she took it all in her stride!
Tight buds show promise of the delights to come.
While on my morning wander, I couldn’t help but notice all the different shades of green that are in the garden and the countyside at the moment. In spite of not having any rain during April until yesterday and today, there are so many new leaves on the trees and shrubs, they are putting out their new leaves even though we have had frost every night so far this month and for most of the month have had a freezing cold wind each day too. What a strange month it has been, flowers have come and gone but seem to have lasted much longer in the cold weather . I have just taken a few long views to show all the different colours of foliage.
Looking across the rose garden with the box balls and looking out to the wider coutryside, I was amazed at all the different greens, golds and purple, you wouldn’t think we have had a drought!