This month of April is rushing by without giving me a chance to catch my breath and enjoy all that it has to offer. No sooner does one lot of plants come into flower, than another is pushing forward, trying to be the centre of attention. Trying to appreciate them all is almost impossible.
I’m starting with a small flowered ground cover, Claytonia virginica, which has almost white flowers, striped with pink. It seeds gently around, all mine seem to be in semi shaded borders where they show up nicely. They have spoon shaped succulent leaves and grow from tiny black tubers. They never seem to come up in the same place twice, I’m always pleased to see wherever they decide to put themselves.
This shows the patch of Claytonia in the border behind the scree bed, maybe some could be moved to another semi shaded border.
Looking across the scree with Narcissus Thalia and Prunus Kojo no mai in the background.
Iris japonica is growing opposite the scree, under the dining room window. They like to have the shelter of a wall and seem happy where I’ve put them. The flowers are very small for an iris, from photographs in books and magazines, I was expecting something quite a bit larger, but each stem has about a dozen or more buds on them so they make quite a show, but in a more subtle way.
Up in the veggie garden I have put Chaenomeles Apple Blossom on the fence, this is flowering before the real apple blossom which is covered in buds but they are firmly closed at the moment.
By the garage a Berberis bush is so laden with flowers, this branch is going to need to be propped up! So many bees buzzing round here every time I go to get my car out.
Bergenia Beethoven is by the front door and is in shade all day long, such a useful plant for shady spots. I must move some of them into the woodland where there are some very dark areas.
In a previous post I said that I didn’t think that Cyclamen repandum was seeding around like the other Cyclamen. If you look at the photo on the right, there are flowers at the top which are coming from 2 differnt corms so the ants are doing their job properly, carrying the seed away from the mother plant.
Still flowering in the border by the field is Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn. With not having any real frost this winter, this shrub has been flowering non stop since November – amazing.
Carpeting the floor by some rhododendrons is a plant of Dicentra formosa alba along with pulmonaria.
On the archway into the woodland is Clematis White Moth, this is keeping company with a rambling rose White Swan which flowers for most of the summer.
It won’t be long before Paeony mlokosewitschii is flowering once more. Commonly known as Molly the Witch, she is too beautiful to be considered a witch, her pale yellow flowers look so delicate.
Another beautiful flower for shady woodland is the Erythronium. The pink one is Knightshayes Pink. Knightshayes is the name of a National Trust house fairly near here. They have it under their huge trees forming a carpet where it has seeded about, maybe one day, if I live long enough, I too will have a little carpet! The yellow one is E. Pagoda, I have another pink and a white one, but can’t see them yet!
I’ve found my white one! It is now tucked away under a rhododendron which has grown over it, I think it ought to be moved so that I don’t have to search in future.
A tree paeony which I just bought as “Red”! It won’t be long before it opens into a dark red luscious flower which the bees will enjoy.
Brunnera Jack Frost is looking so pretty at the moment with its lovely forget me not flowers. There are a couple of seedlings nearby so I must pot them up and then I can plant them in the woodland in the autumn.
Forming a nice carpet in the woodland is Anemone nemerosa Robinsoniana, there are also lots of white ones flowering too.
In amongst the primroses and celandines in the woodland are a few bulbs of Tulipa sylvestris. When the sun catches them between the trees, they open wide and could almost be mistaken for a daffodil.
Little and large euphorbias. On the left is Euphorbia melliferra which has the most wonderful honeyed perfume which wafts across the garden making me feel hungry. This makes a shrub about 6ft by 6ft. On the right is the tiny Euphorbia cyparissias which does spread if it is in soil that it likes (well drained), guess who planted it in heavy unimproved clay many years ago, at least where I have put it, it is well behaved! This grows to about 12 inches, spread indefinite!
One of a few Polyanthus which flower on and off all winter, giving us colour in the darkest time of year, here partnered with a purple heuchera. I spy a bit of hairy bittercress right at the front, that must go before I do anything else or it will seed everywhere!
On the alpine scree are a few grape hyacinths Muscari Valerie Finnis. I must split these this year as they are crowding my Pulsatilla, which I couldn’t find, but there it was under all the foliage.
Ranunculus, I can’t decide if they are hardy or not. I thought they weren’t but left them outside by mistake. Then I thought that would be it, gone, but look what has come up once more and a few others are in bud so should be showing flowers in a couple of weeks.
It’s almost bath time again! You may remember last year that I planted an old tin bath with tulips, not any old tin bath, but the one I was washed in when I was a baby! At last, after all these years, it has another life. Last year I just left the tulips in place , but this year I intend to remove them as soon as flowering is over and replace them with something that will last until autumn. I’m full of good intentions!
The cowslips, Primula veris, are forming their drifts once more, spreading by seed and making parts of the garden look very pretty. They shouldn’t really like my garden, I read in the Sunday Telegraph this week, that Alan Titchmarsh says that cowslips like chalk downland!! We have the opposite, heavy, slightly acid clay, in the shade, it’s just as well I hadn’t read the books when my friend gave me three plants to start me off or I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of these lovely plants for about 20 years, getting better and better year on year.
Almost my last Narcissus to flower, N.Pipit and the perfume is absolutely delightful! I love the pale lemon yellow, fading to white, it really is one of the best I think, I must remember to buy more in the autumn.
If each flower turns into a Conference Pear, I will have a lot of pears to eat! I suppose though that they will have to be thinned like apples, to make decent sized pears.
Hooray, it’s forget me not time! Most of the borders have a splash of blue in them, including the woodland. They are such good fillers for any border, shade, sunny, wet or dry, they seem to like it everywhere. The gravel drive is proving to be a wonderful seed bed for them, that’s where I look first for seedlings to spread round the garden.
I can’t finish without mentioning the snakeshead fritillaries which are coming to an end now, I can stop worrying about Mr Pheasant for another year. We are preparing a new bit of the woodland for some more plants, so seed will be sprinkled here when they are ready. I will have to be patient as they will take a few years to reach flowering size. Fritillaria meleagris has kept the interest in the woodland after all the snowdrops faded, along with the narcissus, primroses and cowslips, what will come next I wonder?!
Thanks you Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this meme of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Do pay her a visit to see what is flowering across the world.