Braving the Rain in May.

Having almost non stop rain for a month, with a gale or two thrown in, the flowers are still managing to put on a colourful display. The garden is absolutely sodden so there isn’t much that can be done at the moment, trying to garden when you are paddling causes more damage to the structure of the soil so best to retreat into the green house and prick out all the primula seedlings that are ready. Have still managed to take some photos each time  the rain stopped, the first is of one of our Pulsatillas, which I think is a lot later than last year, probably due to the cold weather.

Pulsatilla Rubra

Apple blossom

The Apple blossom is out on the cordon eating apples that we have, managed to get a reasonable number of apples last year, so hoping for a repeat performance this year.

C.Apple Blossom

Also up in the fruit and veg area is a Chaenomeles “Apple Blossom”, planted to try and entice the bees to come and pollinate all the fruit bushes and trees. Bees have been in short supply these past few weeks due to the cold and wet, so I hope we get our fruit in the autumn.

E. Knighthayes Pink

Enjoying life among the cowslips is Erythronium Knightshayes Pink, this was a new plant last year, seems to have settled in nicely.

E. Pixie

Another plant ejoying the company of the cowslips is Epimedium “Pixie”. I think these look more like jesters hats than pixies, but who cares, they make me laugh each time I see them!

Tree Peony

The flowers of this tree peony have stood up well to all the wind and rain, the flowers are huge, at least 8 inches across.


English bluebells, Hyacinthoides non scripta, have made themselves at home in this shady corner, along with the cowslips. I spread the seed around here each year and they are now increasing nicely.

N.Pheasant's Eye

Our last Narcissus to flower each year is Pheasant’s Eye, such a delicious perfume, it carries right across the garden. This narcissus seems to be doing well now, so must buy more in the autumn.

Dwarf Iris

A dwarf iris, given to me by a friend, so no name I’m afraid, seems very happy growing on the alpine scree, this has the sharp drainage that it requires.

Bumble bee

We have a bumble bee ! Havn’t seen one for weeks with all the rain and cold wind, the poor bees must have been having a hard time of it lately.


Paeonia mlokosewitschii has the most beautiful flowers in a delicate pale butter  yellow, to read a post dedicated to them, click here.

Molly the witch

We have sunshine, fantastic! All the flowers are now open on P. mlokosewitschii and doesn’t she look beautiful, have never known the flowers to last this long before.


Popping up all over the garden are the lovely forget-me-nots, a sea of blue wherever you look, they form a linking theme around the garden.

White forget -me-not

This year, just one plant has decided to be white!


All down the front border, the bee and butterfly border, the Camassias are flowering, offering pollen and nectar to any passing bee. More blue, memo to self, plant more yellow and white!


The huge Bramley apple tree is covered in blossom, just think of all those apples to make into crumbles next autumn and winter!!


A damselfly came to sit beside me and we both enjoyed the brief interlude of warm sunshine, had to make the most of it because it didn’t last long.

Meconopsis cambrica

Another meconopsis, but not a blue this time, this one is the Welsh poppy, Meconopsis cambrica. Some people say it is a weed, but not here on my heavy soil, here it seeds itself gently around and so far, is very welcome wherever it pops up.

Centranthus ruber

The red Valerian, Centhranthus ruber, really shouldn’t like our heavy clay, but ignorance is bliss and I planted it before I knew any better. It never seeds around so is never a problem and this is the only plant in the garden that attracts the hummingbird hawk moth , therefore it is a very precious plant!

Darmera peltata

Darmera peltata was here when we came, planted behind what was the old pond, so they looked well together. We made a new pond up at the top of the garden and turned the old raised one into an alpine scree. Problem is, can’t move the Darmera  over to the bog garden, it has its roots tightly under the rocks and refuses to budge! It looks a bit strange with a bog plant next to an alpine scree, but that is how it will have to stay, it must be revelling in all our rain.

M. Lingholm

More Meconopsis flowers are opening, will hopefully do another post about them soon.

Long view

For obvious reasons, this is my favourite part of the garden at the moment. No matter how hard it is raining, I have to come and see what else has opened overnight. After such a dry winter, the plants are certainly appreciating all the rain that we are having, the cowslips are twice the normal size! At least with all this rain, the housework is up to date at last!!





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12 Responses to Braving the Rain in May.

  1. I wonder at what point our gardens will catch up, my cowslips and forget me nots are all in blom, and my camassia is inbud, with my tree peony ready to open any day now.
    Do love your Pixie, shall add to my wish list.

    • Pauline says:

      It has certainly been a strange spring in the northern hemisphere Deborah, but the plants will survove! Epimedium Pixie is great fun, I don’t usually like pink and yellow together, but I think these flowers look quite pretty.

  2. The purply blues and buttery yellows make a very satisfying pair.

    • Pauline says:

      Really must plant more pale yellow Diana, as the border has so much blue at the moment. It’s better later on in the year when other colours join in, so must remember in the autumn when planting time comes around.

  3. Christina says:

    It was strange rreading about your spring flowers because it suddenly became summer here with temperatures in the 30’s. I enjoyed everything especially the peony and the blue poppies! Christina

    • Pauline says:

      It has been so cold here for the past month Christina, we were told a few days ago that our temperatures last Christmas were higher than now! I think our flowers are about a month behind, but if we have a warm spell, I’m sure they will catch up.

  4. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Lovely photos, I always love this time of year because the plants are green and lush and there’s plenty of pretty blooms.

    I can well believe your Cowslips are huge this year – my primula vulgaris are too! I can’t believe how huge their leaves are this year. It seems like most of the blooms are all poised to open but are waiting for some warm weather to do so.
    On thursday we had such a strange hot and muggy day here, windy but it was a very warm wind and everyone commented that when we went out for lunch it was most definitely sweaty! Later in the afternoon showers arrived and suddenly it became hot and very humid… Not a nice combination 🙂
    This weekend isn’t due any rain, just sunshine so hopefully we can all enjoy some time outside. Although I just popped out to take some photos and quickly came back inside – this wind is very chilly!

    • Pauline says:

      Wall to wall sunshine today Liz, but that wind !! Coming from the north it was very cold, but out of the wind, it was lovely. I think we will need about a week of sunshine to dry the garden out, but more rain is forcast for Monday! While we were out today, the lanes look wonderful, all the beech trees have their beautiful spring green leaves and with bluebells underneath – perfect!

  5. Alberto says:

    Hi Pauline! Although you had bad weather lately your garden looks fantastic! I can see why that part of your garden is the place you prefer, I’d spend hours in there looking at all those little diamonds… I really like that epimedium, with its awkward shape, I bought one too, hope to use it in the little woodland as a groundcover.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Alberto, you do say the nicest things about my garden! Little Epimedium Pixie is lovely, I will wait for photos of it in your woodland! Lots of lovely sunshine today but a bitterly cold wind from the north, at least it isn’t raining!

  6. catmint says:

    you must be pleased to have the rain after the drought? These photos and the flowers are quintessentially English cottage flowers that have inspired gardeners and artists for centuries. What can one say? They’re obviously growing and mixing together perfectly in your garden. Di-vine.

    • Pauline says:

      The garden really did need the rain Catmint, just maybe not quite so much all at once. After the drought all the rain was running down roads and turning them into rivers, the rivers burst their banks and hundreds of trees fell over. This weekend it is wonderfully sunny, but more rain forcast for next week! The plants are happy and growing far too much, so are the weeds!

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