At last, we in the UK have had some serious rain and the garden now looks so fresh and green again. My water butts are now full once more, we are on a water meter here and have to pay for every drop that comes out of the tap, so are very thankful when the rain fills them up. There are so many flowers out at the moment, just don’t know where to look first, but I think we can start with this Dicentra which has grown so much since we planted it last year.
Another Dicentra near it was given to me by our postman, we used to swap plants when he delivered the post, such a shame when he retired, our new postman isn’t the least bit interested in gardening !
Iris japonica is such a gorgeous iris, but far smaller than I expected. Having seen photos of it loads of times in books and magazines, I was expecting quite a large flower, but they are barely 2 inches across, still beautiful though with the most amazing markings.
Making a lovely backdrop to the bench in the pond area is the shrub Exochorda macrantha “The Bride”, this puts on a lovely display which lasts for about 1 month.
The Epimedium in the woodland walk which we have by the rhododendrons are almost finishing now, This lovely white one was new last year and is doing very well, it is E. grandiflorum ” White Queen “.
Another Epimedium is this sweet little pink and yellow one, I know I put a label near it but now it is nowhere to be seen, so I can’t tell you the name of this one I’m afraid.
Californian Irises are all so beautiful and seem to enjoy the shady conditions here along with the soil full of leaf mould.
There are so many lovely colours to choose from with delightful patterns, they remind me so much of the patterns on Paisley scarves.
Shining out of a very dark corner of the woodland is Viola cornuta, this seems very happy where it is so I think I will be taking lots of cuttings to spread it around.
My last narcissus to flower is the Pheasant’s eye narcissus and has the most wonderful perfume, it floats to you on the breeze and that is how I first came to know it. A few years ago we had a trip to a National Trust house in Cornwall, Lanhydrock House, it was one of the last trips we did with my mother before she died. We came upon a bank with thousands of these flowering, we could smell them long before we turned the corner and saw them. Havn’t quite got the same number here but the perfume is the same, brings back happy memories.
Paeonia mlokosewitschii is a plant that is so fleeting in flower that you must plan your holidays accordingly, it only lasts for a week or 10 days, so if you are away, you will miss it. It is so delicately beautiful while in flower, it is worth staying at home !
Polygonatum or Solomon’s Seal is making itself at home in all my shady borders, I will soon have to curb its enthusiasm before it takes over.
Cytisus or broom shouldn’t really be happy in my heavy clay soil but I mixed lots of grit with the soil before I planted it and put it on a slope so any rainwater drains away and so far, it looks perfectly happy, thank goodness.
Another Meconopsis, not from the Himalayas this time, not turquoise blue, but from Wales and yellow ! Meconopsis cambrica seeds very gently round my garden, other people pull it out in their hundreds as weeds. I think it goes mad in a much lighter soil than mine, but I keep sprinkling the seeds and each year one or two more plants appear, it is very welcome.
Lewisias, again, like very well drained soil, so mine are planted in an Alpine trough bought at the RHS garden Wisley. This is one of the cotyledon Hybrids and for about 10 yrs has been very happy where it is. The shells nearby were brought back from Sierra Leone last year to remind us of our time there.
Camassias are another plant that is beautiful but fleeting, so lovely when flowering but so soon over.
My first rose to flower started in April and is Annabelle, I think. It was here when we bought the house and so far I have moved it twice without it objecting. I think it will be staying put from now on.
I will finish with our English bluebells which have been fantastic this year. The colour seems much deeper, or is it that there are more and more each year, and the perfume, wow! When on my knees weeding among them, the perfume was delightful, so yes to Hyacinthoides non-scriptus and no to H. hispanica !!!
So many wonderful plants, it has taken me a long time learning which plants like the conditions in my garden, so many errors have been made, but we all learn from our mistakes and eventually everything comes right, the plants look happy, this then makes us happy and we then go out and buy more plants, and so it goes on ! Are you like me, taking quite a long time to learn about all the different soil conditions in your garden or are you a natural gardener, getting it right first time for every plant ?!