And still they come

The sycamore seedlings, that is. I am still pulling the wretched things up – not to mention finding quite a few that my earlier efforts missed, now getting rather substantial and sprouting several pairs of leaves. The warmer weather also heralds the resumption of the continued war of attrition against the bindweed, and renewed efforts against rosebay willowherb – the latter usually accompanied by me muttering “Where do these come from? I pulled them all up last year too, surely I got them all before they flowered?”

Anyway, it’s not all bad news. Generally things are looking good, and a few plants I thought had succumbed during the autumn and winter have been putting in an appearance. Special mention here to the Houttuynia cordata “Chameleon” which vanished worryingly early last year but has returned, and has spread out by about a foot in all directions from its original starting point. (I’m not complaining.)

The veg seem to be doing well, and I’ve been picking salad leaves for my lunches for the last week.

Azaleas and rhododendrons are starting to do their thing – this is a white dwarf azalea, the memorial for one of our rat boys:

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And a dwarf rhodie, for two rat girls:

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Meanwhile in the flower beds, the velvety buds of the deciduous azalea are starting to show some colour:

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Rosemary is covered with flowers and full of bees (it took several attempts to get a decent photo, though):

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As one viburnum starts to wind down after flowering for weeks,

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another is stepping up to take over.

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Blue phlox is brightening a shady corner of the front garden:

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This spiraea japonica is called Firelight, with good reason:

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And alchemilla leaves with water droplets? We’ve got ’em.

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This week’s oddity – a couple of years back I noticed that a lychnis had self-sown in one of the monkey puzzle stumps. Expecting it not to survive long, I decided to leave it and only rescue it if it looked like it was struggling (we have lots of lychnis anyway).

It’s not struggling, is it?

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It looks like it’s getting ready to flower. It should probably get some kind of medal for determination!

 

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Blossoms and blooms

This morning I made a quick visit to Mum to take her a few things (including a large bag of compost) and of course I took a few photos of her garden. Lots of things are doing well and there’s a good deal of colour about. This heuchera caught my eye, not surprisingly!

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The retaining wall behind the greenhouse and raised beds is already looking good, with snow-in-summer spilling over and flowering already:

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And the forget-me-nots looking lovely too:

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The flowering cherry we bought last year has put on a couple of feet and has a good covering of blossom:

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A clematis Montana “Elizabeth” has made itself at home and is covered in flowers:

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And while a lot of Mum’s tulips have faded (as have mine) she has some slightly later ones which are so dark they’re almost black – I didn’t get any of these, and am slightly jealous!

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In other news, I bought myself a little early birthday treat:

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Pretty, isn’t it? They do a range with various different flowers, and I chose bluebells as they’re usually flowering around the time of my birthday.

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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day 2017

Something I have only just found out about – this meme is hosted by May Dreams Gardens and links garden bloggers on 15th April. Not that I ever need much of an excuse to post photos of flowers!

Today I got arty with a Dicentra (though I learned from the Guardian gardening column that we are meant to call them Lamprocapnos, which is the new Latin name. We can still use the old common name of Bleeding Heart, of course).

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And because I failed to get a good picture of the gentian flowering yesterday, I had another go today.

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For the rest of my Bloom Day pics I tried to get at least a few that I didn’t photograph yesterday, but inevitably there’s some repetition.

Some of the tulips are going over but there’s still a fair amount of colour, especially combined with their pot-mates, the wallflowers and winter pansies.

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The yellow tulip I posted yesterday is just beginning to go over, but I had to include it as I’ve only just realised it has black inside as well as the reddish edging:

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This is a Pretty Sure It’s A Berberis (I have several in the “Pretty Sure It’s A”┬árange)

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And nearby is a purple vinca:

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And the seasonally apt Nemesia “Easter Bonnet”:

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The pulmonaria continues to do very well and is full of bees:

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And the perennial wallflower seems to have been flowering for ages (must get some cuttings):

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If you prefer a bit of white, we have a lovely spiraea:

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And a choisya:

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Back to red with Heuchera Paris, a little earlier than last year:

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And in blue, a self-sown forget-me-not – actually one of my favourite flowers:

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Finally, not really a bloom but the (more or less) inevitable outcome – my glorious hellebores are forming seed pods, so I’m crossing my fingers for seedlings:

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Happy Bloom Day, and Happy Easter.

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Busy Friday morning

This morning J is busy with the rat room, which needs redecorating, so I spent a bit of time doing some gardening tasks – nothing major, as we’re in a bit of a lull before the summer annuals are ready. So there was a bit of deadheading of daffs and tulips, and some sorting out of the veg trugs, plus I have started off some begonia corms, though without too much optimism.

The veg trugs have moved to the patio, and I’ve rigged up some netting over them. Everything’s growing well, though there will need to be a bit of thinning out soon. The netting looks a bit Heath Robinson and I’m not entirely sure it’s an approved method, so we’ll see if it actually works.

Lettuces and radishes in this one:

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We’ll be harvesting lettuce soon.

Beetroot and strawberries in this one:

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I’ll be adding the beetroot leaves to salads too.

One of the things about ordering plants from catalogues is that you get freebies, and I’ve had two lots of lilies and one of cascading begonias. One lot of lilies is already in a pot and starting to sprout but the others are still waiting for a suitable container – I have a pot, but it needs a bit of patching as it’s plastic and has a few cracks in it. The begonias are a bit more of a challenge, I’ve never grown any from corms so had to resort to Google to check what to do, but they are now in pots. I’m not overly optimistic that it’ll work but we’ll see.

Otherwise a lot of things are doing well at the moment. The back garden is looking colourful:

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Had to get a photo of this tulip before it goes over – I love the delicate reddish edges to the petals:

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The alpine containers are looking respectable, and the gentian and black viola are starting to flower.

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I might think about splitting some of the low spreading alpines to create a bit of space.

Dicentra are both looking good, in pink:

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And white:

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The nemesia is flowering:

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Dwarf rhododendron:

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Heucheras all looking lovely, just a taster here but I might do a full survey of all of them soon:

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And the fruits and herbs are all looking good – rosemary:

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Apple blossom:

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Gooseberry:

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And raspberry:

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And I need to apologise to the goldfinch who keeps trying to have a feed of nyger seeds but flies off every time I open the back door! Maybe I’ll get a photo at some point.

 

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Apple blossom

Almost a month earlier than last year:

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Lots more buds, so I’m hoping that there’ll be plenty of Bramleys in the autumn.

In other news, I’ve started doing things with various seedlings – the few penstemon to show themselves have gone into a pot, and so have the marigolds – and I started another tray of marigolds too. The white lychnis and some pink lychnis have gone into multi-celled trays to get a bit bigger, but most of the pink lychnis have gone straight out into the garden to fill a bare patch – if they make it it’s a bonus but if they don’t we have more. For some reason the pink germinated much better than the white. I also started a tray of annual salvia – Clary “Blue Denim” – so we’ll see what comes of that. The veggies are looking pretty good so far and I’m aiming to have them out on the patio next weekend.

Wildlife – today I saw an orange tip butterfly, and a pair of goldfinches! The nyger seed I’ve added to the feeder is clearly working.

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Friday flowers

It’s been a busy day – both J and I had the day off work, but I had errands to run with Mum so J was left to his own devices to play in our garden. Meanwhile Mum & I took Benji to the groomers, and went to Homebase for a few bits and bobs. We came away with some bundles of canes and a barely-controllable roll of netting, along with a few plants of course. After lunch it was another trip out for the Benji-dog (he gets a check-up every six months, and it was vaccination time too). Then I had chance to get a few pictures of Mum’s garden before heading home – just on the mobile phone as I didn’t have my camera with me.

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The raised beds are looking good

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This is one of the tulips I tried photographing last year – did better this time around!

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Vinca in the sunshine

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And a gratuitous photo of Benji, of course.

While I was out, J cut the grass, did a lot of weeding and tidying, and repainted the patio furniture, so it’s looking neat and tidy.

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Next tasks will be bring the veg trugs out and putting the netting over them, and pricking out various seedlings. I’ve got other seeds I should probably do something with as well. Most of that will wait till next weekend, though I might get a few bits and bobs done tomorrow or Sunday.

Hope you’re enjoying good weather this weekend!

 

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one

The tulips are getting better by the day. We’ve got red ones:

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Orangey-yellow ones:

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White ones:

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We’ve got some yellow ones too but I was struggling to get photos because of the breeze.

But my favourites at the moment are the purple ones with their ever-so-slightly-pointy petals.

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And if you’re getting fed up with tulips, there’s a skimmia flowering too:

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(But really, who could be fed up with tulips?)

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