End of month view – May 2015


Sadly the Swing Beds are currently having rather a lull after the gorgeous bulbs in evidence last month.  Whilst in April and early May they were bright with a succession of tulips, now, whilst the roses are starting and there is a vast amount to come, the main blooms are the rather quiet, understated Nectoscordum.


I moaned about them last year, so I really think they’ve had their day and I should replace them with something jollier and more visible from a distance.  Shame Alliums don’t come in the shocking pink of the Pink Impression Tulips!

The right hand swing bed is showing a little more colour with the geraniums, Cerinthe and self seeded foxglove.IMG_7611

And it is lovely that the roses are finally making a real impression on the pergola (four years after planting).

You can also see the netting erected for the sweet peas.  They’re currently being a little shy and seem currently to have been rather stopped in their tracks by the shock of being moved out into the ground.IMG_7609

The Grass Beds, to the right of the Swing Beds, still have their rather exhausted forget me nots, and I really need to clear these to make way for some annual planting to take their place.  Last year I planted some seed grown perennial Verbascum chaixii album in this bed and they’ve come back better than ever.  Problem is, I’m not sure I really want them there…IMG_7612

The troughs are resplendent with last autumn’s planting of Allium Purple Sensation.  They’re growing amongst the gloriously scented stocks, Matthiola incana, but sadly are also accompanied by a rather tatty array of decaying daffodil foliage.  Last year I had the bright idea that I should turn the troughs around to hide the dying foliage at the back.  This would have been an absolutely brilliant solution if only we could have lifted the troughs!   Hopefully the foliage has now done its job, so shortly I should be clearing it to add some annuals for the summer.


The Lavender Beds are rather dominated by the Erysimum Bowles Mauve, but hey, there are worse things…IMG_7597


One bed I rarely show is the drive bed.  I planted new alliums here this year too, this time Allium Violet Beauty, which are slightly larger and paler than A. Purple Sensation.  Also, I moved numerous Sisyrinchiums here as they were threatening to take over the Swing Beds.  I was inspired by this vase, as I thought the Sisyrinchiums would echo the colour of the Rose, R. Snow Goose.  The Sisyrinchiums aren’t quite in flower, but I live in hope that the composition will work and be enhanced by the Alliums.  We’ll see (in a week or two…).

As for the self seeded Gladiolus byzantinus, well, I think I’ll leave them be for the minute.  But, ooh, light bulb moment, is this what I should be adding to jolly up the Swing Beds?IMG_7591

On the other side of the drive, the Cytisus is looking spectacular and the colour is now picking up on the buds and flowers of the inherited rose.


Progress on the new beds is still reasonably slow.  The Mid Century bed has precisely two blooms, both Ranunculus I planted as bulbs.  They’re not exactly as ‘bruised’ as the planned colour scheme, but they’re the first I’ve ever grown, and I love them.IMG_7613


Just as a little aside, in 2012 I visited the Flower Farm at Carlsbad, California, and the Ranunculus there were absolutely unbelievable – see photo from their website below.

I’d love to start a Ranunculus farm here, but really not sure the island can quite match the Californian climate…

Anyway, back to home.  The new Bronze Bed isn’t displaying anything in the way of blooms other than the Calendula Sunset Buff, sown last year.  Like the Swing Beds, there’s plenty to come, but I am starting to worry that the Hamamelis, now in leaf in the centre of this bed, is taking up too much room.  Hmmm.IMG_7592

On the far side of the lawn from the new Bronze Bed above, you can see how the over-the-road-Oak’s shadow almost completely covers the Oak Bed.  I really need to try to add some more interest here, but the lure of planning and planting the new Bronze Bed  – in almost full sun – is of course far greater.IMG_7594

Another shady area is this bed, running along the north side of the porch.  This has been completely given over to hostas, which are now bulking out nicely after three years.


Meanwhile, in the veg bed, the canes are up and the first wave of peas and beans are in.IMG_7606

And to finish, a view of the utter chaos in front of the greenhouse.  These are just some of the seed trays, turfed out of the greenhouse and hardening off all over the gravel.

And no, I don’t know where they’re all going to go.  So don’t ask!IMG_7617

With many thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting everyone’s End of Month Views.

12 thoughts on “End of month view – May 2015

  1. Christina

    I’m sure you don’t mean to sound so negative. There are lots of good things happening and x garden will always have some lulls. Your Alliums are fantastic, I’m very envious, they just don’t grow like that here. Plus, just think your roses are still to come and mine are already finished! Enjoy your week. Christina

    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Hi Christina, thank you. And yes you’re right, I am being a little negative, but I soooo enjoyed my tulips this year, I think anything following that was going to be a let down.
      I’m also opening the garden on the 28th June for the local hospice, and I think that’s starting to worry me too. Think I need to get back to work to relax ;-).

  2. Julieanne

    I was going to say – add alliums to brighten up the Swing Beds, but you got there before me. Definitely a good idea and the dying seed heads look attractive too. So much colour and light in your garden – it looks like summer. And it’s nearly here too.

  3. Julie

    I loved this look around your garden – it all looks so full of promise and the alliums are a real highlight! Those roses are going to be fantastic this year – I have also found you have to be patient with climbers. I smiled at the chaos of trays outside your greenhouse – mine looks the same although for the first time ever I have suffered some rabbit damage to the trays I have hardening off outside – very frustratingly I have lost most of my sweet corn seedlings!!

    Good luck with your NGS day – your garden is already looking beautiful so no need for sleepless nights.

    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Oh Julie, that’s so annoying about rabbit damage – poor you! There are rabbits just behind us, but to date they haven’t made it into our garden.
      And thanks for your kind comments about the garden. Just to clarify I’m not opening for the NGS, it’s a local village thing called the Secret Gardens where a number of garden open for the local hospice. It’s a lovely idea apart from the annoyance that of course I don’t get to see the other gardens as I’m busy at home hosting mine!

  4. Sarah

    I have a perennial foxglove with rusty/bronze flowers that could be considered for the shady end of your new bronze bed. It keeps its neat rosette of basal leaves throughout the winter and can be divided while still in the ground by gently prising away offsets. I cannot recall its name at present … just looked it up, it’s Digitalis ferruginea and it has an AGM from the RHS. I love the alliums and hostas and curves of your new beds. Good luck with the garden opening, I think your visitors are in for a treat.

  5. Cathy

    Don’t worry about your open day! The garden looks really superb and your visitors will enjoy it (they won’t be looking at it with the owner’s critical eye). I must admit to being a bit green at the sight of your lovely greenhouse and the pergola – and what good way to grow the sweet peas! Did you find it hard to find the kind of netting you wanted? I don’t recall seeing anything as suitable as that for sale here. Well done! I’d sit on your swing and look at the sea any evening.

    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Thanks Cathy. I think you’re right, we’re probably our worst critics as we have such big hopes and dreams!
      I bought the netting from Agriframes, you buy it by the metre. I was introduced to it by Julie at Peonies and Posies. It’s so much nicer to work with than the nasty plastic stuff!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s