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