Tag Archives: Matthiola Incana

End of month view – November 2016

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I took these photos in Monday’s gorgeous sunshine and it’s now Friday and I’m only just getting round to posting.  Ooops.

There’s not much colour now, but the late blooming Salvias are really earning their keep and there are even a few annuals, such as the Nicotianas still blooming.img_1915

The Grass Bed is being overwhelmed with self seeded Cerinthe and Nasturtium.  The Nasturtiums need to be hauled out and binned, but I’d like to replant some of the Cerinthe elsewhere and hence at the moment I’ve left them where they are.  Funnily enough though, they haven’t stopped growing while I procrastinate, and I’m now in danger of losing the path altogether! img_1916

Near the house, the Flower Carpet roses are still pumping out new buds:img_1923

Whereas the Bronze Bed is now in dire need of sorting, with my lovely ‘Happy Single Date’ dahlias now only sad stalks.img_1924

A little clearing and planting has been done.  I’ve cleared all the dead Hosta foliage,img_1918

in the drive bed I’ve finally planted out some seedlings –  Erysimums and Digitalis and also some new Narcissus ‘Thalia’ bulbs.img_1925

And in the troughs I’ve finally chucked out the old leggy Stocks, Matthiola incana, and replanted with new ones grown from cuttings.  I’ve also planted Narcissus ‘Minnow’ here.img_1913

In the greenhouse, I’ve brought in some succulents img_1920

and tender plantsimg_1922

and also got my ‘Winter Sunshine’ Sweet Peas coming (although sadly not one of the cream ones, weird)img_1921

And the final thing in the greenhouse?  Ah yes, a large box of unplanted bulbs.  Roll on the weekend.img_1929

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts EoMV.

In a vase on Monday – more golf flowers

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Another golfing event – the Captain’s Dinner – led to another request for flowers.  I have to say a couple of weeks ago I was less than enthusiastic as, to my eyes, the garden was full of dying bulb foliage and not much else, but things have definitely moved on, and in the end there was plenty to choose from.

I only needed to prepare eight table decorations, plus one larger one, so the pressure was off compared to the original set of 20 in October .  The first plant I have copious amounts of currently is Cerinthe purpurescens.  This has self seeded everywhere to the extent that cutting for the arrangements was actually beneficial to clear it away from paths and grass.

For the purple arrangements I started with the Cerinthe and added purple sweet peas (still the Winter Sunshine ones from the greenhouse), Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and a few springs of lavender.IMG_0816

The pink arrangements contained Madame Gregoire Staechelin roses,  Euphorbia, Erysimum, Daucus Carota ‘Black Knight’ and a sweet pea that has self seeded in a large trough containing an Olive tree.  I think this is Lathyrus tingitanus which I grew two years ago in the greenhouse.  Quite how it’s found its way outside I have no idea, but I love the tendrils and its delightful colouring.  Sadly it has no scent.IMG_0817

The white and green contained more Euphorbia, as well as Matthiola incana, white Winter Sunshine Sweet Peas and a couple of Calendula buds.IMG_0818

And the carnival pink and orange pair had more Cerinthe, Geum ‘Totally Tangerine,’ buds of Rosa ‘Pat Austin’ and Pelargonium ‘Surcouf’IMG_0819

As well as the table decorations I threw together a larger arrangement which was designed around anything I could find that had some stem length.  The foliage was bronze fennel and black cow parsley (both of which seemed to be inclined to droop), with Euphorbia, larger heads of Daucus Carota,  Nectoscordum siculum, Allium ‘Purple Sensation’, Sisyrinchium striatum and Rosa ‘Snow Goose’.IMG_0808

With many thanks to Cathy for hosting this lovely meme.  Why don’t you see what others have in their vases this Bank Holiday?  Now I must get in the garden!

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – mid May 2016

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There are still a few bulbs clinging on, particularly Tulip ‘Queen of the Night’ (above) and below with ‘Merry go round’IMG_0496

just a few Tulip ‘Jimmy’ and Narcissus ‘Yazz’IMG_0490

Narcissus ‘Goose Green’IMG_0513

and in the Swing Beds, the Tulips ‘Menton’ and ‘Mistress’.IMG_0500

New bulbs emerging include these Gladiolus byzantinus, just coming into bloom in the Lavender Beds but rather more shy elsewhere,

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as well as these Nectoscordum siculum that I’ve said for two years I was going to pull out.IMG_0499

I’ve already got a good showing of Pelargoniums, both outside and in the greenhouseIMG_0517

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and a couple of Clematis.  I love this Montana, which has found its way through the (sadly now empty) chicken hutIMG_0503

but I’m really not convinced about Clematis ‘Josephine’.  What was I thinking?

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Meanwhile, thinking of climbers, my Wisteria is already going over.

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and has showered its purple petals on the succulentsIMG_0493

Also in containers the Matthiola incana has gone mad in the troughs and smells absolutely divine.IMG_0497

Surviving through the winter and already looking better than last year, Cerinthe major purpurescens (such a favourite)IMG_0507

and Daucus carota ‘Black Knight’, grown from seed last year.IMG_0506

And to finish, the first of the roses, Rosa ‘Snow Goose’ on the pergola.IMG_0501

With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD.

In a vase on Monday – heads up!

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When I blogged about these Narcissi ‘Goose Green’ in my End of Month View I complained that they seemed to flower with their heads down.  However, since then, they have lifted their heads and are certainly held high and proud in today’s plonked Monday vase.IMG_0487

To keep the Narcissus company I added a large stem of Matthiola incana, which is doing a brilliant job of scenting the whole kitchen, together withIMG_0485 - Copy

three stems of acid green Euphorbia characias Wulfenii.  IMG_0486

Certainly not the most sophisticated vase, but it’s cheering up the kitchen and me no end!

With thanks to Cathy for hosting our Monday vases.

In a vase on Monday – heaven scent

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Today’s vase not only has more of my lovely ‘Winter Sunshine’ Sweet Peas, but also Matthiola Incana which has just started flowering in the troughs which sit below the raised decking.  You can see them in the background of this photo.IMG_0280

To the two scented plants I added more Cerinthe major purpurescens and TulipQueen of the Night

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I’ve now moved the little jugful onto the kitchen table and it’s doing a very good job of scenting the whole room.  Mmmm.IMG_0282

With thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting all our Monday vases.  Why don’t you go and see what everyone else has been picking?

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – April 2016

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A day late with GBBD as it poured with rain yesterday and I only manged to sneak a few photos before heading off to the twin Friday night excitements of Zumba followed by supper with friends.  And then today was largely spent working on the latest assignment for my planting design college course due in on Tuesday – yikes!

I took a few more photos this morning, so there’s now a mix of two very different days.

After the joy of last year’s new bulbs – largely tulips in the Swing Beds – I splashed out last autumn on more bulbs, this time for the two new beds – the MCB above and the Bronze Bed on the other side of the garden.  In addition, I planted up a number of ‘bulb lasagnes’ in pots, and it has been an absolute joy watching all the slow motion fireworks.

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there are Narcissus ‘Thalia’IMG_0214

together with Tulip ‘Merry Go Round’, which have also been planted in the trough by the front steps.IMG_0226

In the Swing Beds I’m delighted that some of the tulips have returned – these are Tulip ‘Pink Impression,’ in the right hand end of the Swing Bed, looking towards…

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…the Grass Bed, which featured in last week’s Wordless Wednesday, with Forget me nots and Narcissus ‘Peeping Jenny’

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On the other side of the garden, the Bronze Bed, which was looking rather handsome with the Hamamelis and Narcissus ‘Cragford,’ has now been invaded by both Narcissus ‘Yazz’ and Tulip ‘Jimmy’.  To be honest, I think if’ I’d known how many blooms I get with the ‘Cragfords’ and how long flowering they’d be I don’t think I’d have bothered with the ‘Yazz’.  IMG_0232

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In pots I have the beautiful and rather dainty Narcissus ‘Lieke’IMG_0243

contrasting rather strongly with the mad front door pots of Narcissus ‘Jack Snipe,’ Tulip ‘Matrix.’ If you look closely you’ll see Tulip ‘Recreado’ is also joining the party.IMG_0246

And the greenhouse pots are still flowering well with Narcissus ‘Bellsong’ and Tulip ‘Apricot Impression’.

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Aside from all the bulbs, I have Matthiola Incana just starting to come into bloom in the troughs,IMG_0217

Plenty of Cerinthe self seeded in the pebbly pathsIMG_0215

a few Fritillaria meleagris in the grassIMG_0231

and some brave Pelargoniums, P. Surcouf which have been outside all winter.

IMG_0244Oh and have I mentioned the sweet peas, Owl’s Acre ‘Winter Sunshine’ in the greenhouse?IMG_0239IMG_0240

And lastly, a bit chilly still, but the Diving Lady is contemplating making a splash in a rather purple pool.

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With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD.  Why don’t you go and see what’s making a splash in others’ gardens?

End of month view – May 2015

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – May 2015

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Whilst there are a few tulips still clinging on, the majority of bulbs flowering now are Alliums. Above, Allium Purple Sensation, matching beautifully with the stalwart Erysimum Bowles Mauve behind. Funny, I don’t remember that combination last year, and yet they were both there!

In the Swing Beds, Nectoscordum siculum (not a true Allium, but in the family), are just starting to bloom.  Last weekend my daughter, old enough to know better, took great delight in peeling back some of the papery sheaths to help them on their way.  I think she missed this one.IMG_7237

In the Drive Bed, Allium Violet Beauty, planted new for this year.IMG_7223

Sharing the Drive Bed with the Alliums are these Erysimum Ivory GiantIMG_7210

and growing on the fence above, Rosa Snow Goose, in bud and fully open.IMG_7227IMG_7228

In the new Bronze Bed the Calendula I grew from seed last year, Calendula Sunset Buff, are one of the first things to flower.  I love the soft apricot colouring.IMG_7211

Annoyingly, not all of the seeds I planted seem to be Sunset Buff.  These two, whilst very jolly, were not what I had in mind for the bed, and so I’ve now moved them out to the raised cutting beds.

A few daffodils are still blooming, this one, the very late N. Sinopel is in the Grass Bed,IMG_7238

these are N. Bellsong, in the greenhouse pots,

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and these N. Lieke.IMG_7221

In the Oak Bed the broom is blooming.  It’s an inherited plant so I’m not sure which one it is, but Cytisus Scoparius Killiney Red looks similar.  There have been years when this flowers at the same time as the Bottlebrush it’s planted next to, but sadly not this year.IMG_7218

In one of the Lavender Beds, this little Cistus is looking happier than it has for a while – perhaps because of the hot dry April.IMG_7232

For scent I have to mention my stock flowers, Matthiola Incana.  I think this is my favourite garden scent of all, shame you can’t scratch and sniff!IMG_7233

And to finish, not yet a bloom, but oh what a pregnant bud!IMG_7234

With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens  for hosting everyone’s GBBD.

End of month view – yearly round up, 2014

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I’m following Helen at the Patient Gardener (a day late) with a rather indulgent ‘yearly round up’ in lieu of a normal ‘month end view’.

Some of these photos have been shown recently in my Plotting and Planning post (where I also included a garden plan), but whereas in that post there was often only one view of a given area, in this post, like in Helen’s, I’ve tried to include multiple views through the year.  Click on the thumbnails if you want to see larger pictures.

Firstly, the left hand swing bed.  There were a few daffodils early on (which don’t show up very well in the March shot) and these were followed by tulips in April.  Whilst I liked the bold red I found it clashed with pink tree blossom flowering at the same time, and so this year I’ve changed the colouring of the tulips for a (hopefully!) more harmonious spring.  Later in the year the Sisyrinchium were a dominant plant, but I felt too dominant and they have now been moved to the drive bed.  Later still there’s a good display from salvias and asters, but the flowers that kept going for the longest were definitely the Verbena bonariensis and the Penstemons – real stalwarts!

In the grass bed, the Stipa tenuissima is the constant, with bulbs, forget me nots and wallflowers early on, followed by alliums, fox and cubs and Verbascum chaixii album (grown from seed). These were followed later still by Nasturtium black velvet and Salvia viridis blue.  I’ve now thinned out a lot of the fox and cubs as I felt they weren’t really providing enough interest and think I’ll replace them with some annual planting for this summer.

Most of you will already have heard me bemoaning the oak bed.  It’s lovely early on, with daffodils and hellebores, but as the over-the-road-oak leafs up, the bed becomes very shaded and is a rather uninspiring group of shrubs (apart from my favourite Cercis canadensis Forest Pansy seen in purple at the bottom left in the July photo and glowing orange in October) .  My solution (for the time being) is to accept this and instead create a new bed, closer to the house, which will be out of the oak’s shadow and therefore much easier to succeed with.  Watch this space!

The shady bed, although equally shady, manages to be much more pleasing.  It doesn’t change much at all through the year but I like the  structure of the log and the foliage shapes.  (You may think I should be able to apply lessons from this bed to the oak bed, but we need height in the oak bed which the shrubs achieve in a way that, sadly, the shady bed planting wouldn’t, well certainly not instantly)

I’ve added some new bulbs to this bed for spring, and would also like to increase the range of ferns, but otherwise I think this bed will remain largely unchanged this year.

The hosta bed, which was created new in 2013, was doing fine right up until we had the house painted and there was a degree of ladder, scaffolding, and paint damage.  Ah well, makes a change from the slugs 😉

Near the hosta bed are the new raised cutting beds.  Although less shallow than ideal, they were very productive last year and I intend to repeat the idea again, but with some new annuals to play with.

The large galvanised troughs have effectively created a new, thin, bed in front of the decking. These were planted with two different Narcissus, Segovia then Minnow, as well as Allium Purple Sensation and Matthiola Incana.  And in the summer I added Cosmos Purity.

For next year I’ve topped up the Purple Sensation but am fervently hoping the narcissi will return!

My little veg patch is made up of three terraces, the lowest planted with strawberries and rhubarb, and the top one currently has some rather weedy chard.  The main bed shown here, is where I grow the bulk of my veg, this year peas, mange touts, sugar snaps, french beans, runner beans, pumpkin munchkin and courgettes, with a few soft fruits (raspberries, blackberries and tayberries) towards the back.

Other veg, along with hundreds (thousands?) of seeds and cuttings are grown in my greenhouse.

So that’s my round up, quite a lot of positives, but as always, many things to improve on.

2015 will provide a further challenge as I’ve been invited to open the garden (for the third time) for the local biennial ‘Secret Gardens’ event, where a dozen or so gardens open on the day of the village fete in June, in aid of the local hospice.

Furthermore, my daughter turns 18 in late July and is talking about having a party in the garden before school breaks up.  However, I don’t suppose a group of tipsy teenagers will prove to be quite such discerning garden visitors as the June lot!

Here’s wishing you all a happy and floriferous 2015.

 

End of month view – November 2014

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Unsurprisingly the garden is looking rather sad in places.  The drive bed, above, is looking better than most, with an ongoing second flush from Rosa Snow Goose, as well as some new planting below.  The strap like leaves are from Sisyrinchium striatum, which I’ve moved from the swing beds where they were taking over.  It was an early ‘In a vase on Monday‘ post which alerted me to how well the rose and Sisyrinchiums go together and so now they’ve been moved to live together, rather than just appearing fleetingly in a vase.

The downside of digging all the Sisyrinchiums out of the swing beds, is that they are now looking very bare.  And that’s not the only reason; I also dug up the large Euphorbia wulfenii Characias from each bed, as neither was looking well, and I pulled out the ‘only-two-apples’ apple tree which was starting to shade the right hand bed and looked rather incongruous amongst the perennials.  On a positive note, all the space has allowed me better access to plant my bulbs, so hopefully things will start bouncing back soon (quickly crosses fingers…)

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The grass bed hasn’t yet had any autumnal clearing, and whilst the Stipa teniussima at the back are looking rather tired, the Nasturtiums at the front are in very rude health. Consequently I’ve left them alone for the time being, but sadly, the last few flowers on the nasturtiums are rather buried by the generous foliage.

Some of you may remember that I want to clear some, if not all, of the fox and cubs from this bed as they don’t really flower for long enough to justify their position, but that work is also yet to be done – and I think I need to get rid of all that nasturtium foliage so that I can even see the fox and cubs.IMG_5488

I’ve also done some clearing in the small veg patch, which is now back to just the raspberries, the diving lady (who has new bulbs planted in her pool) and Nimbus.

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I’ve also cleared the exhausted Cosmos Purity from the troughs, but have left the stocks at the back.  They are getting rather leggy now but I just love their scent and forgot to plant any new ones this summer, so I’ll have to hope they survive the winter and reflower.

As well as clearing, I’ve planted some more Alliums (Purple Sensation) in this bed as their numbers seemed to have dwindled this year, so I gave them a top up.  They should follow on from the two Narcissii, Minnow and Segovia.IMG_5474

The raised beds I used for cutting for the first time this year still need clearing, but there are a few Antirrhinums clinging on, as well as one sentinel Zinnia.

I think I judge these beds a success.  Of course I would have had bigger plants and consequently more blooms if I’d planted in the ground, but I just didn’t have the space, and this is a relatively out of the way position so it didn’t matter that the whole effect wasn’t very cohesive.  I’ll definitely use the space again, but will need to replace the compost for next year.IMG_5491

Meanwhile the shady bed continues to look good in its monochrome way.  IMG_5492

Aside from the beds, I’ve also been planting up lots of pots with bulbs.  The one below is one of a pair which sit outside the greenhouse.  I’ve lain strips of rose prunings across the top to discourage marauders, and they seem to have worked so far.

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In the greenhouse I have Iris reticulata ‘Gordon’ bulbs just starting to show their green shootsIMG_5495

and the cuttings taken last month are also putting on some new growth.  Certainly not 100% success, but definitely lots of new babies to tend. IMG_5496

And lastly, a couple of sights more applicable to much earlier in the year – still a few blooms on my Plumbagos, IMG_5498

and yes! more Tomatoes Sungold ripening.  The question is, where am I going to put all my tender plants if the greenhouse still has tomatoes in it?IMG_5497

With many thanks to Helen at The Patient Gardener for hosting the end of month meme. Please visit her website to see how other bloggers’ gardens look at this time of year.