I arrived home yesterday for the first time in ten days, and the change is absolutely extraordinary. I’ve used the word ‘bonkers’ before about the garden in May, but this year it’s more bonkers than ever.
I popped out in my lunch hour today to take these photos, but haven’t had a chance to do even a minute of tidying (or lawn mowing), so hopefully you’ll excuse the rather dishevelled look.
Bearing in mind that due to a sequence of lovely trips away I’ve only spent three non working days at home in the whole of May, it’s amazing it’s looking as good as it is. Having said that, scratch the surface, and you’ll see there’s an awful lot of work required and PLENTY of serious weeding.
Let’s forget all that for the minute and take the usual tour.
Sadly there’s still no decking but I live in hope it might be there for the end of June.
I’ve replanted the Pelagonium ‘Surcouf’ at the front of both the pots as they were all lost this winter. Luckily I had taken some cuttings, as I’d hate to be without the glorious fuchsia pink blooms to keep (Clematis) ‘Princess Diana’ company.
At the right hand end in front of the decking (well where the decking should be!) the Mulberry tree we had in a pot in Richmond and brought to the island ten years ago is finally finding its feet and looks like this year might bear proper quantities of fruit.
I had a mad planting out session two weeks ago so finally there’s something to see in the Veg Bed. The flower at the front is Peony ‘Coral Charm’, bought going cheap at the end of last year. I’ve planted it here for cutting, but clearly I’m some way off a bunch!
The rather odd combination of Agapanthus and strawberries is full of promise.
In the left hand Swing Bed there’s a rather mad combination of poppies, roses, geraniums and sisyrinchiums.
and in the left, a similar mix, but with a rather handsome lupin thrown in.
The Grass Bed is in desperate need of attention – not least a change of name! As you can see, nearly all the Stipa tenuissima which previously lined the back of this bed, have died over the winter leaving just a couple of wispy memories.
The majority of the bed can now be cleared as it’s full of faded forget me nots, bulb foliage and (eek) mare’s tail. However, I’m not sure what I’m going to plant instead, and I can’t decide what to do about replacing the Stipas. Hmm.
I treated myself to these poppies at the local garden centre and I popped the chicken in amongst them. I just adore poppies and I’m excited there are so many buds to come.
This bench sits behind the Mid Century Bed and is normally ignored (and never sat on!) but I like the effect with the Rosa Seagull in full flower above it and the paired cans.
Here’s the Mid Century Bed with plenty of roses, foxgloves and more poppies.
In the Drive Bed I’m chuffed that some white foxgloves I only moved from the Mid Century bed a fortnight ago, have survived and flourished. The rose here is the same plant featured in the two photos above, but on the other side of the fence.
This (inherited) rose scents the steps up from the drive, providing a lovely welcome.
At the western end of the garden, looking the ‘shady way’ (actually south, but shady due to the magnificent oak) we can see the tapestry of shrubby planting. Unfortunately I didn’t get round to pruning any of these this winter, so they’re all looking rather shaggy, but I’m pleased with the purple/green/purple/green repetition.
Looking the other way, to the much sunnier Bronze Bed, you can see the roses and Geums featured in my last Monday vase.
Heading back towards the greenhouse takes you past the barrow,
the unpelleted (and thus chewed) hostas,
and various seed trays hardening off and in desperate need of planting out. (The ones on the left below are stocks which sadly look unlikely to survive).
Talking of not surviving, my Winter flowering sweet peas which were planted out sooooo late, have not done well at all, and a number have not survived the transition to the greenhouse beds.
Happily the tomatoes are a lot perkier.
as are various tender flowers still waiting for their chance to shine outside.
And to finish, just look at this Leptosermum. I was thinking over the winter it had got rather leggy, but all is forgiven now!
With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts our EoMVs.