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Moving on


My garden is definitely moving on in quite a hurry! After a slow start to May, with cool weather and such a delay to spring, suddenly – with this burst of heat – simply sitting back and admiring everything is no longer an option.

Definitely in need of attention – some of those forget-me nots and poppies can come out for a start!

Sunday :
It was so hot today there was little possibility to do very much except notice things that need to be attended to. Very frustrating! However, by about 7.15 after watering the pots, I could not leave certain things any longer. It was actually very pleasant – still sunny, although the garden was in shade, and still warm, although much cooler than earlier in the day.

Many of the things that I greeted with such delight a few weeks ago need attention : most, though not all, of the forget-me-nots (which I welcome, although I know that’s not a universal reaction) are well and truly over, so they came out – how lovely to see the shapes of the perennials they had gradually cosied up to, and towered over as they slowly faded and began to set seed; Welsh poppies (which I love) appearing in lots of spaces I would prefer to preserve so that I can see other plants which are beginning to mature; and of course, the constant deadheading of the violas (it’s about now that I begin to sigh a bit over my obsession with them!)

Dicentra not-so-slowly but surely taking over.

Then I needed to restrict the space taken by the dicentra which puts on an enormous amount of leaf as the flowers go over. I tied a loose “belt” of string around them to stop them flopping over everything. I believe some people cut them down, but I never do that until the leaves go yellow. I love the shape of them, so I spend ages trying to arrange them so they don’t look too constricted.

I marvelled at the development of the lupins, daylilies (which rarely flower for me), chrysanthemums and spirea. They were all (except the daylilies) new last year and I am amazed how much bigger they are this year! I hadn’t planted many perennials myself before last year and it’s a revelation. I tried some years ago when the garden was pretty much overrun with slugs and snails, and didn’t have a lot of success. Now I can see I shall be dividing and replanting before long – how exciting!

This plant only produced two flower spikes last year.

I sank several plastic bottles – upturned, with the bottoms cut off – in strategic places to enable water to reach roots. I’m using tap water now, which I hate having to do. The sandy soil doesn’t absorb water very well – it sits on the surface for ages, although it does eventually sink in, so the bottles are very helpful.

Cut the lawn again – the daisies were twice their usual length. I was quite tempted to make a daisy chain – it would have been very long in no time! Halfway through the mower died. Fortunately it was just the fuse, or loose wiring in the plug so all was fixed in relatively short time (the plug that came with the machine eventually had to be changed as there seemed no way to get into it) I had visions of going out to buy a new mower – not really what I want to have to do.

Looking at the spaces I have created, I am determined to resist filling the gaps with new plants – even annuals. Tempting as it is, I know the spaces will be filled with what’s already planted.

How quickly the plants are growing – I can see changes even since yesterday. Apart from the lupins and the spirea making leaps and bounds, the lily of the valley, which has nearly finished flowering, is producing ever-increasing amounts of leaf. And many of the container plants, which were only planted 10 days ago, are beginning to flower, although they’ve got a long way to go yet! The camomile which was planted a couple of weeks ago is showing every sign of establishing well and I am continuing to water it daily.

Plenty of ant activity in evidence! There are little (and big!) piles of sand with holes in them in various parts of the patio. I imagine it covers a huge warren of ant colonies. They don’t present too much of a problem, I’m glad to say, although I’m not too happy when all the flying ants emerge on humid days later in the year!

The best thing about this time of year is that there are always lots of things to look forward to – lots of flowers poised to come out and, of course, the containers which I so love …in spite of all the watering!

Paeony Sarah Bernhardt

Pear : Conference

Tomato : Sungold

A few more things to look forward to!

Cecile Brunner : these perfect little buds mature into surprisingly blowsy blooms. Not quite so productive this year – she blew down in late spring, and I had to cut her back quite a lot.

A bit cooler today, even some cloud this morning. Beautiful by midday – clear blue sky, gentle breeze, not too hot. Lunch in the garden – bliss!!!

10.15pm Still a beautiful, clear sky and some light left. The solar lights have just come on. The patio flags are warm to walk on. There are two or three birds still singing – just perfect.

More blog posts by melchisedec

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Its amazing how quickly things suddenly burst into life in the garden isnt it? You have a few of my favourites there - Sarah Bernhardt peonies are always so beautiful. I also really like your Cecil Brunner rose, its still got lots of flowers on it even though you gave it the chop!

29 May, 2012


Nothing deters Cecile Brunner! My mother and my grandmother both always grew this rose - their favourite. Mum has just had to have hers cut down almost to the ground because of repairing the fence, and it is already coming back!

29 May, 2012


Everything coming along in your garden. Interesting that your Lily of the Valley is finished - it's only just started in my garden :)
Love Sarah Bernhardt - mines has lots of buds too! I have grown Dicentra for the first time last year - I cut the foliage back and had a 2nd flush later in the year. I'm going to do the same this year - hope it wasn't beginners luck!

29 May, 2012


It is interesting that we are all gardening in a slightly different time zone. I always find it fascinating when we drive to Scotland how the trees are either ahead or behind us. We are off to the NE tomorrow, so I shall be keeping a good lookout. I am going to cut back the dicentra and see what happens - a sort of late "Chelsea chop"!

30 May, 2012


As you say so much coming on and at such a pace. I`m one that wouldn`t be without the forget-me-nots I think they add a lovely airy quality to the planting, but admit to it being a bit of a pain when its time to pull them out.
Your garden looks lush and tranquil a lovely place to sit and enjoy.

30 May, 2012


Thank you, Stroller. I love the self-seeders, and agree about the forget-me-nots. I still have plenty! It is always a surprise how much the garden changes towards the end of May. I can understand the expression "June gap", although I don't see it as a "gap" - more an explosion of green!

30 May, 2012


Lovely to read about your garden and how it's doing. I know how things speed up at this time of year, and it's sometimes difficult to controll it.
I also like forgetmenots. This year there were hundreds. I pulled them up yesterday, and I always give them a shake, to spread the seeds :o)

31 May, 2012


Thanks, Hywel - I find "control" impossible, especially at this time - "manage" will do me just fine!!!

31 May, 2012


Hi there, Lovely Cecil Brunner rose. How did you control your slugs / snails early on. They have almost mutilated one of my lupins. I have been trying the 'beer traps' which seem to be fairly successful. Loathed to resort to slug pellets. Snails seem to make a pilgrimage up my walls to my upstairs window boxes :-((

7 Jun, 2012


Thank you, Herica. The slugs and snails have gradually declined due to the birds and frogs, I think. Mind you - they were dreadful a few years ago, and they still have a nibble here and there. I have tried just about everything on the market and all the tips. I move pots around if they are being got at. I believe beer traps work well, and pellets of course, but I don't use those , though I might if I was desperate. I have Boston Ivy on the back wall, and we used to see snails right up by the roof!

8 Jun, 2012

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