From a Cool Spring to a Hot June

June has got off to a good start with temperatures in the upper 20s, blue skies and sunshine. And we were so ready for it after such a cool Spring.

Back in March a big freeze took many plants in the garden by surprise and all of my Buddleia froze right back. There are leaves coming at last, but the Butterfly Bed, where there are three central shrubs, still looks a little bereft.

Cool temperatures also extended the bulb season, with tulips up to the last few days, here with Alliums…

….and there are even some Narcissi still in flower… in June!

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’

The rain we had all through April and May meant some of my perennials grew way beyond expectations. As you can see in one of the photos above, the Geraniums and Alchemilla are enormous compared with previous years! This does, at least, make up for the lack of Buddleia foliage.

This Geranium is currently my favourite (it changes regularly!). G. ibericum ‘Vital’. The colour is very intense and the veins on the petals very pretty. I also like the foliage.

Wind and rain and very cold nights (e.g. 1.6°C overnight on 31st May) have given the vegetable garden a difficult start. I am still waiting for the beans to sprout and the cucumbers died so have been replaced with one spare seedling and one bought plant. I believe it may have gone down to freezing point last week a little way away from the house. The only things doing well are the kohlrabi and the salad leaves… and the weeds of course.

But now the danger of frosts is over for a few months and I have all my summer pots planted up, all my annuals planted out and tomatoes in pots on the patio.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

No time to sit and enjoy it yet though… this afternoon we collected a trailerful of mulch from the biomass yard to spread on the newest beds and around the vegetable bed. So you know how I will be spending my weekend! 😁

How was your Spring?

And are there signs of summer yet?

Have a great weekend and happy gardeneng!

 

Spring Update

The sun is shining and temperatures have finally climbed into double figures. And my Spring plant orders have started arriving. What more could a gardener ask for?!

1E86BE37-F74B-4D94-BDC3-F1D8030BDBE8

There are lots of plants in this delivery for the new bed, yet to be prepared. But the other things that arrived yesterday went in immediately. For example, some more Echinacea and Salvia for the Oval Bed and a Veronica and white Dicentra (Lamprocapnos) for the Moon Bed. You can see the Dicentra here… tiny but very vigorous!

CAE557FB-1448-4223-A7B3-FA732CB23848

I never really introduced the Moon Bed, which was prepared and planted rather late last autumn. Here it is, still looking rather bare.

659EE0A7-BD30-42BF-9C5A-F0265987875B

Cutting down the Miscanthus next to my ‘Moon’ in late winter made it look even sparser, but it will soon start taking off now it is warmer. Most of the plants I put in last year are peeping through the soil. It is so reassuring, and exciting too, to see them appear from nowhere!

04E513AD-C561-457B-8A50-6324BFDAFC8A

The barriers around two shrubs are to deter a Mummy hare from nibbling… can you see a bundle of fur in here?

97143F88-EB0D-40FB-B421-A32568E65382

One of her babies has made a nest in some hay I put out for him. He seems to like the spot under my potting bench for daytime napping and basking in the sunshine!

The colour scheme for the Moon Bed (which is actually a half moon in shape) will be limited to blue and white, with some silvery foliage and grasses mixed in. Can’t wait to see if it works! I think it is easier to experiment when you are starting from scratch. There are some new plants in there I have never grown, including a Delphinium… not sure if it will like such an exposed position, but we will see. 🙃

I also planted a few small herb plants in the Herb Bed yesterday: a Schizonepeta multifida (sounds a bit scary!) which is a mountain mint and looks like a dead stick still, hence no photo; a fennel plant to replace one eaten by the mice; and some Greek oregano. (Have any of you ever grown the Schizonepeta before? )

538AB7DA-362F-4E1B-8FCB-35D047FCCD5E

My Rosemary sadly had to be dug out of the Herb Bed as it did not survive the winter, but I now have a lovely Witch Hazel on the other corner of the Herb Bed and after ripping out dozens of wild strawberry plants (or was it thousands? 😉) to make room for the witch hazel I planted some cheerful Saxifrage. Albeit not the herbal kind. The witch hazel is ‘Diane’ and looks extremely boring now the flowers have gone over and the leaves haven’t started to unfurl but, for my own reference at least, here it is.

420EF539-22F9-4AF5-B9A6-CE838C3B11C0

Today the cold wind has made a comeback, so I am spending a relaxing afternoon recovering from a few aching limbs typical for gardeners at this time of year! 😉

Have a great weekend everyone.

And Happy Gardening!

🌷☀️🌷

 

A Spring(?)Picnic

Happy Spring Equinox! (Or Autumnal Equinox to those in the southern hemisphere!)

The other day the sun was shining and despite a few flurrries of snow on and off we decided to brave the chill wind and go for a walk in the woods. The black clouds ahead of us did not bode well, and no sooner had we arrived at our parking spot it started to sleet, snow, hail and blow from the north-east. Brrr! But we had our picnic with us, so we persevered!

Now this looks a nice spot for a Spring picnic… and the sun is trying to come out.

Spring Picnic

And a little walk afterwards.

Dreaming of paddling here in summer.

Maybe bring the hammocks?

Summer will come again soon enough, and I shall then be lamenting the heat and lack of rain. 😉 So I will patiently wait for warmer days forecast for the end of the month. March came in like a lion, so I am hopeful!

Have you had picnic weather yet? 😉