The garden in spring

Muscari the grape hyacinth is a welcome sight in early spring. It does spread if left to its own devices.
Underneath, a chopped tree trunk covered in moss and next to it is Leopard's bane (Doronicum orientale) it blooms at the end of March and through April. It's pleasing and easy going and it doesn't mind a little shade.

I know, daffodils are everywhere, but aren't they lovely, especially this double one. Spring's here.

Who doesn't love bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis). Here in white and pink. The foliage is very attractive but disappears in July or August. Bleeding heart likes to be watered well and appreciates a bit of shade. 

Ribes Sanguineum blooms mid March.

How delightful to see the wood anemone 'Anemone Nemorosa' and Anemone hepatica' spring into life. The self sown primulas are a pleasure. They come in all different colours and spring up everywhere. They started to bloom in early March.

Another delight in my spring garden is the common cowslip (primula veris).

 Most of my Camellias are in bud and some of them are in full bloom. Such a joy. (End of March)   

We had such lovely weather in early April (2017) when I took these pictures. A week later we had a bad spell of frost and some of my beautiful Camellias are damaged but not this lovely pink one with its abundance of delicate pink flowers (see above). It stands in a sheltered position.

Viburnum Burkwoodii is a rounded shrub with dark green leaves. It has beautiful white fragrant flowers. While in bud they're a delicate pink.

Pieris 'Forest Flame' is an evergreen shrub, growing up to 2.5 meters high. It is lovely but after about 10 years it goes woody. Maybe I should have cut this one down a bit. I may have to cut it down now because of the heavy frost and the top leaves have been affected by it.  

I love aquilegias they're so delicate and graceful and grow in full sun as well as in shade. They do seed themselves but not all varieties come true to seed. The one below left does though.

My friend gave me this little plant. It is viola odorata blanda (sweet violet). I have plenty of the violet ones but this one is more unusual. Next to it is gallium odoratum (sweet woodruff). In Germany they call it Waldmeister.

This elegant purple biennial is honesty (Lunaria annua). When finished flowering, a delicate membrane which holds the seed pods, develops (see photo on the right). When dry, the outer layers of the seed pods peel of to reveal a silvery, translucent central membrane to which the seeds are attached. Photograph of the silvery seed pods will follow in the autumn.

Tree peonies

I love London Pride. On the left is 'Saxifraga urbium' and next to it is 'Heuchera sanguinea'.

On the left is catmint (Nepeta). Sorry, but I can't remember the variety. Catmint seeds itself everywhere. To have it come up at different times I cut some of it very short. This prolongs the flowering season. The plant on the right is meadow rue (Thalictrum aquilegiifolium). It is a lovely plant but sometimes it suffers from powdery mildew, usually when the flowers are already spent. I cut them off when that happens.

Bergenia is an evergreen plant with bold architectural foliage and beautiful flowers. Here a deep pink. The plant is undemanding and doesn't mind shade. It flowers at least twice a year. It does spread but can easily be divided. There are many varieties. This one I think is 'Overture'.

The majestic allium. Some of mine didn't do so well and rotted away. Still, here are the survivors.

The large leaved Hosta has lovely white flowers and it is easily propagated from seed.

The yellow flowered tree peony (paeonia lutea ludlowii) blooms in late April and beginning of May. It has magnificent foliage and is worth growing just for that. I have been very lucky because I found a seedling not far from the original plant. It grows quite tall to about 2.5m high and wide but can be pruned.

Iris sibirica looks divine in May. It does spread but is easily divided. It likes shade but it is also happy in full sun.

This lovely veronica is called 'Shirley Blue'. On the right is  geum 'Mrs. Bradshaw' (I think).

Pulsatilla, another valuable plant for the spring garden. When finished flowering it gets wonderful fluffy seed heads, the seeds coming up in the most unlikely places.

The first clematis this year at the beginning of May, apart from clematis alpina. How gorgeous is that!

The lovely bell flower campanula persicifolia seeds itself everywhere. If you don't want them to seed you can cut them down and they will bloom again later in the summer.

My poem about the month of May.

It has been raining for most of the day and it’s almost the middle of May.

Between the showers I quickly went to look at the garden to see my plants bent.

The beautiful rosebuds only yesterday luscious and gay are splattered with clay.

Will my roses recover from this horrible weather?

If it comes to the worse I’ll cover them with an umbrella.

A unusual occurrence

One of my rose cuttings developed these strange looking petals.

I thought it was rather nice. I looked it up thinking I had something really special. Thinking I might win a competition in one of the 'Best category of rose growing shows'.

It isn't special. That just happens from time to time. It is a mutation, a disorder.

That's what I'm doing, growing disorderly plants.

Sounds about right.


Yippee! Springtime

The joys of spring.

At last spring's here. It's in the air.

Forget me nots and daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses bloom in abundance. Leaves are sprouting birds are singing. What more do we need?

Summertime

Summer's here. 

Barbeques and picnics.

Sitting in the garden with friends. Enjoying a book on the balcony or in the garden.

Sitting in the park.

Relaxing ... and ... weeding!

I don't mind the weeding. it's therapeutic. 

Autumn and winter

When it is cold outside, dark and miserable, permafrost (that's how it seems to be this year), or snowing, raining and damp we have to get our gardening books out and plan for spring and summer.