Racing into May

The woodbed this morning – Anenome nemorosa Vestal, Hostas and Molly the Witch

We’re positively zipping through spring, the candles on the Horse Chestnut trees are well lit and the Hawthorn blossom is coming out. The first rose is out, David Austin’s Mary Rose. The irises are all putting on pregnant bulges, I florentina is already out along with the dwarf irises Jewellers Art and Gingerbread Man. Continue reading “Racing into May”

We’re on the spring roll

Tulip David Tenniers spring-morningMid April and most of the tulips are already open. The golden globes of Tulipa sylvestris were pipped to the post by a lone T kaufmanniana in March, but only just. The daffodils are mostly gone over now. Plum blossom drifts gently to the ground when there is a whisper of a breeze, the next wave of cherry and pear blossom have taken centre stage with the clotted Blackthorn in the hedgerows.

I have two double tulips this year, David Tenniers and the yellow Monte Carlo both from Broadleigh Bulbs. I’d put David Tenniers on the mauvey rather than reddy colour range Anthraciet was more reddy blackcurrant. Maybe one day I’ll have beautifully co-ordinated pots of tulips rather than a random mix, with in this case, the last of the highly scented Narcissus Sweetness interrupting the overall look.

A swathe of Narcissus poeticus planted by previous owners seems more abundant than last year,  a lovely wash of white running through the wilder woody bit at the far end of the garden. This is the woodbed at 6:30 this morning the chickens having complained loudly enough to be let out to get me out of bed.

Saw swallows in Melksham last week and a lone swallow yesterday over the garden. Nature’s Calendar is showing them starting to emphatically spread up the country over the last few days. The weather is cool but sunny which is I guess ideal.

Two ducks are running a creche in the still waterlogged field opposite. The drakes are starting to bother them and one little fluff ball got left behind temporarily yesterday while mum shrugged off the drake’s attentions, you can see just how vulnerable they are to predators.

On Friday I came home to a dead Carrion Crow by the chicken fence, it had a bloodied head and a small scattering of feathers, did it hit the electric fence, did something attack it? I don’t think our elderly cat would have taken on such a bludgeoning beak.

Tipping out old pots left behind by the previous owner yesterday I find I’ve been harbouring vine weevils but also found a large gold toad behind the pots.

More seeds to be sown including squashes and watermelon.

My autumnal predictions were too early

But now the cold has come in again, plants such as the species impatiens that looked OK a few weeks ago are ragged and forlorn. The exuberant bed in Thornbury was lit up by a final hurrah of nerines amongst the late perennial sunflowers but that too is over.

Speaking of Nerines, at RHS Rosemoor Zeal Giant caught my eye this week,  bigger but fewer trumpets and more salmon tone in the pink.

Visited Overbecks in Salcombe last week and enjoyed the gingers, bananas and other exotica, including the rabbit who apparently doesn’t much like cannas. Unlike some NT gardens there seems to be a gardening energy there.

Also visited East Ruston in Norfolk for the first time in September, I enjoyed their exotic garden, a huge persicaria is one to hunt out (name unknown) and the display of double nasturtium Darjeeling Gold/Double as part of a mega floral assemblage was impressive. I was amazed by the overall size of the gardens.

Monopsis unidentataThis little curiosity is Monopsis unidentata a South African plant which overwintered outside with no protection, which I didn’t expect at all. Grown from seed sown in spring last year from Silverhill Seeds.

Also to the gentleman in the Isle of Wight who contacted me regarding suppliers of old fashioned tulip bulbs, I am sorry the iPad ate your email before I could respond.

Living Colour /Jacques Amand is one source

The Hortus Bulborum in Holland is another