What a wash out!

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The  has been so awful that the garden has been left to take care of itself for the most part. However, it seems to have thrived without my interference. We also had a week away during which, seedlings which I had given up on, sprouted up.

Despite the weather, I haven’t been able to resist buying new plants. The front border between the two houses is full of shrubs and trees and is quite shady on my side. A gap in between was crying out for some shady plants so I bough some hostas. When I tried to dig, the ground was so dry and thick with roots it was impossible to make any headway. My gardening buddy, Raewyn, offered me an old stone trough which was pretty battered and insanely heavy. It fitted perfectly into the space and is now planted up with hostas.

I am really pleased with the new dividing border and archway created earlier this year. The plants are really developing well, despite the very poor soil. The thalictrum ‘Elin’ and delphiniums are 6 feet tall although the stipa giganteum is yet to reach 2.

I seem to have more aliums than ever this year. Those that have failed to produce flowers previously have flowered in even the gloomiest parts of the garden.

The cosmos ‘Candy Stripe’ seeds that germinated so readily have produced perfect plants but are only 6″ tall! The angelica archangelica planted last year is magnificent. The umbelifers are huge and stunning and attracting lots of bees. The climbing rose against the fence is bigger than it has ever been in the 7 or so years it has grown there. It has one beautiful bloom, hope there are many more to follow. I am pleased that the Swan Lake rose has flowered and hasn’t gone into a sulk after being moved last year.

Two beautiful acers have been added, one fine-cut and feathery and the other varigated and drooping.

The Ladybird poppy bought from the Tatton Flower Show in 2010 was no where to be seen last year and I thought it was lost. However, it appeared last month in all its glory. The aquilegias have been particularly pleasing this year although most have gone now.

There are lots of apples on both apple trees, including the graft that has never produced fruit before. Fingers crossed that they stay on the tree long enough to be edible. The strawberries are starting to colour and the raspberries are growing tall and strong. The blueberries are plumping up although I may have been a bit harsh with the pruning last year.

My friend at work gave me 6 swedes and some white and red onions, all doing very well. The beetroot is also doing well but I only have one moth-eaten cabbage. The carrots are looking a bit sparse and quite disappointing. Haven’t done too well with the veg this year.

Hope summer arrives soon.

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Tidy Up Time

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Yesteday was spent with my lovely friend, Raewyn who invited me to join her for afternoon tea. Where will this friends’ reunion take place I hear you ask? Well, any garden centre will do so we did a few! We started at Fryers’ because I wanted to check out the roses for my garden arch and their tea room is a delight. Then we called in at High Legh as it was on our way home, no we didn’t have tea and scones there as well! Must be the first and only time we have ever come home empty handed, but we did come home with lots of ideas. I am looking for tall shrubs that will act as a screen alongside the archway such as, Ilex, Daphne, viburnum or even a flowering cherry.

This morning I decided to spend a couple of hours pottering.  At first, the sun was making every effort to shine, but in the end, it was just me in the cold and rain. I started by digging up what was once a beautiful yellow rose with blooms like huge buttercups. When I first planted it, it was floriferous and I was forever trimming it back to fit the small space it was occupying. Last year I decided to move it and it was not at all happy. It hardly grew at all, just a few small leaves on spindly stems and no flowers whatsoever – it was in a real sulk. I am hoping that, if I can revive it, it would be a lovely specimen to grow up my new garden arch.

I also dug up a spirea from the front rockery. I don’t know why I planted it among the silver leaved plants, it just didn’t look right so it too is in temporary accommodation until I can find a new home for it (not necessarily in my garden). I trimmed away all the dead leaves from the strawberries. The new leaves are already well-established so at least now they can see the light.

I was so excited to see the first of the snowdrops that I planted last year.  Several pretty primulas have been happily flowering since November
This solitary anenome has also been stoically flowering since before Christmas I love this helleborus, it never lets me down and, true to form, the beautiful flowers are in hiding beneath the evergreen foliage.

 

It’s starting!

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The garden has been just green for weeks and I have been waiting in anticipation for everything to burst into flower. I rather thought that it would all happen at once but it is happening slowly with each day presenting a new treasure.

So many things have given me a thrill this week.

The two roses have each got two blooms.

 

We have been eating rather a lot of cabbage this week!

It’s difficult to see in these photos but my lovely corkscrew grass has got amazing flowers.

The anenomes really zing out amongst the candy stripe cosmos The agapanthus is huge and beautiful
Fabulous colours in this hanging basket

The dahlias are almost fully open

This phlox is very pretty but it probably would have benefited from the ‘Chelsea Chop’