Friday, May 26, 2006

And it's still alive!

Have developed (an unwanted!) knack of killing off climbers. There was a pink clematis when I first moved in, which lasted a year... Next to perish was a purple clematis which flowered and died. Then there was the Arctic Queen. Thought I was going to have to add the passion flower to the list. But no, the climber is putting out new shoots and tendrils. Not expecting any colour this year just glad that it’s still with us! The honey suckle seems to have taken to its container as it is flowering. Maybe I should just steer clear of clematises? Hmmm.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Continuous battering

Like most gardeners I’ve welcomed the rain even if it does mean that I can’t get out to do anything (apart from crush the odd snail – stepping on slugs just ain’t as satisfying). However, didn’t really consider the damage the wind would do… The once vertical aquilegias have been flattened. The honeysuckle stems that were reaching upwards are now dangling horizontally (this is even after they were entwined with the last year’s remains of Arctic Queen – which I must cut back). Also featuring the horizontal look is the oriental poppy, with leaves and flowers splayed across the path and surrounding plants. It was given as a present from a friend at work and has really adapted to the garden. Going to divide the plant this autumn as it’s been left to its own devices for the last three years. I’m so glad the hollyhocks were supported a few weeks ago. I guess the silver-lining is that the water butt is continually replenished and the seeds for the meadow patch (planted last weekend) have been watered and are beginning to emerge. Just hoping that a few will make it to maturity before they are consumed by the hordes of slugs and snails!

Friday, May 12, 2006

And over to the blues

It’s that time of year again when the bluebells and irises are out in full force. They are a little thin on the ground compared with last year. I pulled up loads of irises during the summer in an exasperated attempt to get rid of the weeds that delight in growing up through their tubers. Although I don’t regret the decision it does mean that there are less shades of blue than usual.

Blue seems to be the colour of the moment judging from the results in our council elections. It is the first time (since moving to the area) that the blues have taken the majority, albeit by three seats.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Twilight fragrances

It’s something I’ve noticed on my way home over the last couple of weeks. There are so many delicate fragrances floating on the air, it’s dreamy.

Against the clear, deep blue evenings the cherry blossom along my road could be mistaken for pink fluffy balls of cotton wool rather than flowers. And at this time of night the small white flowers on the Mexican Orange Blossom are vivid in the half light. I’m sure that all the other flowering shrubs and climbs are just adding to the ambience… bliss!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rust or bust…

Got a soft spot for hollyhocks probably because its one of the few perennials that does return year after year. Unfortunately so does the rust. There must have been spores lying latent in the ground as every individual has succumb to infection. Since the beginning of year I’ve been dutifully removing any leaves showing the orange signs – I’ve been busy! Don’t think that I’ll be able to get rid of the fungus Puccinia malvacearum since its apparently prevalent and online advice suggests that the best line of attack of defence?!? They are definitely worth the effort for the bees, butterflies, spiders and me fully appreciate their open simple flowers.

This weekend those individuals that weren’t pulled up at the end of the year have been given some solid support to grow against. A solitary bamboo cane just ain’t enough for these towering giants. Hopefully that’ll keep ‘em upright and out of the garden path. In the past there have been creamy-white, dusty-pink and peachy flowers. Have no idea what colours are going to appear this year. Ah, so easily pleased!