Suddenly, although there is quite a bit of bare soil showing still between plants, there seem to be flowers everywhere. And not ‘just’ those purchased in our Malvern spree…
The handful of leftover Tulipa ‘Barcelona’ bulbs that I thrust hastily into this border towards the end of February have come into bloom – albeit only a few inches above the ground, which is quite extraordinary. The Omphalodes cappadocica ‘Cherry Ingram’ gives a burst of true blue further around the edge of this bed, and in the background you can just see the vibrant magenta Geranium cinereum Subcaulescens blooms in a gentle mist of blue forget-me-nots. There are more forget-me-nots, and splashes of deeper blue, across the garden in the form of Centaurea montana, vivid against a background of purple honesty.
Aquilegias are suddenly the star of our May garden: from the nine or ten plants of A. Lime Sorbet dotted about the two main borders that I grew from seed last year, to a motley collection of self-seeded plants which I have rounded up into the borders as we developed the garden.
I am particularly mesmerised by the deep purple aquilegia that sprung up beside a huge clump of purple honesty. Above, the longer-spurred A. ‘Red Hobbit’ that we bought at Malvern last year is joined by the flowering grasses, one old and one new, and the first small trailing pansy. I have raised a range of various spurred, mostly yellow, aquilegia seedlings in the greenhouse this spring that should expand this collection further next year.
Some more recent acquisitions have joined the garden: the Camassia and Cirsium were bought a week or two ago from a nursery, while the beautiful white ragged robin and Veronica both came from the weekend’s trip to Malvern.
The red-blushed corrugated leaves of our Viburnum plicatum ‘Pink Sensation’ are topped with clusters of pale pink flowerheads, while its cousin – the Snowball tree V. opulus that my Mum and Dad bought us as a wedding anniversary gift last spring – also has one or two pale green globes beginning to turn white. Above, the horse chestnut tree has managed to hold onto a handful of flower stems despite the rampaging winds, but I suspect there won’t be much of a conker harvest this autumn.
The lovely dark foliage of Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ is laced with delicate white flowers, through which the border dances when the sun shines.
Away from the main borders, Centranthus ruber, both pink and white forms, have joined the aubretia in the herb bed, and in the front garden the velvet red display from the wallflowers shows no signs of stopping.
It’s not all purely decorative, either. All three apple trees are bedecked with delicate blossom (even the foreshortened espalier in the aftermath of the flying trampoline), while the bed of strawberries at the feet of one of the espaliers are in full flower. The four planters of strawberries on the roof of the woodstore are in bloom also, and behind them the hawthorn tree is finally coming into blossom.
And the first flower on one of our peas in the kitchen garden is hopefully a sign of bountiful crops to follow.
Back in the ornamental borders, the geums that my mum gave me (Geum rivale, I believe) are covered in delicate apricot flowers.
I am thrilled with how the garden is beginning to fill out, yet with so much promise still to be fulfilled. Here’s to a long and flower-filled summer ahead…
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