It’s a year since I first posted an end-of-month review, and what a difference – besides the lack of sunshine today.
Weather aside, the piles of building debris – which we had spent a long weekend tidying up a couple of weeks before taking the top photo above! – have finally been cleared, the lawn re-seeded, borders created and planted, and a garden is now emerging, the phoenix from the ashes.
A year ago, this border was partially created and had just been planted. I can scarcely believe how much more established it looks already. Plants like the Sambucus nigra have grown through the year to fill out much of the space. By mid-summer it was overflowing with lush foliage and colourful flowers; in a couple of months’ time it should truly begin to settle into its stride this year.
The old yellow rose looks healthier than ever after a couple of years of restorative pruning. It has a dozen yellow buds washed with red stripes, the first has gently unfurled into a double flower of primrose yellow, the red replaced with a faint pink flush that will increase slightly as the flower fades.
This rosy hue seems to suggest that our rose is either the well known Rosa ‘Peace’ (also called Madame A. Meilland), which exhibits similar pink colouring, or more likely a descendant of it, such as ‘Grandpa Dickson’.
Sweet rocket, Hesperis matronalis, billows behind the rose in shades of mauve and white, sweetly scented on a warm day. Elsewhere, antirrhinums that unexpectedly overwintered in the borders are coming into flower this week, and promising buds are everywhere. I have been particularly watching the tallest, fat bud on our scarlet oriental poppy all week, and although she is still holding these closed at present, a splash of colour down in the skirts of her foliage reveals that an impatient low bud has burst into splendour first. Rather a strange sight, but a stunning colour as always. I look forward to more conventional flowers to follow.
In the kitchen garden, the first courgette is growing, pea pods swelling, broad beans are flowering, and we have had a steady supply of salad leaves and radishes from plantings in the greenhouse and under a plastic polytunnel.
Scapes on the hardneck garlic have been removed and enjoyed, the onions are coming up strongly too, and runner beans are beginning to curl up their supports. This time last year, we picked our first handful of small first early potatoes; this year the plants are too tall to be earthed up any further, but there are no flowers yet. It’s interesting to compare what is behind this year, and what is leaping ahead.
This month has brought us tempestuous storms, followed by a week or two of hot, dry sunshine-filled calm, until today the clouds rolled back in and the winds struck up. By late afternoon waves of drizzle rode the gusts of wind, blowing May out. June tomorrow! It seems to have crept up on us.
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