I’ve been away in Amsterdam for a week, and my phone suddenly died: these two things have made it difficult for me to do any gardening or blogging, respectively. But during my holiday I did take some photos of the Keukenhof tulip fields, which I’ll share in another post.
Now that I’m back, what does the garden look like? Well, for the next few days only, still something of a building site:
But there’s plenty going on, even since last month.
Back garden landscaping and furniture
That previous photo was taken from one of my new sitting places, up near the compost bin. Here was my situation today, with someone to keep me company:
Elsewhere, the longer trench is still yet to collapse:
And the shorter trench is now entirely squared off to to the right width and (spirit) level:
One final bit of landscaping in the back garden: to make space for the cement van to come up the driveway, I’ve had to move the log store and water butt from the driveway. Gwenfar kindly gave me a second water butt, so I was able to keep most of the water:
And the log store will do just fine in a separate, spread-out location:
Also kindly, a neighbour has lent me their chainsaw. So when I move the log store back, I’ll be able to saw it up and stack it much more neatly.
Back garden edibles
Edible gardening is still a bit tricky: I’d have hoped to have beds in place by now to put things like the “Super Aguadulce” broad beans, into as they’re romping away but starting to suffer from lack of roots and sustenance:
The salvia, rosemary and Lavendula angustifolia “Hidcote” above are also putting on new growth (ignore last season’s dead “Hidcote” in the pot at the bottom right. That’s had its final warning now!)
The overwintered Latvian peas are starting to give more and more flowers:
Again, though, if they’d been in beds, they’d probably have been more manageable: it’s tough to even get any pea pods off them at the moment.
The “White Lisbon” spring onions are almost all up, and the “Italian Giant” parsley seedlings have had good germination (which surprised me) although the next round of broad beans have barely germinated:
To the bottom right are the mixed cosmos. They’re past the seed-leaf stage nowq, although I had one die off very early on, and another three die while we were away in Amsterdam, despite considerable watering before we left.
The “Solent Wight” garlics are bulking up, at the very rear of the garden, although the phacelia and sunflowers in front of them have yet to appear:
In the growhouse, the seedlings are happy:
I haven’t had amazing germination of lettuce (started off indoors)—Tantan (left) better than Buttercrunch—but now they’re up they’re putting on true leaves.
Back garden ornamentals
Star of the show remains the Acer palmatum var dissectum at the rear of the garden:
Now the apple tree is gone, it seems to really appreciate the exposure, light and comparative warmth there.
The Daphniphyllum himalaense is once again putting on its neon-green new growth:
It really needs repotting, not least because that pot keeps blowing over. I think it’s root-bound, but doesn’t mind it too much.
The primula are handing over to the pelargoniums and pulmonaria:
Unlike the new delphinium and eryngium I bought, the pulmonaria seem fine. The former two are sadly almost dead, as you can see top right!
The assortment of hardies are very happy:
(Left to right: Stipa tenuissima, Geranium (!!!), Anemone hupehensis “Hadspen Abundance”, Tiarella “Sugar and Spice”, mint, chocolate mint, and Impatiens omeiana “Pink Nerves” out from the growhouse for a spree; it’ll return at night, to avoid it getting eaten.)
Geum “Prinses Juliana” is a lovely almost blood-orange orange:
Making up for the premature death of the Lamprocapnos (eaten at the base, I think.)
The Crocosmia that were hidden by both privet and apple tree are bouncing back, as are some kind of seedlings (a maple or similar?)
And the buddleia and myosotis still bring some cheer to a corner of the mudpit:
Finally, the Welsh rose’s favourite flower, photographed along with the Welsh rose’s favourite cat:
Lavendula stoechas “Fathead”, and Felis catus “Fathead”!
As mentioned above, the log store is gone. Before (from November):
Pleasingly (well, Indie seemed interested) the Meconopsis cambrica has come back:
I do absolutely nothing with this plant, and it just self-seeds all along the north-facing wall of the house, and is a joy:
Its flowers even close in the cold or at night, which is adorable.
So far, the area I dug over round the front, and planted with phacelia, sunflower and other bee-friendly plants, is doing very little indeed:
The spring bulbs might have mostly flopped:
But white bluebells have taken their place:
I believe (from the scattered blue forms) that these are the Spanish sort. I can’t say I have the visceral reaction against them that others have!
Finally, two reliable perennials, the Centaurea montana and Choisya ternata (mumble Tropical mumble?) have started to take off:
The smell from the choisya is lovely, close up: of course, the previous owners have planted it somewhere that you can’t really get close to, where the wind blows the scent away.
But we can change this! And we are doing. Once the walls are in place, there’ll be no stopping me.
(Thanks to Helen Johnstone for hosting the EOMV meme!)