Yes, the garden is hotting up. Some good things and some bad things. In the interests of full disclosure before we get to the good I will share the bad. The lily beetles are having fun amongst the martagon lilies. At least six of them. Regular inspections will be required. My last box shrub is wriggling with box moth caterpillars and I am going to call it day. I’ve had enough spraying. If it’s not meant to be I will move on. It’s a blob anyway and has a top spot against a sunny wall. Perhaps a hibiscus for a replacement. There’s more bad. Two skimmia have yellowing, progressing to dead leaves. Perhaps their location is just too dry for them. They can go too. The last of the bad news is the tomato plants look awful. There is no spacious greenhouse for them to move to this year and frankly I think it’s barely worth planting them outside at all. It could be a problem with over-watering and/or nutrient deficiency. I’ve given them a dilute dose of tomato feed and I will plant them out this weekend. I switched brands of peat free compost this year and I have not had much success. This one seems to dry out at the surface, shrink back from the sides but still manage to be wet at the bottom of the pots. It was not a combination I handled successfully. I’ll go back to the previous brand in future. That’s cleared the air. On with six good things.
I seem to be having a good year with allium ‘Mount Everest’. I would say that bulbs that I had given up on seem to have re-emerged and those that are in the shadier end of the garden are reaching heights that justify their name. I like them and so do the bees.
The astrantias are also doing well. This started off as ‘Roma’ but I think a little hybridisation has occurred as this year’s colour doesn’t seem, to my memory, what is was last year. I don’t mind this at all.
This is my garden favourite this week, so much so that I’m sharing two photos. The first is the view of the arch from the veg plot back into the garden. The rose is ‘Mad Alf’, Madame Alfred Carriere. Mad because the flowers are held on such long stems and she climbs vigorously. A winner.
This is the view of the arch from the other side, where clematis montana Wilsonii is flowering in profusion. I think it is vanilla scented but it could be slightly chocolatey. Whatever, it is a dream to walk through and I find myself doing this several times a day. There is a bench nearby and it is such a pleasure to sit their of an evening and ‘feel’ the scent drift over. Top marks.
Having spent much time, along with many others, moaning about the Winter and Spring weather, I am now wondering if, in fact, it has been just what the garden needed. So many plants seem to be doing really well this year. In truth I’m a little concerned that this geranium ‘Brookside’ will go on to swamp its neighbours. I’ll update you soon.
Lastly the first ‘Wisley’ rose has opened up. The bush is full of buds and it will be a splendid sight when they all get going.
It’s a long weekend in the UK and the weather looks set fair. I will be sitting on that bench and enjoying the changing scenery. I hope you too will be able to find some moments to enjoy this weekend. Jim, our host, shares the SOS links and this week looks at Cacti. Stop by and enjoy. Happy gardening everyone.