Thursday, 19 April 2018

The Fair Weather Gardener - Springtime in an Inherited Garden

Magnolia flowers
Springtime is exciting! There are at least 16 varieties of flower in my garden at the moment and I've done nothing to encourage any of them since last year.   As I've lived here less than three years I'm still discovering things as I get more on top of the place, which was hugely overgrown when we arrived.

These are all native - I mean as opposed to being introduced to the garden by me :-

Heather, a largish (for heather) bush of dark pink flowers has been in flower since early December. It's nearly over now and going brown, I may need to prune it.

Camellia, covered in vivid rich pink flowers has been flowering since the end of the cold spell in March, the flowers are browning now and starting to fall, but still lovely. I thought I didn't like pink ...

Forsythia is a glorious blaze of rich yellow spires up to eight feet high, after having not a single

flower last year - I had pruned it heavily so probably my fault, never had Forsythia before so I didn't know.

Kerria Japonica Pleniflora - is covered in pretty yellow multi-petalled flowers and I didn't even know I had this shrub! Last year I cut down a load of winter Jasmine in the corner where this has appeared.

Snowflake - white flowers like tall snowdrops on very long stems, these have been in bloom since January, almost over now.  The problem is they produce huge amounts of tall, densely packed leaves which swamp smaller plants, so I'm cutting them back as they finish flowering.  I will dig quite a lot of them out as they're spreading, unbidden.  There was a small clump of proper snowdrops too, much prettier but they didn't flower for so long - I still prefer them and will transplant some more.

Hyacinths in white and pink have been planted (not by me) in random parts of the garden - they keep falling over but do smell nice. I'd guess they were originally gifts, in pots, planted out after flowering.

Bluebells, the gorgeous little cousin of the hyacinths, are just coming out - a few of them are white and some are even pink - don't as me why! Pink is just wrong.

Tall Daffodils are just finishing and being eaten by snails.

Primroses, the pure yellow variety, very pretty rosettes of leaves too, but I need to control where these appear they can cause allergies.

Tulips in yellow and red - some even striped - are dotted around, I may try to move them into clumps for better effect - or just plant lots more.

Grape Hyacinths - or muscari to you!  Delightful little purple/blue flowers beside the path and also
  popping up in unexpected places. And the bees like them too.

And the following I have planted in containers and pots:-

Rosemary - there are two small bushes in separate pots just starting to flower, I've also planted one in the ground as I want a decent size shrub by the lawn - this one not flowering yet.

Miniature daffodils (Tete a tete) are still doing quite well in their pots, away from the snails. I'll put them in the ground later.

Magnolia 'Susan' - a shrubby variety with long slender purple flowers - it has survived in a pot for 8 years in the cold north, is now burgeoning in the south, though still in its pot. Should I liberate it? I'm tempted but not sure where to plant it.

Fritilleries - I planted these as bulbs early last year in pots and tubs, they've come up for the second year running and were looking wonderful until the sun came out. Then I saw a few holes in the blooms and thought damned snails. Today I saw the beautiful scarlet of several lily beetles... two of them were mating. Oh well, the fritillaries were fun while they lasted. I refuse to use insecticides.
Fritillaries and viola

Viola - super little variegated purple and white ones which I planted in springtime last year, in the same tub as some of the fritillaries, and they haven't stopped flowering ever since!

Hydrangea - a deep pink one which starts as variegated buds, very pretty, bought in Morrison's. Deserves to be planted somewhere...

Oxalis - pink flowers just beginning to come out. But it's very invasive, I keep trying to pull it out... oxalis you have been warned!

French Lavender which I was given and will plant somewhere, at the moment it resides in a small ornamental watering can.

White Heather is lucky. It's in a pot and I will plant it once I've decided where...

... and then around the lawn there are glorious golden dandelions which the bees are very keen on, and lovely little white daisies with yellow centres and deep pink rims to their petals. You might call them weeds, I just weed around them.


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