End of Month – May 2013

Having had a sneaky look at last year I can clearly see we’re behind… No surprise there because we’d had such a mild winter and then very early, hot spring. By now we had, however suffered two months of near constant rain, so any sunny photos must’ve been taken on the rare occasions that we had sun.
Regardless of this, Lupins were heavily laden with blooms, Sweet Rocket was filling the air with beautiful perfume, and I also had Roses, Salvia, Clematis, Astrantia and Geraniums.

This year, however I cannot be too surprised that blooms are a little later, after all it wasn’t that long ago that we still had snow!
Geraniums have begun blooming but so far aren’t in full swing, Salvia, Lupin, Rose and Sweet Rocket are almost blooming, so it isn’t too bad. And to be honest, I only noticed the Sweet Rocket appearing a few weeks ago – until then I thought I’d lost it but it looks to have self-seeded a couple of new plants for me, thankfully because its purple blooms are far more beautiful than Honesty even if they are very similar.

This year I will really miss my poppies and the Ammi I had last year. I haven’t sown any seeds this year, however I have spotted some poppies coming up in the Magnolia border which I didn’t sow – unless they’re from last year and only just sprouted. So it’ll be interesting to see what they turn out to be. I might have to see if B&Q have the ‘gnome’ poppies again that I bought last year; they were beautifully vibrant!

I’m playing a little bit of catch-up at the moment, the Bluebells are now in full bloom, Clematis ‘Willy’ is almost finished, and I need to chop it back hard because it’s barely producing any blooms or growth since I moved it. Hopefully if I’m hard with it, it’ll produce lots new shoots from the ground. I have various shades of Aubrieta, and it’s another plant that always seems to come out a different shade on the camera!
In autumn I planted around 10 Camassia, these are new to me so I didn’t get many. I’ve coveted them for a number of years but never took the plunge as such. Actually I’m disappointed, they’re just not ‘doing it for me’.

Bluebells, Clematis, Aubrieta and Camassia

Sadly it’s almost the end of Tulip season; shops don’t seem to be selling them in bouquets anymore. Goodbye old friend; until next year!


It has to be said, the wet summer last year and mixture of sun and rain this year has led to the plants being very happy. It’s clear I need to do a fair bit of dividing later in the year (if I’m still here) and I’ve been looking at which plants I plan to take with me to a new house.

Everything is very lush, but also seems to be overgrown, this border especially is rather messy as it transitions from spring into summer. The Drumstick primula heads are unsightly, and I’ve left the lawn edge because I didn’t want to mow over the Muscari which is going to seed further up in the border.

Front Garden

I’m actually really very happy with the border under the front window. It’s definitely beginning to ‘leap’ this year and I think I’ll remove the Geraniums I planted in there to help bulk things up to allow the other plants to spread their feet more. The Macrorrhizum Geranium will soon take over like it has in the Cherry border if I don’t pull it up.

Front Border

Moving into the back garden, I’m somewhat indifferent about the Aster border. There’s lots of this little Daisy type plant growing in it at the moment, which I might pull up because it’s crowding many of the others. I also don’t like the Aquilegias in this border, I feel they’re out of place and need moving. I will definitely take the taller one with me when I move as it seems to be a cross between my pink and my purple semi-double. It doesn’t have a yellow centre like the rest.
I also don’t like the Shasta Daisy, nor that it is really beginning to take over – even the Flat-topped Aster is losing the battle against it! And I much prefer the Aster. So I won’t be taking any Shasta Daisy with me.
(it’s been a good year for Dandelion, the cheeky clock is actually growing in the middle of the Pheasant’s Tail grass so I can’t get rid of it without ripping up the grass too.

Aster Border

Aster Border

I am loving the Rose’s fresh growth this year… I think it’s the first time I’ve really looked at it, or at least noticed the beautiful colours. Perhaps it’s due to the weather? Anyway, ‘Harlow Carr’ is opening her first blooms now and I cannot wait for the scent of Roses in the house again! Pretty pink vases, here I come!

Right Border

Oh yes, and the Alliums are far too happy in my garden. I’m being taken over by them. If it isn’t ‘purple sensation’ growing everywhere, it’s these smaller ones with leaves more like grass. The enter bottom of the right border is solid with Alliums or their seedlings… It’s getting very crowded down there. I’ll leave you to try counting the Alliums…
Oh yes, and I’ve cut back the dead v. Bonariensis right in the middle and towering over everything else. I lost pretty much all of my Verbena to the snow.

Right Border

Right Border

This is possibly the first time I’ll ever say the Buddleja border is doing well. So well, in fact it’s crowded this year. Geranium Thurstonianum is once again making a bid to take over the world. I will take some with me to the new house, but I’ll definitely be careful where I plant it next time. I didn’t realise it was such a beast when a friend gave it to me. The bottom photo is taken from the top side, where it’s more difficult to make the plants happy as it’s often hot and dry up there.
Astrantias are really happy this year! Previously they’ve struggled and produced only a few blooms. Shame they’re now hiding my F-M-Ns.

Buddleja Border

Buddleja Border

This border definitely needs dividing, once again Herb Robert is taking over and I think perhaps I ought to move it to another border where it’s more welcome, or needed because currently there are enough Macrorrhizum and Phaeum here to easily fill any spaces. Thankfully Herb Robert is so brittle it’s easy enough to snap off branches of it without the need to dig the whole plant up.
I am pleased to see the Bluebell numbers increasing, although they are struggling under the tree because the Geraniums are too tall! (just see some peeping out in the back). I have a slope of Foxgloves which will eventually become the centre of attention in a month or two.

Cherry Border

Copyright 2013 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden


17 thoughts on “End of Month – May 2013

  1. You have some fantastic colour combinations going on in your garden, so many flowers everywhere, I have one long border that hasn’t woken up yet! Your right border and front garden look so interesting, if you move the new people will be getting a super garden! I agree with you about camassias, I planted some a few years ago and they don’t have the presence I thought they would, also they don’t seem to last very long in flower, yes, I was disappointed too.

    • Hi Pauline,

      lol@colour combinations. I just throw everything in together! Most are happy accidents; I start with good intentions but then eventually other colours creep in as I forget myself.
      Here it’s probably the Aster border that’s lagging behind, but tbh most plants in there are later season bloomers with the odd flower here and there at this time of year.

      I just hope I get some plant lovers moving in once I’m gone. It’ll be upsetting to think someone will come in and concrete over everything… But then I guess that’s the reality of selling.

      It’s unlikely I’ll ever get any more Camassias; they just aren’t worth the space they take as the bulbs are quite large and they have quite a lot of leaves. I think I’ll stick to Alliums for interest at this time of year.

  2. You have so much going on Liz – it all looks great. Planned or unplanned – your borders look super full. Just how I like them too look.
    Asters, I love them but they don’t like my garden. I’ve ripped most of them out this last few weeks and I’ve now got a few spaces to fill. I do wish my Alliums would spread like yours seem to have – I’ve lost the majority of what I did have in the flooding last year.
    I sold my previous house to a ‘garden lover’ as he called himself. I left a lot behind as I thought they were all going to be cared for. It breaks my heart when I visit my old neighbourgh – the garden is a jungle and beautiful specimens have been ripped out! I hope you get your wish.

    • Hi Angie,

      Thanks 🙂
      Yes I like the full ‘cottage’ look. You won’t see many bare patches of ground around here.
      It’s a shame Asters don’t like your garden, Have you tried them in different places? I thought they were generally quite hardy and know there are a good few species in the Edinburgh Botanic Garden, perhaps try the same types they have? I think all my Asters have come back after the terrible summer last year, and I have heavy clay here so they are tough cookies!
      Ah-ha, see I’ve no intention of coming back here once I’ve moved. It’s often too painful, although nothing in comparison to my childhood home which I won’t go see, I doubt very much I’d come here. It’s a small cul-de-sac so not like I can just drive past. But yes, I do fully expect it to be abandoned/ripped out. That’s why I’d like to take a lot with me, but know when it comes to moving it’ll be too much hassle to dig everything up and move them so I’ll probably leave quite a bit.

  3. It is such a strange year, the hawthorn is only just blooming here, and my ‘Havran’ tulips are about at their peak! You have lots of lovely things flowering away despite the challenges. That buddleja border really has come together, and hey, there are worse things than lots of alliums. Shame the camassias aren’t doing it for you, they are in my medium term plan for the back garden, a deep blue I think. Macrorrhizum is a thug, isn’t it, but such a useful filler, I am going to be planting quite a bit of it in various parts of my garden to combat the weeds. I sympathise with the whole “what shall I take with me” dilemma, particularly when you don’t know when you will be moving, but it is good to be developing a better idea for what plants you really can’t live without, makes it much easier. Love that geum by the way, a great shot of contrast.

    • Hi Janet,

      I haven’t seen any Hawthorn blossom here yet either but I’ve never seen my little hedge bloom before… Perhaps it isn’t mature enough? So I can’t really compare that with you, however I do still have some Daffs that have only just bloomed on the front and they’re now going over.
      A very strange year indeed!
      I put the geraniums in to add some interest in areas as a short term idea until other plants fill out. So really I need to get rid of it or give it away and I hate killing anything… lol. But they are very useful and of course grow from pretty much nothing.

  4. Liz I am really enjoying seeing all these lovely plants and flowers…I have never had my allium seed itself…mine only grow from each bulb I plant and it has taken a long time to get enough so it makes a statement. And I so those FMNs.

  5. Lovely Liz! You are so lucky to have a Dicentra, I have given up trying to grow it, I buy plants and they seem happy but never appear again the following year, such a disappointment. I blame it on the snails.

    • Hi Ronnie,

      Where have you tried the Dicentra? I’ve got it growing in various conditions and seems OK…. Surprised it doesn’t like your garden tbh, and it is a shame but I’m sure there are plants you have that don’t like me too 🙂

  6. Hi Liz! First of all I need to tell you you sounded a little like my grandma: she used to tell ‘later this year (if I’m still here)’ too, although for different reasons than yours…
    Anyway it’s a little bit sad that you are planning to go now that the garden is in so good shape! I suggest you spare some aquilegias’ seeds as weel as moving the plants ’cause I don’t think they really like moving since they have a deep tap root.
    I’d be glad to swap some of my verbena bonariensis volunteers for some of your shasta daisies, I rather like them.

    • Hi Alberto,

      I did feel a little melancholy yesterday at the thought of losing the garden, but there’s always the next and I do aim to stay longer at the next one; this was purely a short-term house and a first step in buying. I really need a drive, fed up of parking on the road but also I’d like somewhere bigger and in a nicer area. There are just a few final job to sort and then it’s taking the scary plunge into putting it on the market and begging someone to give us a different mortgage!
      Please don’t hate me 😀

      You’re welcome to have the Shasta Daisies… I did like them, but it’s another plant I seem to have fallen out of love with. Plus it’s taking up too much space now and I don’t want it there.

      • How could I ever hate you?! I wish you the best for the sale of this house and the search of a new bigger and nicer one. I’m sure you’ll keep us posted. Are your roses still lingering into buds?!

        • Thanks Alberto 🙂 I knew you wouldn’t ever hate a fellow rose lover heeehee I was only joking anyway.

          Roseraie de l’hay is blooming (have some in a vase) but Harlow Carr, Gertrude Jekyll and Tess of the D’urbervilles are teasing me… Harlow Carr has been on the cusp of opening for a while now, but Roseraie has beaten her to it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: