End of Month – May 2014

Since the garden bloggers bloom day post, the weather has been somewhat disappointing with lots of rain and increasingly less and less sun between. The plants and garden mostly still look fine, but the bees are suffering and I’ve seen a few dead on the ground and I’ve ‘rescued’ quite a few that are just on the ground/wall and placed them on flowers so they can drink and hopefully get the energy to fly away. Hoverfly numbers still remain low, which is very surprising and Ladybirds are nowhere to be seen. Considering it was such a mild winter, it’s a surprise they aren’t around and can only guess that the rain drowned them during January and February?

The pretty Garden Gnome Poppies are blooming, sadly I missed the pretty white blooms thanks to the rain, these plants are so useful because they have lots of different colours on the one plant. I aim to plant them in the Aster border now the tier is fixed and I’m adding more grasses to the area. I just need to decide what I’m going to do with my Sanguisorba as I don’t want to take it to my parents’.

The right border is looking good, although the rain has almost finished off the Aquilegias since these photos were taken. Thankfully though, Harlow Carr is now blooming. I have two large Honesty that are going to seed and I’m trying to decide whether to pull them up (and not have their pretty seeds later in the year) currently they are smothering my tuberous thistle and Fox and Cubs so I really need the space clearing.

It’s Allium time once again, I’d like some shorter purples if possible… It seems difficult to get nice pom poms, lower.

The front garden is looking good with plenty of colour when walking up to the house, even the other side of the garden looks OK as this year the large shrub rose is very dense and adding welcome cover so the wall isn’t seen so easily – the wall is ugly and I hate seeing it. Preferably I’d prefer to have a climber on it, but as the gardens are tiered, anything on the wall would climb across my neighbour’s lawn as his grass is flush to the top of the wall. So sadly, it’s a no-go.

The window border is filling in nicely, perhaps too nicely and I need to pull some of the Geranium out – it was temporary anyway – as it’s crowded the Dicentra and this year I barely have any blooms. Perhaps it’s nothing to do with the Geranium and suffered in the rain?

A few years ago I planted two Oriental Poppies in the front garden, one has always been huge and has massive blooms on it, the other is much smaller and weaker. Both were the same and it’s interesting to see how each is coping. Similar to my ‘patty’s plum’ I bought 3-4 years ago, never once bloomed and only just beginning to produce good growth.

Now, here’s a conundrum… Remove the Teasel or not? It’s in completely the wrong place, has seeded from somewhere right at the front of the path through the Aster border. I don’t want to get rid of it but at the same time it can’t stay there and I know I’ll kill it if I attempt to move it (perhaps even kill myself on its lethal thorns)

The Foxgloves this year are a big disappointment, thankfully some have seeded in the front garden, including the below light one… Although perhaps a common purple would have been better in an otherwise primarily purple border.

Copyright 2014 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden


10 thoughts on “End of Month – May 2014

  1. What a fabulous display of alliums. Mine are sadly almost over and are green balls of seed heads now. I like you aster border that is going to look splendid. Last year I had a splendid foxglove but it’s nowhere to be seen this year.

    • Hi Ronnie,

      Yeah, the Alliums are going over here, too (photos were taken before I went on holiday, 2 weeks ago) Some are still looking good though and I suspect they might be aflatunense instead of purple sensation – almost identical but slightly smaller and a think a lighter shade.
      Foxgloves were poor last year for me; I sowed lots of some ‘peach’ looking ones, can’t remember the name now, came from Gardens Illustrated. Well they were rubbish, none were actually peach and they are all tiny, sickly little plants. Haven’t bothered since. Just a shame my purple ones seem to have gone too though.

  2. I know what you mean about the height of alliums – although you have to admire the length and straightness of the stems though! And I was interested to read what you said about Patty’s Plum – I have yet to get a flower from mine and the plant always look sub standard 😦 What are the erysimum? They look pretty. You seem to have a lot of decisions to make in the garden, but what’s happening about a potential move?

    • Hi Cathy,

      There are some shorter Alliums, but they’re not the nice round ‘solid’ pom-poms… I want the same as purple sensation, just nearer the ground. Although yes, they are useful for growing above other plants, there are some situations where I’d like them to be 20cm shorter.
      I think the Erysimum are winter sorbet and lemon, with some bowles mauve in the background of various photos.
      Move is almost there, well putting the house on the market. I’ve been doing a lot of work recently – painting our bedroom, power cleaning the decking and painting the wall and stairs outside, fixed the tier as the wood had come off and soil was collapsing. Buying things and tidying the house is ever on-going as I try to reduce the amount of clutter. A house across the road sold in two weeks recently so I think I’ll go on at the same price, seems a safe enough decision.

  3. Beautiful photos of lovely plants. My foxgloves did really well this year, all kinds of (unexpected) pastel and peachy shades .. such is Nature!

  4. Your Alliums are fantastic in the right border and they go so well with the geums, which also look good with the thistle! I have yet to find out if my peach foxglove seedlings will flower peach or not, maybe mine won’t flower till next year, I’ll have to be patient!

    • Hi Pauline,

      Hopefully your peach Foxgloves will fare better than mine; if memory serves me correctly, someone else also sowed them and they didn’t do well/weren’t peach, I’m not sure who it was but it was a regular poster on my blog, perhaps Janet or Cheryl. They did initially come up very well, I had plenty of nice, strong plants so I thought they’d be OK. But they stopped there and I only had a couple of mid-sized plants, the rest were barely 2 feet tall.

  5. Liz, your borders are looking fabulous. I have a bit of allium envy…..I have lost all but one of mine ??

    Could you Chelsea chop (know it is a little late) the Teasel….this would make it more bushy rather than tall. I have done this in my own garden when they turn up in the wrong place.

    Bees have increased significantly here in the last few weeks. I have been so relieved to see them.
    Butterflies though are in short supply. I have seen them but by no means as many as usual.
    Lets hope this up down weather settles and we get a long hot summer, we certainly deserve one…………

  6. Oh Liz how beautiful…it seems my garden has caught up with yours…sorry to hear about your weather…we are warm and dry here which is helping the garden bloom and catch up except for roses and many shrubs. I love all your orange blooms and those alliums are pure joy!!

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