I can’t believe it is the 15th April already – and time to visit Carol@May Dreams Gardens to peer over the garden fences of gardens from around the world, a monthly celebration of all things floral. Thank you for hosting Carol!
And although by now Spring is in full swing here in the UK, I am starting with a couple of the less showy bloomers. Thanks to Laura@Patio Patch I finally took the trouble to notice that my Aucuba japonica crassifolia does actually have flowers – though they are scarcely the stars of the Spring garden.
In the same spirit, the delicate flowers of the acer are not the reason you buy such a plant, but have their own beauty.
Some things have been and gone, and they are not always succeeded by their betters. I love Anenome nemorosa, but can easily miss the simple form (below left), they are so fleeting. They are followed by the altogether more thuggish A. n. ‘Flore Pleno’ – the fussy ruffles in the centre annoy me, and there is a blankness to the white which I find more and more displeasing to the eye. They last a lot longer than their more delicate relatives, needless to say.
Even allowing for my ineptitude when it comes to photographing white flowers of any kind, this is not my favourite plant, and not one I will choose to have again. I am grateful that this corner is still graced with Erythronium ‘Pagoda’, although it is just starting to go over.
Elsewhere, in the Magnolia bed, the colours are pinks and lilacs. The Honesty sings out.
The Anenome blanda is on its way out…
…but the batton is being picked up by my favourite new find so far this year, Phlox stolonifera ‘Blue Ridge’. I’d never come across creeping Phlox before, but by happy coincidence was thinking about how to mask the dying leaves of the Tète-á-Tète by the decking when I came across a post by Carolyn@Carolyn’s Shade Gardens about flowering ground cover for shade. I am in love – the tiny ovate glossy leaves are the perfect foil for the delicate lilac flowers, which are proving to be the same colour as the Anenome blanda (apart from the white spots).
Lousy photos – I’ve been having trouble with the paler areas flaring, can’t seem to get the exposure right – but had to share them…
There is some subtlety elsewhere in the garden, the lovely Narcissus ‘Segovia’ add a touch of elegance.
But the garden is dominated by the rich colour of the tulips. I made the mistake of not planting any pots up last Autumn, not something I will scrimp on again, so the only tulips I have are the ones that I had in pots last year, and then planted out in the borders without much hope that they would flourish. On the downside, they are tending to look plonked, but I can remedy that by planting more this Autumn. On the upside, they add glorious colour and shape, and in the case of ‘Ballerina’, scent.
They are balanced by the presence of Euphorbia robbiae, one of my favourite plants for deep shade. I grow it in the back, north facing border. The leaves alone would make it worthwhile but it flowers for an extended period and happily self seeds around other plants, so just gets better and better.
Elsewhere the flowers are more about the promise of the fruit to follow. Strawberries and blueberries will be very welcome, though I need to remember to net the blueberries to avoid last year’s debacle, where the birds got to enjoy almost the entire crop! I’m all for looking after the birdlife, but really…
And judging by the amount of blossom on the Crab Apple (Malus ‘John Downie’) this had better be the year that I get to grips with Crabapple Jelly! Any recipe suggestions welcome…
I leave you with the beautiful Primroses, a gift from Gardening SIL, and the encouragement to go an check out the other gardens participating in GBBD over at Carol’s blog. Happy GBBD!