April showers and flowers…

Phew…! I suppose this is typical April weather but it doesn’t make it easy to get outside in the garden…

I have only had time to potter around this week after work but have been pleased to see the flowers are really starting to come up.

My ‘star flowers’ at the moment are the fritillary flowers.  I do love these so much and am thrilled that they have come up in the raised beds on the shady side of the garden.  In the Autumn I will plant some more into the grass…  I had a photo I particularly liked so I have added it as a banner in the site, it think it looks very dramatic.  As a contrast, here is my only white flower.  It looks so delicate!

Beautiful white fritillary flower

What else is there…?

The clematis montana is full of small flower buds and its new leaves have just appeared this week.  I think the flowers will be a pale pink fading to white but I can’t remember which variety I bought last year.  How exciting, it will be a surprise when it flowers!

clematis montana buds against the trellis

Also at the end of the garden my white bergenia has flowered and also there are mysterious new bulbs sprouting in the grass.  They don’t look very exciting yet but I am hoping they are my blue camassia bulbs.

white bergenia flowers  new bulbs in grass

I also bought two little plants to brighten up the garden (they won’t be planted together) because they would really COLOUR CLASH.

A two coloured grape hyacinth and a really dramatic celandine ‘Brazen Hussy’.  The colour contrast between the acid yellow flower petals and the deep purple, almost black leaves is fabulous!  The flower is so bright you almost need sunglasses on to look at it!

white and light blue grape hyacinths  celandine brazen hussy flower

close up of celandine flower

What will flower next?  My tree peony is still in bud, I don’t suppose there has been enough sun yet but it does seem rather early as the peony at the front garden has only just started growing.  I also noticed a very, very early california poppy bud.  I shall keep an eye on these.

tree peony bud  california poppy buds

My seeds aren’t doing much yet but the Rudbeckia is showing tiny, tiny shoots…

Let’s hope that sunshine is on its way.  (Although the rain is very welcome and a good chance to top up the water butt).

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Showers and new shoots

winter sun shining through bambooIt isn’t easy to get out in the garden at the moment…

The showers are blowing along quickly and everywhere is so wet.  The low sunlight through the black bamboo does look lovely though.

Its not a good idea to walk on clay soil (which is heavy enough anyway) so to get to the ‘wild’ corner and the pond I walk across the grass and just stick to the stepping stone path.

clump of snowdrops

I’ve seen spring flowers in other people’s gardens but only have one small clump of snowdrops here.  Perhaps I need to split the clump up after they have flowered…?

Last year I had some double flowers in the front garden but there is no sign of them at all at the moment…

I have some green shoots that may be grape hyacinths but no sign of flowers to give me a clue.  I really should have put some plant labels in the ground rather than trying to remember where the bulbs are.

I have a small success through!  I planted bulbs in the ‘wild’ part of the grass and today noticed that the spring crocus is about to flower!  So far I have four flowers (not a great show, I know) and checking back in my scrapbook I see that I bought 35  ‘snow crocus’ bulbs which are a mixture of  purple, light purple, yellow and white.  So far, my 4 flowers are purple but I’m quite happy that they have grown!

purple crocus in grassThe picture isn’t the most exciting but I think it is a good start to the ‘wild’ patch in the garden.

I also have other bulbs shooting up, these are the alliums that I planted last autumn.  I’m rather confused by this, it is far too early in the year for these isn’t it?

Such strange weather!

Anyway, my next ‘task’ is to choose what veg seeds to buy.  Just the thing to do on a grey, wet, windy day…


Purple ‘pom-poms’

My verbena bonariensis plants are fantastic!  The appear to float above the rest of the plants and catch the sunlight.  More flowers are appearing on side branches so they give quite a full effect.  Even my seedlings that went ‘sideways’ have now found a way upright and they too are starting to flower.

Verbena flowers

Fantastic display, can believe they have grown so tall so quickly!  Must grow again from seed next year.  I wonder if I can keep seeds from these plants too??

Evening…

Outside this evening to check on progress.  Tomatoes are looking a bit tatty, realize that small caterpillars have been eating the leaves!  That explains why some of the leaves look a bit like green lace… Hmm didn’t know that there were caterpillars who fed on these.  Must pay more attention.

The seed heads of the Nigella look fantastic!  Almost as lovely as the flowers…

Nigella seedhead

Verbena bonariensis is looking fine, more flowers appearing and look like purple pom-poms floating in mid air.

Verbena flowers

Golden bamboo is spreading out again, must make a note to cut it back again at the weekend.

Flowers!

alliums

It’s still so hot and dry!  Alliums are in flower at the front, choysia is covered in delicate white flowers which have a faint fragrance.  The sorbus has blossom just starting to show and the first aquilegia is out in the back garden.  Dark purple which a white border, a bit like the variety I had two years ago A. ‘William Guinness’.

Seeds – salad leaves have started to sprout, I think the beetroots may be starting too!  The tomato seedlings are growing well BUT I managed to flatten them by watering.  Don’t know if they will straighten up?