Summer may have arrived!
The garden has really moved on this week, particularly in the herbaceous borders which despite limited colour have a wonderful lushness to them. That said, the shrubs are performing well: the first of the tree paeonies are coming into bloom with their big yellow globular flowers. We have dark red ones too in the woods but these come a little later. Tree paeonies seem to seed themselves quite freely so we have quite a few and the Good Lady has been potting up more for transplanting later on.
Our newish Magnolia stellata is also good this year as is the flowering quince (Chaenomeles).
The challenge at the moment is keeping the weeds at bay in order to set the plants off to best effect and that is now the current focus for our weekend labours!
As those wiser than me predicted, the fruit tree blossom is going to be quite spectacular this year. Some of the wall-trained apples are already fully out, some still to come. This year will see the full range of fan trained apples along the south side of the south wall flower for the first time in many years following our restoration of the beech hedge to more a manageable size in the Secret Garden.
We should also see a good crop of plums if the snowy white blossom is anything to go by, much enjoyed by the bumble bees with their contented humming.
This past couple of weeks has seen the most action in the greenhouse. Yesterday, we completed the potting-on of the last lot of summer bedding – some Calendula- nice cheery yellow fellows for later in the summer. We’ll start planting out our bedding in 2-3 weeks time; we try to grow the plants on as much as we can in the greenhouse. I’m in no hurry to plant it out as the bedding will see us through until October, possibly later, and there’s plenty of other stuff flowering at the moment. And we’re still getting some chilly nights although not the snow that our friends up north have had this week!
In the woodland the long awaited rhododendrons are starting to bloom with their wonderfully outrageous colours; there are a few very old plants in the old Pleasure Grounds flowering also; these will be about 100-150 years old probably but remain quite a spectacle.
When I was looking at them this morning on our early dog-walk, a Roe Buck crossed our path, stood looking at us for a while and moved on into the depths of the woods- not in any great hurry, where we heard him barking, a little like a dog with a sore throat!