The snowdrops have been flowering for a few weeks now, followed by the crocus. Today a little Iris reticulata has emerged, and the daffodils that I planted in pots are starting to come out.
The first daffodils to flower are Narcissus ‘Spring Dawn’. I also planted Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ which claimed to flower from December to February but are not yet out. The Spring Dawn are a nice soft yellow but their stems are a bit floppy. Also, mixed in with these pots I have smaller, later-flowering Narcissus ‘Geranium’, and tulips ‘Prinses Irene’ and ‘Don Quichotte’. Arranged around them are squill Scilla mischtschenkoana and two-toned grape hyacinths Muscari latifolium. A couple of squill are starting to emerge but seem a bit stunted. I think it remains to be seen whether my bulb arranging skills are any good!
This morning I spotted the little Iris reticulata (‘Harmony’) that I bought last spring and tucked away in a pot on the patio. That little bit of purple caught my eye and so I have moved it to the front porch so that it may be admired more frequently.
This week I have tidied up my strawberries, removing all the dead leaves and rescuing lots of baby plants on runners. My main motivation for doing this was to uncover any bulbs that were trying to come up beneath them and to remove any hibernating slugs. I collected about twenty mini strawberry plants and stuck them in pots, not actually sure where I’ll put them when they grow!
Of the 18 sweet peas that I sowed last week 8 have germinated so far.
Just as one geranium (a pink Geranium macrorrhizum) finishes another begins to flower (‘Johnson’s Blue’). I’ve cut back all the finished flower stalks of the pink one so I might be lucky and get a second flush out of it. The pink crosswort (Phuopsis stylosa) is also starting to bloom and has grown back massively since I gave it quite a severe prune in April.
After quite a dry April we have been having more rain, but also lots of sun, so everything is growing very fast. I had to mow the lawn twice in the last week! My paulownia are huge. The sweet peas that I sowed indoors last autumn are starting to flower and smell gorgeous. They and my ‘Maigold’ rose are filling that corner of my garden with scent.
Some of my climbing french beans have started flowering and I’m worried that it’s too early. I thought they would grow a bit more first, I hope I haven’t overfed them or made some other rookie error. The second sowing of beans are currently in the porch hardening off, I should be able to plant them out by the end of the week. The kale that I sowed has germinated very successfully and I’ve thinned them a little. I should probably thin more but I didn’t want to reduce my options too much in case of some kind of catastrophe.
Today I planted out 15 Verbena bonariensis in the back garden, more than half of them are in the lawn. All part of my effort to go full jungle. Mowing is going to be trickier but then that’s all the more reason to reduce the lawn even further. I’m thinking of dotting around some ornamental grasses, so it would still be grass – who can complain!