… for colour to return to the garden. The warm sunny days have boosted both foliage colour and buds into flower in my garden here in Scotland. I mentioned in a previous post that I was adding a new colour to the garden for 2008. I do have this colour already but I am looking for more impact with it this year. I wonder what the ‘in’ colour for Chelsea Flower Show will be for 2008 – not long to wait now.
It is the deep colours that I am looking to enrich my predominately green garden with at the moment. I have planted dark, almost black, hollyhocks in my sunny front garden which should tower up and through the flowering stems of stipa gigantica. I also planted some dark sweet peas to grow up and through my obelisks – sorry birds the plants need them now!
I do like to mix the balance of colours every couple of years. I think the dark colours look fantastic against the acid green of the euphorbia flowers. As do the more coral reds like the pieris. I don’t grow bedding plants so foliage is always important to me in texture and form too. This year I am also adding more plantings of the black grass Ophiopogon in my front garden.
Brown may seem a dull colour for the garden but I love it too – once again I think it looks fantastic with the euphorbias and golden colours of my ornamental grasses. I always look forward to seeing the new growth on my Physocarpus Diablo especially this year! I planted have a mixture of deep tulips and alliums in front of it and to the side I have a bargain Japanese pink anemone ready to plant. This is looking a very interesting area now.
My wisteria however, is still the star here and now its buds are starting to put on growth. It is likely to be into June before a see them fully flower but they are well worth the wait. In the afternoon they bask in the sun and in the dappled shade the opening fronds of the ferns are heading skyward too. Even the hostas in full shade are looking like they are about to launch. Yep the whole garden is just taking off now.
Oh yes… now the tulips have launched into flower and what a delight they are! Like the crocus I am really warming to them this year. I have enjoyed waiting them to open their buds almost as much as I do the alliums. The white tulip above was a gift from a friend and is also my namesake ‘Shirley’.
The red one is an alien! Well… it transported from somewhere anyway! I don’t plant pure reds! However, it looks quite good with the burgundy red Acer leaves behind it and deep red grass and heucheras on the ground. I might just leave it be. Mm… am I getting soft?
Now the most serious planting of tulips I have ever planted, in my silver border, are just starting to open and I really have been waiting patiently to see this. However, I was perhaps over zealous in my planting! So, a bit dangerous perhaps, I have just moved some to the border with the Diablo.
This is where my planting in pots in the ground has really worked as I lifted the pots and planted the bulbs straight into the ground in their new home. They are looking okay now. Fantastic, I will do this again. I love the tiny blue flowers of the brunnera Jack Frost growing through the tulips. I really bought this plant for its beautiful leaves and didn’t pay attention to its flowering time. Another bonus! I expect I will be taking lots of photos from this area very soon once they all come into flower – there are three different tulips here. No aliens please!
Allium bulbs were also potted up last year as I didn’t plant them in the ground as I wanted to wait until now to decide where to plant them. By potting them they got a good start and I had great fun walking around my garden with them and planting where I could see spaces in the foliage. I did have a good idea where I would plant them however I most definitely would not have planted some where I have. I am thrilled that I had this freedom.
I love new fresh greens in the garden and the alliums are great for that too although they will loose their leaves once the flower takes over. I especially love the green leaves of my tiny domed Acer at my back door which at the moment is matched by the fresh leaves of my Bowles Golden sedge grass which will turn almost yellow in a few weeks. It looks lovely in flower now too.
This post could have gone on and on. However you will most likely be spending more time in your garden at the moment too. On a more practical I have been clearing out my shed to have it replaced and need to finish cleaning the glass of my greenhouse. I only got the job half done last week and what a difference it makes! There is so much to see in our gardens at the moment.
The montage above shows some more snippets from my garden taken yesterday. Photos top to bottom, left to right show: Chives with flower buds and Alpine strawberries with flowers; Blossom on weeping pear; Delicate white magnolia flowers in the shade; Rhododendron flowers and buds waiting to open; Sunshine glowing through bergenia leaves; Glossy saucer leaves of assarum in the shade; A mining bee (still to be confirmed) in the hot sunshine of my front garden making holes/tunnels in the sand between paving slabs; a popular bird bath dried out with the warm weather and finally topped up again with water from my water butt. The final photo below is of the alien looking drumstick primulas almost on their way out. I loved the colour in this capture.
All photos above were taken in my garden on May 7th 2008.