Halfway May

It’s been a while since I have posted a round up of developments in the garden and now that May is half way through I think it’s well past time I brought you up to date.

By the end of April the orchard was waking up and all around the edge the pears had come into blossom. There’s something terribly elegant and slightly austere about pear blossom. Braving the colder weather it emerges pure white against the dark, leafless branches – the Tilda Swinton of fruit blossom. Before too long the cherries, apples and crabapples joined the party and the view down from the bedroom window on their flowering tops was stunning. Las year we didn’t have too many russets, but we had excellent flowers this year so this may bode well for mincemeat supplies come the autumn. We put in some cider apples, a medlar and a quince in the winter and the rather unpromising looking sticks are all showing signs of life (though in one case only at the base so who knows what will emerge!

Usually in May I am waxing lyrical about the tulips but this year I think they were just a little disappointing (with a few honourable exceptions, a new clump of yellow species tulips in the hot garden were lovely). I’m afraid the bulbs just don’t last forever and I shall have to renew some of the clumps come the autumn. The early clematis though was a wonder, blooming far longer than usual and quite covering the ironwork seat in its long fingered blue flowers. Usually these are a magnet for bumble bees, worryingly, I’ve not seen any emerging, pollen laden and drowsy so far this year. Hopefully this is just weather related and not something more sinister.

By the Coronation garden party (a heady mix of royalists and died in the wool republicans, but all committed to any excuse for a party) the marsh marigolds and blue camassia were out around the bottom pond, which was, to the delight of the little girls attending, a veritable soup of tadpoles and newts. We liked the look of the bunting wending in and out of the the wisteria on the pergola so much it is staying up all season. There’s bound to be plenty to celebrate.

In the last week dainty nodding heads of aquilegia have been springing up in all the “designated zones of toleration” in the Leftovers Banking, along the back track and by the stream (and if I am quite honest, they are also appearing everywhere else as well..). It takes a heart of stone, I think, not to leave them be so they will have free reign until the flowers fade. (I can almost hear my mum harrumphing as I type this – she takes no prisoners when it comes to straying out of one’s designated spot and has them firmly in the ‘weed” category.)

And last, but not least, the fiery shades are emerging in the hot garden, with my beautiful trio of thugs, scarlet herbaceous poppies, orange euphorbia and dark coppery lysimachia. I shall have to spend the autumn hacking through the solid lumps of clay on which they thrive, trying to keep the clumps from overrunning their neighbours, but I wouldn’t be without them.

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