I have had a steady trickle of deliveries from J Parker which has been keeping me busy. There were two boxes waiting for me when I got back from Allan's last Thursday, but they had been addressed to the previous owner of our house. I phoned to check whether they were actually mine and it was confirmed that they were. One box contained my acers, but one looked decidedly dead. I phoned back up to complain, and a replacement one duly arrived yesterday. I am now only waiting for the hardy fuchsias and petunias, other than the bulbs which are not due till the autumn.
I have been quite organised in sorting out the plants as they arrive. All the 'plugs' have been potted on and are now in my mini greenhouse; the roses have been planted in the gaps in the rose bed; one bag of lilies were planted into the large pot I had ear-marked for them and the nerines likewise into two smaller pots.
On Friday afternoon Jean came round. After a coffee I showed her the garden. I think there was more to see than she had expected. I have a list of plants to pot up for her. Unfortunately a lot of the plants I have in abundance won't grow in her garden or if they would she already has them.
On Sunday Anne invited me over to bag up some of the soil from her wood. Paul had bought me a 'folding' wheelbarrow for my birthday. I went to load up the car with sacks, spade and wheelbarrow when I discovered that it needed to be assembled. I dragged Paul out of the house to put it together, and Poncho and Jen also came to help. Poncho kept lying on the box and instructions whilst Jen kept wandering around the back of the sheds in search of sticky willie to eat. After about half an hour I was ready to go. It didn't take long when I got there to discover this was a 'Margot Leadbetter' wheelbarrow - it was not coping at all well with the rough ground. Luckily Anne had a 'proper' wheelbarrow that was up to the job. We filled four sacks and ended up doing two trips back to the car and carrying mine back...
I finished 'building' the last two of three seed beds at the bottom of LB6 last week - I had dug them out last year but never got around to edging them. They had become overgrown again, but it was much easier to clear the weeds this time. I dug out some large stones from in front of the cowshed/barn to edge them. It was with great satisfaction that I placed the last rock...
My finger nails have seen better days. The latest task has been to de-stone the seed beds I never got around to last year. I am certainly getting good value from my garden sieve. The reward is to actually sow them - so far two beds with nemophila (baby blue eyes and maculata five spot), and the three beds at the bottom of LB6 with the seeds I collected last autumn - Californian poppies, nigella and Shirley poppies.
With the mix of sunshine and showers we have been having everything is shooting up now. Last year the trees didn't really come into leaf until May, but we cannot see Iona and Hedley's house on the other side of the river already.
I have several different varieties of berberis in the garden - although I have no idea what they are. As well as this one there are a couple of very large yellow flowered ones in the high bank that had lovely red berries last autumn.
This bee seemed very enamoured with the deutzia...
The dwarf rhododendrons I planted last year have survived the winter and are now flowering. This is one of the first plants I bought for the garden...
The pieris in the tub has now put on a beautiful display of bright pink foliage...
The viburnums and potentillas are starting to flower but I will wait until they are in their full glory. Also I have spotted buds on the brooms.
I have been dead-heading the daffodils I can easily reach. I still have some later varieties in flower, and the two clumps of pheasant's eye I am naturalising are still only in bud.
The hyacinths are still going strong and giving off a beautiful scent.
There are a few bluebells dotted around starting to flower.
The grape hyacinths are still looking good in LB6 - I am hoping they will spread.
But it is the tulips that are coming into their own now.
I have several different cranesbill geraniums flowering, and many more in bud. This one I bought in a plant sale from one of the gardens we visited last year...
This phlox has increased by an order of magnitude in size from when I bought it.
The lamiums at the top of LB6 have been putting on a magnificent display...
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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