After wanting rain we got it, and kept on getting it for more than a week. When it eventually stopped we had strong winds which have dried it all out again. A few branches and stems have been snapped, including some of the gooseberry bushes which has highlighted that a couple of them appear to have some sort of fungal problem that needs sorting...
Yesterday was the first day I have managed to get out into the garden since my last report. I weeded the rockery and then planted up the phlox and viola from Jean, one of the dwarf rhododendrons and the two jasiones that came with the perennial collections. I also found a home for one of the aquilegia 'Black Barlow'. I potted up a few of the small self-seeded lupins and one of the Labrador violets, which Jean had expressed an interest in.
In the late afternoon I went back out and started weeding the high bank again - sticky willy and nettles had thrived. It is getting quite difficult now as the footholds are disappearing under the plants, but I have managed to do most of it now - just the area around the pampas grass to finish off...
Most of the spring bulbs have finished flowering now. Only the late daffodils are still looking good. However, the summer-flowering bulbs are now taking over.
I planted alliums in the high bank and in a couple of places in the long bank, and these are now opening.
The ranunculus bulbs Lillian bought me soon after we moved up here have survived into their second season, despite them coming into growth over the winter and are now putting on a good display.
The sparaxis are giving a good splash of colour at the far end of the lawn.
A pale pink and a mauve rhododendron at the top of the high bank are in flower. In the long bank three of the dwarf rhododendrons/azaleas are now flowering.
I inherited this red one, but do not think it flowered last year. I have made an effort this year to keep it clear of weeds and self-seeded aquilegias, and that seems to have done the trick.
I bought these other two last year, but can't remember if they were from Edrom nursery or Lamberton nursery...
There are two lilacs flowering at the bottom of the drive - one mauve and one white. There is a third one there but it is not earning its keep.
The long bank is now looking very colourful.
The orange potentillas are starting to flower, but the lemon coloured ones are well covered now.
I have four large brooms in varying stages of flower at intervals along the bank. I also have noticed a new bird nest in the one in near the rose bed.
The peonies were looking a bit battered after the strong winds, but it does not appear to have damaged the buds. In the last couple of days the first flowers have now opened.
I know that I posted a photo of the clematis montana in the last report, but it is now so covered in flowers I thought it was deserving of another mention.
Similarly the osteospermums are also looking even better now...
As can be seen in a lot of the other photos the dark blue aquilegias are now flowering all over the long bank.
However, I spotted this double one at the top of LB2. It also looks as if I may have a few mauve/purple hybrids, although I won't be sure until they open.
All four of the geraniums that I divided from the plant I brought up from Sandhurst have survived their ordeal and are now in flower. In fact they are doing so well that I will probably be able to split them again next year to give some away.
I have several different heucheras in the garden. I brought two brown-leafed varieties and a yellow-flowered green-leafed one, which I split into half a dozen plants, up with me. I also had one in my perennial collection. This red-flowered one was given to me by Janet, and is the first in flower. The yellow ones have thrown up 3-foot high flower stems, but are still to open.
The red-hot pokers at the end of the long bank have obviously enjoyed the rain and the sunshine of the last couple of days. The flower spikes have leapt up almost overnight.
I love poppies, and as well as the self-seeded field poppies and opium poppies I have sown Californian and Shirley poppies. These, which I think are Icelandic poppies, were already in the garden. They are hidden half-way down LB4 and can only be seen from the top looking down.
One of the lupin seedlings that I transplanted last year is now in flower. I can see flowers forming on a couple of the others.
The lithospermum has been in flower now for several weeks. However, this is the first time I have managed to take a half-decent photo of it.
Without a doubt, despite so much being in flower, the highlight of the garden at the moment are the saxifrages. They have taken over from the aubretias as providing the wow-factor, and they need to be seen in context to fully appreciate the effect they have in the long bank as a whole.
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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