Monday, 3 June 2013

A weekend with summer potential

So this weekend in the garden.  The forecast is good and as usual loads to do.  More annuals to pot up, more to plant, pruning and general tidying to do.

Shrubs to prune
Spirea (Bridal Wreath variety), Snowberry Bush (Symphoricarpos), Dogwood (Cornus) I'm a bit late with this one

Annuals to plant out, this has been a bit more difficult, because the leaves on the bulbs have not died down properly yet.  So I am planting my annuals as the leaves fade.  I still have to try to keep the old bulb foliage tidy though.  I decided that I would try to tidy the bulb foliage as much as possible.  I also removed some of the Forget Me Nots that were becoming a bit mildewy and replaced them with annuals. This was more in the front garden than the back. I interspersed Pelargoniums (Geraniums) taken from cuttings last year with HHA Asters.

As soon as the foliage from the bulbs has died down, I will be able to tidy up properly.  I still have a lot of work to do in the front garden.  The remains of an old Lavatera needs to be pulled up and replaced with a Viburnum Tinus that I have bought as a replacement and I need to put more stones down over the black membrane.

 The garden is really getting into its stride now, the spring flowers are fading, Tulips need to be deadheaded and the summer flowers are beginning.  All my roses have big fat buds on them, the Geraniums are beginning to flower

and the Aquligias, 

The Californian Lilac (Ceanothus) and Geums are in flower.  I also have one beautiful Iris in flower.  This Iris is 7 years old.  It did not flower last year, my fault, I know that Iris benefit from being divided every approx 4 years and I had not done it in 2011, so I did it last year.  As you can see It worked.

Yellow Iris you can just see the Geum in the background
I tried an experiment last year, I read somewhere that Tulips would flower better the next year if they were lifted for the summer.  I was a bit skeptical I have to admit, but the flowering was not very good last year So I tried it last summer.  I lifted them, when the leaves had died down, put them into net bags (I used citrus nets from the supermarket) and left them in a warm place to dry out.  I replanted them in November and guess what.  They were spectacular this year.  It is a lot of trouble I know but I will definitely be doing it again this year.

Tulips on the 6 May 2013
I also grow some fruit, I used to have an allotment but found that It did not fit in with my lifestyle and I was not working it enough.  I still love to grow some of my own food though.  I now grow blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, Strawberries, I have a cherry tree and fig tree.

My strawberries are currently in flower
As I mentioned the Californian Lilac (Ceanothus) is in flower, It is a spectacular shrub when in full flower and evergreen.  It can be shortlived though and I have heard that it can die suddenly without warning.  It needs sun, well drained soil and to be sheltered from cold winds.  But if you can provide these conditions this is what you may get every year.

and last but by no mean least I have a large Broom (Genistia) in the front garden, for 11 months of the year this shrub is at best a good screen but for the last week or so this is what lights up my end of the street, like fireworks.

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