Late May sees an explosion of growth, expansion, bloom. Dark blood red blooming peony along the railway path have shown themselves – a memory of Brenda and Jim.
The pale yellow columbine have come into their own under the far pergola – kept company by Dalmatian foxglove – also a creamy yellow flower with darker burgundy patches in the inner cone of the flower head.
The orange-yellow rambling roses are out in the woods at the corner, and all the rose bushes along the railway path in the woods and in the back patch are starting to swell with blossom.
The purple rose donated by Jo will be a veritable explosion – there are a huge amount of sturdy multi-bloomed candelabras forming and just waiting for it to warm enough to burst from bud to blossom.
But saying that, the white flowering simple flowered ‘shrub rose’ at the far corner has already flowered and gone over. I should dead-head immediately! (That whole corner needs a thorough weeding in point of fact.)
We’ve been eating rhubarb crumble for at least a month, and the lovage has also burst into life. As a long-lived perennial herb a clump of lovage gets stronger and bigger every year – this year it stands a good three feet high and is robustly healthy.
The red currant bush in the corner where we keep our water is starting to set fruit – little cascades of swelling green nubs. And in the terracotta pot that I filled with soil and grit and but in four currant stem cuttings in the autumn, they all seem to have set and look to be growing.
At the corner near the gate the iris this year are spectacular.
In the autumn I transplanted a large clump of sedum to give the iris more room and light.
And I must say, the iris sure are repaying the favour with a forest of flower stalks and very healthy expanded growth. This summer I can ‘thin’ this patch of iris out to further encourage new healthy growth – and will move the root sections I dig out to a new area further down the railway path.
Having repeating clumps of flowers helps lead the eye through a garden and creates calming continuity. You don’t necessarily want to repeat all your perennial flowers – but iris give a great structural and architectural touch with their cheerful spears and the explosion of purple flowers in spring is a joy to enjoy year on year.
Another hero in the back patch is the anchor plant which continues to thrive – and survived a hard cold, wet winter unlike the tender fuschia and salvia amistad.