So we head towards May, still firmly in national lock down, and having enjoyed one of the most glorious, quiet, sunny and peaceful springs I can remember. Ever.
Many thanks to those members who’ve sent me some pictures from their gardens recently :
From Derek and Tina a couple of weeks ago:
Cherries pollinated by bumblebees…
Distant hills across the garden hedge
Peaches hand pollinated by JoJo
Why we love spring.
Thanks too for these images and descriptions from Elena :
Warm weather, Ceanothus and pink walls, almost Caribbean!
Bluebells are having a great year. Anyone else noticed that they have seeded everywhere since last year?
The white broom in full bloom! Not sure if the yellow one in front has made it through the winter though 😦
Wonderful pop of colour from these. Getting more today in my order from Ty Cwm.
BTW Helen tells me Ty Cwm are having a fantastic year for sales, she is well pleased! Gwenda reports that Roberts are also having a great year and judging by Farmyard’s posts they are too!
The first of our strawberries in the polytunnel. Looks like we will have a huge crop this year!
And also for these from Alison :
And for these from Yvonne:
Here are some pictures from my garden taken last week.
The pink, over the top, flowers of Prunus kanzan are wonderful at this time of year. They follow on from Prunus Tai Haku with its single white flowers.
The unnamed Magnolia which was sold to me as wilsonii, but clearly isn’t. However, the flowers are wonderfully scented and loads of flowers from a young age.
Also, Magnolia stellata flowering well this year.
Evergreen Osmanthus delavayi, coming to the end of its flowering period, but still has lots of small white scented flowers.
Amelanchier lamarckii, raised from seed, has started flowering.
I love the leaves of Cercidiphyllum japonica as they come out, slightly bronze. This small tree has wonderful autumn foliage, smelling like burnt sugar.
Hellebores and Leucojum ‘Gravetye Giant’ still looking good.
The raised beds have been rejuvenated with new boards, and the arch has been installed. Watch this space for more developments.
And Avril’s passed on how her and Dave’s grandson Freddie, has caught the gardening bug young, and has been sowing and growing seeds and selling the plants from their garden in Norfolk to raise funds for cancer research… over £45 raised on the first day!
For those itching to get out and about to look at other gardens at this always exciting time of the year, here are two links to initiatives to bring garden experiences into your homes.
The first, locally, is a new garden blog set up by Joseph Atkin of Aberglasney Gardens, which as yet hasn’t made it out onto their website, but you can access by clicking here. It’ll keep you up to date with how the gardens are looking, with fabulous photos by award winning local photographer Nigel McCall.
Secondly, the National Garden Scheme has been setting up a whole range of video’d garden tours of gardens which would normally have been opening for charity, but currently remain closed under pandemic restrictions Click here for more, and also how one can still support the charity’s wonderful work, especially vital in these challenging times.
To close, a few snippets from our own garden.
Firstly a Camellia recommendation – Camellia “Les Jury”.
Nearly a decade ago we planted perhaps a dozen named forms of Camellias which we thought we’d carefully researched. They’ve taken years to really get going, but this year has been their best ever. However many, maybe most, have flowers which don’t die gracefully, leaving browning petals. But this one, has always been a star performer for us and largely escapes this failing.
It also seems to flower over a really long period – nearly two months, and even better the new shoots and leaves are tinged with red/brown for several weeks. Plus it’s doing this in spite of me planting it within a few feet of a mature larch tree. So if you fancied a blast of strong colour, which looks great in any light, but especially backlit in the evening, then why not think about getting one?
OK it’s red, and doesn’t attract any insects, but heck, you occasionally need to make the odd sacrifice 🙂
And now one of the benefits of doing a blog. I thought after all these years, because I was writing this piece, just who was Les Jury? Which after a fair bit of ferreting on the internet brought me to the amazing New Zealand Jury garden at Tikorangi and their multi generational family of gardeners and plant breeding history, which I’d never heard about before. If you haven’t either, then you can read loads about the place and the people if you click here.
It turns out that “Les Jury” was the final Camellia of Les’ breeding programme and a very fitting tribute though we (it turns out) have several other named and AGM Camellias out of this same stable.
Secondly, Fiona spotted this splendid small metallic sheened moth, probably a Green Longhorn, Adela reaumurella, in the garden this week. One of the family of Fairy Longhorn micro-moths, we’ve never seen it before,But it was a real treat to watch as a small group of males sat on the leaves of Cornus kousa ‘Miss Satomi’, waiting, and almost casting their enormous antennae to try to catch a passing female…
For anyone thinking that daffodils finished weeks ago, some of the later forms like “Merlin”, “St Piran”, “Oryx” and “Trellisick” can provide colour, height and even fabulous scent right to the end of a very sunny April…
Finally, as always, it would be lovely to keep hearing from members about their favourite plants, or things in their gardens as we go through the next few months. Why not write a few words and send an image or two, preferably resized down to less than 1 MB? I can’t promise to put everything up online immediately, but usually within a fortnight, and it’s a great way of keeping in touch and passing on information.
Or use the Cothigardeners Facebook Page.
You can send things to me at:
Thanks again to all who have contributed to this post.