Monday 2nd May 2022 – Potential

An overcast weekend (apart from the odd sunny spell on Saturday) but we are not deterred, no, we have gardened as much as we could and the garden is bursting with potential. Every spare inch of space in both greenhouses is packed full of seedlings or seeds just sown. The plants are all sighing with relief at the welcome rain which fell for most of Sunday. We need more, but we’re grateful for what we had. I am happier with the garden as it is right now than I have ever been before at this time of year, and that is quite something for me, as I am rarely happy with it. I’ve even remembered to sit in it and relax a bit. I can see my skills and husbandry improving and that’s very gratifying indeed.

Tulip ‘Ballerina’ has it all – fabulous form and colour, scent and allegedly happy to perennialise (I’ll believe that last when I see it).
Yes, it’s that time of year again – the obligatory ‘ant on paeony bud’ shot.
I almost like the sight of rain droplets caught on lupin leaves even more than I like the flower spikes. Almost. Fennel here on the left providing a beautiful feathery foil. Meant to be bronze. It isn’t. I actually prefer it fresh and green now anyway.
I said ‘almost’. The first flower spike is forming. They’ve loved their autumn feed, I’m hoping for great things from them this year.
Not wanting to be outdone, the first of the oriental poppies. I have these in two colours, these are my favourite of the two, a brazen rich red like a screen siren’s fingernails. This plant was here when we moved in but in a really stupid place. I moved it and it sulked and sulked… it has finally forgiven me and has bulked up. I shall look to divide it this Autumn.
One of the wisteria buds I didn’t knock off whilst planting the damn thing. Look at that colour. I can’t wait for this. Buying one that is in bud is the one sure way to know you won’t have to wait years for it to flower. Expensive, but worth it if you’re impatient and hate to be disappointed.
This honeysuckle smells so lovely and is a riot of colour along the hedge behind the apple tree. I’ve been gradually encouraging it from the back of next door’s hedge and now it is getting well established. I should take cuttings, really, as an insurance policy against it getting ripped out on the other side.
The lilac is especially frothy this year and the smell is heavenly. I had hoped to cut some for the house, but it’s all got extraordinarily stumpy stems. I’m wondering if this is due to some really ham fisted pruning. I shall read up – it looks as though it has flowered on last year’s wood, so probably all it needs is dead-heading after flowering and then for me to LEAVE IT ALONE! No snipping unless it is getting too big for its boots (or for the garden).
Here, and below, some pansies that are very jolly despite having been munched by slugs. Pansies are always worth buying from the plant graveyard in garden centres, as you will always find some languishing there at a bargain price and nobody buys them because they look beyond redemption, but they are easily brought back to life with a little disbudding and a dash of food and repotting (check for vine weevil before planting out – the little buggers love pansies and places like the garden section of DIY stores are a breeding ground for them!) Which reminds me, I must apply my nematodes before they go out of date…
Fortunately there was enough sun on Saturday to please the Under-Gardener.
Homer the Hopeless Pigeon has monitored me from various nearby perches throughout the weekend, dropping down to ground level occasionally to inspect things and to see if I feel like offering any food. He’s probably been over fed, to be honest. How much are pigeons meant to eat, anyway? I’m worried about him, really. He must be lonely. I am no substitute for a flock. Poor thing. Keeping him seems ridiculous but his owner doesn’t want him. I suppose sooner or later he will find a lady pigeon and fly away. Or a cat or buzzard will get him! I’ll look after him as best I can for as long as possible.

Published by Notes from the Under-Gardener

Keen amateur gardener, tending a large home garden growing flowers, fruit and veg, ably supported by husband and dog.

5 thoughts on “Monday 2nd May 2022 – Potential

  1. I’d be quite at home in your garden, it has the loose, casual look that I love, but I know takes a lot of work. Nice herb garden (I assume that is what the unnamed image is of) I like the containers for the mint. And what a honeysuckle! Isn’t that early? I always think of it as a summer flower.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! Yes it’s loosely a cottage style I guess, which is my favourite. I love a formal garden too but that wouldn’t suit the house or my style of gardening. That is indeed the herb patch – I had written something for it but WordPress has eaten it! The containers were salvaged from our old allotment. The honeysuckle comes very early every year – its base sits under next-door’s abominable leylandii and on our side it comes up behind an apple tree, so it’s very sheltered, which probably helps.


    1. I can solve this mystery! The pressure inside the bud as it swells causes plant sugars to be forced out of the bud, along the lines where the petals are forming. Ants crawl over the buds to collect the sugary exudate as food, they cannot resist the sweetness!

      Liked by 1 person

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