Tuesday, 29 May 2018



Azalea Gibralter
Apple Red Falstaff
It seems the garden flowers from rock garden plants to trees are trying to make up for lost time. Although the cold winds never seem to die down, we get a couple of brilliant sunny days every week, and plants are quick to take advantage of any warmth as it arrives. My plans for adding tulips amongst other spring flowering plants based on past experience was fine under normal growing conditions, but with seasons running several weeks behind many of my combinations have been severely tested. All daffodils, narcissus and tulips are a lot later than normal, but peonies (under planted with tall Darwin Hybrid tulips) are up too soon and spoiling my
Japanese azalea
show. It has been a great spring for tulips and adding a few each year has been well rewarded, but
Doronicum with Tulip Abba
although they are now over their best, other spring flowers are taking the limelight. Tulip Apeldoorn and Purissima were both show stealers with bright colours good size, and red tulip Abba made a lovely contrast with the yellow Doronicum Little Leo. Down at ground level the red and pink Phlox subulata is a mass of
Iberis sempervirens
colour and with tulips still flowering behind the ground cover plants the combination works really well. Although most daffodils and narcissus are now past their best I have a new one planted last autumn called Sir Winston Churchill which is just flowering now in mid May. It is a beauty, but must be my last narcissus to flower, probably held well back by the cold spring.
Flowering cherries are at their best in gardens, parks, (Dawson Park) and along several streets such as Pentland Avenue. Fruit trees of apples, plum and pears are all in full bloom just now and there seems to be plenty of bees
Kerria japonica
around for pollination. However my apple Fiesta is having a rest this year as it cropped well in 2017 and unfortunately is a biennial bearer known to taking a year off from fruiting every second or third year. A smaller tree just coming into flower just now is the lilacs and looks like they are enjoying our weird weather as the trees are covered n scented blossom.
The shrub Berberis darwinii may only be a shrub, but left to grow unimpeded it can make a huge bush, twelve foot tall and spreads even further. They are a magnificent spectacle just now covered in bright orange flowers, but they produce masses of black berried
Narcissus Sir Winston Churchill
fruit which the birds just love, and then the seeds germinate and young plants grow very readily. A real nuisance.
Saskatoon bushes may be grown for the fruit but they are very ornamental when in flower, as are the blackberry Helen both now smothered in white flowers. Another white flowered plant perfect in the rock garden, used for ground cover or to grow over walls is the perennial candytuft Iberis sempervirens. However my yellow flowering Kerria japonica, the Jews mallow, left to grow as it wishes has made a huge eight feet tall bush smothered in flowers. Another small plant with yellow flowers is the Euphorbia polychroma, which only grows about a foot tall, but is very
Phlox subulata with red tulips
There are so many plants in all sizes flowering this spring that it is hard to know what to leave out. The Camellias are now over but Rhododendrons and Azaleas have a long flowering season beginning with R. praecox in March then the Japanese azaleas have their moment followed by any amount of rhododendrons
Tulip Apeldoorn
large and small.
Garden pinks now have the first flowers and provide a great scent in the garden, and another favourite is the yellow ground hugging succulent Delosperma nubigenum. A great plant for colour in a dry sunny place with poor soil and the dense canopy smothers out any weeds that try to grow.
Spring pansies
Tubs and hanging baskets with spring flowering Myosotis, Polyanthus and Pansies are at their best. Pansies can continue to flower for many weeks, but as they are all destined to be replaced with summer bedding plants quite soon I will replant them in a border with some spare space.

Regrowth on cut back fuchsia
Wee jobs to do this week

Outdoor Fuchsia Mrs Popple has not enjoyed the winter and most of the branches above ground appear to have died, but do not give up on them as Mrs Popple has done this in the past only to regrow again from shoots below ground level. I had taken a batch of cuttings last autumn which have all rooted so I could replace any that have passed away. However after a few weeks I see new shoots emerging from all my cut severely cut back outdoor fuchsias.

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