May is off to a see-saw start for me, both in terms of weather and successes in the garden. Here’s a selection of wins and woes from our garden this week for Six-on-Saturday, which is hosted by Jonathon, aka The Propagator.
1) First a woe – A broken fork
I managed to break our nice little border fork, on a combination of roots and the clay soil in our front garden. This happened when I was preparing the route for a gas connection to the house at the beginning of the week. How I completely snapped off one tine and bent another is beyond me. Don’t know my own strength obviously!!! Even more annoyingly, it turns out that they (the contractors) were able to used a ‘mole’ for the whole length of the pipe, which meant they only needed to dig holes at the beginning and end of the run.
2) A first ‘Wow’ – Erysimum mutabile
I bought two little plants of erysimum mutabile in 2019 from the sadly now-closed Salutation Gardens in Kent. This year they are putting on a lovely, ever-changing show on either side of our patio fountain.
3) A second woe – Devoured cucurbits seeds
I sowed my cucumbers, squash and courgettes at the end of April and placed the module trays in the new mini plastic greenhouses. Two days ago when I checked them I found this rather heartbreaking display. Mice!!! All gone 😦
I’ve re-sown the ones I have extra seed for (luckily, all but one). There will be fewer plants, but at least there will be some on the plot. I have stacked them for protection temporarily as they are an odd size, but a colleague at Wimpole (who has suffered similar assaults on his veg) has suggested putting them in upturned transparent lids (the deep kind) and securing fleece over the top. This will keep them safe, warm and I will even be able to water them through the fleece.
4) Second ‘Wow’ – Tulip batalinii
I’ve have had these tulips forever and each summer, after the tulips fade, I plant bedding plants on top and enjoy a second show in the pretty, patterned terracotta urn. The tulips seems to thrive on this treatment as once again they are making a brilliant apricot and orange splash on the patio. Apparently they get more bronze the sunnier the conditions.
5) A final woe – Ring-barking on the golden Choisya
There I was thinking that, even though the spotted aucuba is regularly eaten back to a wire protective cage by the local muntjacs, this shady corner is looking increasingly brighter because they never, ever touch the Choisya ‘Sundance’.
Well, that was wrong.
This middle branch is dying because the stem has been ring-barked lower down. Hopefully, you can make out the shredded bark in the inset photo. The branch will need to be removed, but is going to leave a big hole in the shrub.
6) A final ‘Wow’ – Erodium
I had never heard of Erodium, or alpine geranium, until a couple of years ago, when I picked up a plant in a sale at Fuller’s Mill gardens, Suffolk. Erodium looks like a low growing scented geranium, but it seems to be completely hardy and flowers very early. It has been flowering in our garden, alongside the driveway for the last month, at least. It is positively loaded with flowers and is loved by bees and hoverflies. It also seems to seed around fairly easily too. Not a bad problem to have!
So, those are my six. Many thanks to Jonathon for hosting this happy, inclusive meme.
Have a good weekend!