Aye! Always with the ice and snow when the blossom starts to open! Tempted into full bloom by a couple of weeks of close to 20 deg C there are currently gorgeous displays of magnolia and cherry blossom about locally. Sadly, as many of us have experienced, over the last couple of days there’s been intermittent snow/hail showers and sub-zero night-time temperatures.
Let’s not get depressed about it though. Let’s move on swiftly to some positive garden highlights to share for Six-on-Saturday, the weekly gardening show-and-tell hosted by The Propagator.
1) Vegetable garden revamp complete
There are no longer any disintegrating, purple, finialled, raised beds to be seen. It’s tough, solid sleepers all the way … and honestly, even if they rot, the soil they contain is not going anywhere! Although I was fond of the previous quirky constructions, this is much better (or at least is more practical).
2) Fritillaria meleagris
Fritillaria meleagris, aka Snake’s head fritillaries, have started to flower in the meadow grass. Their purple chequered bells punctuate the yellow swathes of wild daffodils, celandines, primroses and cowslips. This year it’s noticeable that the fritillaries have established much better in the damper, shaded bit of the wild area, on the north side of the summer house.
I’m not good at remembering to sow wallflowers at the right time. It’s almost always too late in the season when I do and plants end up three years in the making, rather than being biennial. This means that the plants that, understandably, missed flowering last year are now pretty huge and are covered in gorgeous, sweetly scented flowers. The ‘Blood Red’ strain in particular smells amazingly like maraschino cherries to me. It’s heavenly! I need them made into a perfume! In the meantime, I’ll be picking them regularly to bring indoors, so that they can be sampled at close quarters.
4) Muscari ‘Grape Ice’
These were an end-of-season sale purchase, for a bit of fun: a grape hyacinth that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And it has been fun, watching the flowers burn up the spikes, opening from dark plum, up and up the stalk, to the snowy white peaks. Fun, but in the end, disappointing, because the dark coloured bells get rather lost from the picture (especially against bare soil) and you only notice the rather short, top section of white bells. So, I don’t think that I will bother to get any more. Better to buy an all white variety like ‘White Magic’ I think.
5) Greengage Blossom
In spite of the current run of frosts, snow and icy winds, I have been enjoying the greengage blossom and am hoping for a lovely, large crop of my favourite stone fruit in August. Nothing compares with that honeyed taste of greengages, picked straight from the tree, warmed by summer sunshine. Fingers crossed then!
6) Hybrid primroses and primulas
I love the natural variations that occur in my primrose/primula populations. Mostly, their colours range from pale yellows to a dusky pinks. Many of the pink flowers have different degrees of contrasting, pale edging markings. Well, this one (below) appeared in the front garden and seems to have gone one step further, It has a rather nice ruffled form, with patterning running all along the petal edges. It’s also a purer pink than normal I think. I must mark the plant, so that I can check its survival and/or evolution next year.
Well, that’s it for this week. I am off on grandparent duty this weekend. Check Jonathon’s post to find the links for other Sixes.
Have a great weekend. Hope the weather allows for plenty of gardening!
I have my snakeshead fritillaries in a damp spot in my small woodland and they seem very happy, I don’t think they’ve noticed that they aren’t in a meadow! Love the last photo of the primula, very pretty.
Thanks, Pauline! I can imagine those snake’s head fritillaries looking perfectly at home in a woodland glade too!
These raised beds are truly a hit! You did a good job. I do like this two-tone grape hyacinth variety and this hybrid primrose is gorgeous. It looks like we both featured wallflowers this week!
Thanks Fred! When wallflowers work, there is no beating the beautiful display that they make … not to mention their wonderful scent!
You have worked hard with your veg area, Allison – well done! 👍Love the frilly primrose!
🙂 Thanks Cathy. It’s lovely to be able to start filling the vegetable plot with potential crops again!
The vegetable beds look wonderful Allison! Hope your blossoms all survive the cold spell. That primula is gorgeous. I love the white on the edge of the petals.
Thank you, Cathy! Happily, the new sleepers are also quite nice to sit on … for restorative cups of tea 🤣
The weather can bring disappointments but hope your trees keep their blossoms. Love those
magnificent wallflowers. I’d love to grow them but had no idea they take so long.
Well, Cathy seems to have a trick to make them grow much faster! Yes, fingers crossed for the blossom. Time will tell.
I’m always discovering something new here. The only ‘wallflower’ I’ve ever known usually was that shy girl over at the edge of the gym, waiting to see if some equally shy boy might ask her to dance.
Looking at your photo, I’ll agree that the wallflowers are beautiful — but I’m unsure which are the wallflowers! Are they the dark red? Or the chartreuse and maroon branches behind them? Or both? Inquiring minds want to know!
Ah, apologies! Wallflowers are such a standard plant to combine with spring bulbs here, that I forget not everyone has them. Anyhow, both the dark red and bright orange flowers in the photo are wallflowers, i.e. Erysimum cheiri. They are part of the large cabbage family. Those variegated leaves are prunings from a small Acer (supermarket bargain purchase, so I have no idea whether it is named or not).
The new beds look solid and ready to go! Congrats.
I love the surprise primrose. How exciting to find surprises like that just coming along on their own. Here the primula need a little more fussing and seedlings are few.
Thanks. Roll on good surprises! Fortunately, primroses love it here and I am able to transfer seedlings from the gravel driveway every year to spread them to better locations … currently round the pond.