It has been a beautiful week of soft continuous rain, causing the garden to explode! It is amazing seeing all that lush green growth after the slow start to the season, when you wondered if plants had died over Winter or if they would ever come into leaf again!!!All my small plants from White House Nursery- the Virginalis Philadelphus, the Viburnum burkwoodii and the Flowering Currant – have tripled in size and look exceedingly healthy. The black bud of my Carolina Allspice, which was the last shrub to come into leaf, has opened out into an exotic rust-red bloom, the colour mirroring the winged seeds of the maple tree.The peony poppies have been closely watched this week and within 2 hours of this first silken glimpse, the bud had opened into this luscious two-toned flower. So exciting seeing the first bloom and there are many more to come!I still love the simple wild poppies too!Not to mention the bright Iceland Poppies and Ranunculas!The Moon Bed has come into its own this week, with its beautiful soft pinks, golds, lemons and creams. My photos below show : Jude The Obscure (photo 2); Evelyn (photo 3); Windermere (photo 4); Troilus (photos 5 and 6); and Lucetta (photo 7 and 8). While it is so tempting to cut the blooms for vases, I have to resist, as I do want the roses to develop into large shrubs! Photo 1 shows the nearby Mme Alfred Carrière, now in full bloom.My vases this week include : Homely carnations; Soft pastel roses; Stunning architectural Acanthus; and Cottage garden favourites.The Mulberry tree still has masses of fruit, which we picked early in the morning for our first Mulberry Pie! I used the recipe from this site : http://www.mysquarefryingpan.com/grandmasmulberrypie/, though I had already made a sweet shortcrust pastry, so I used that instead. We were very impressed! I had not held out great hopes, since my pie making skills are very basic (note the photo of my dodgy, very home-made looking pie!), but it was delicious and I will definitely try making it again!We have been nibbling away on fresh strawberries all week- so tasty and juicy and so superior to the chemically blasted, store-bought variety.We are in for a wonderful foraging season with raspberries, plums and apples.We were a bit delayed with our garden tasks this week, because of the wet weather, but once the rain had stopped and the sun and light breeze had dried out the ground sufficiently, we were finally able to plant more seeds :
- Bupleureum and Nigella in the Iris bed
- Cosmos and Borage in the Poppy bed and
- Rudbeckia, Zinnias and Tithonia in the Anemone bed
This photo shows some of the earlier Bupleureum which grew from seed.We mulched all the vegetables and berry patches with pea straw and the Moon Bed with Sugar Cane mulch. Ross also started defining its crescent border with old bricks on their side. It will make future whipper-snippering the edge much easier!We also finally threaded 3 wires the length of the wooden fence for the honeysuckle to clamber up!Look out for ‘My Love Affair With France’ next Thursday!!! Until then, Au Revoir!!