Just a couple of days in the garden and the whole look of it has changed. This is because the aquilegias and hardy geraniums have started flowering. You can click on the pictures for a larger image: I still can't make a cut work, which is very frustrating.
Lovely Columbines. They are frightfully promiscuous and seed everywhere. One of my plans for this year is to go round with a fork digging out any muddy-coloured ones. The Nora Barlow types and the black & whites aren't flowering yet.
Geranium macrorrhizum is one of the most useful plants for dty shade and I have masses of it. The white one is probably the best. The pale pink one here is 'Ingwersen's Variety' and the bright one 'Czakor'.
Geranium phaeum is another great plant for dry shade and I have lots of different ones. This is a favourite: 'Rose Madder'. It's pinker than it looks in the photo.
I'm pleased with this, especially as I won it in a raffle. A few years ago everyone wanted a variegated polemonium, or Jacob's Ladder, called 'Brise d'Anjou'. Blooms of Bressingham made a great deal of money out of it. I don't know anyone who still has this plant, though no doubt some poor National Collection Holder is struggling to keep it going. The plant in the photo is a fairly recent introduction, Polemomium 'Stairway to Heaven'. The foliage is dainty and when it first emerges is tinged with pink. The flowers are a paler blue than the type plant and more bell-shaped. I've put it in a shady and dampish (for me) spot and so far it's looking good.
Every day there is a new flower out. Irises are looking good and there are fat buds on the peonies. It's so exciting! I nearly forgot this wallflower, the perennial sort, which might be 'Jacob's Jacket'. At any one time there are yellow, apricot, pink and mauve flowers all out at once (the colours change, like anything called 'mutabile'). I love it but it's killing the plants it's flopped over so I will have to take cuttings and relocate it.