callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

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In the garden: oh, the merry, merry month of May

Driving home a couple of days ago, I was struck by how quickly everything has turned green. And the cow parsley is out! Just what May should be. In the garden, though, all is not well. I reckon we’re about a month behind a ‘normal’ year. I can tell this because it should be Chelsea time and the right flowers are not out. This is mainly due to cold and lack of sun. I’ve only ventured out to bring in the bins this morning and the wind was biting! How can the poor plants thrive?

I’ve already mentioned the shrivelled hydrangea. I have a Clematis montana on a fence, a plant I’ve always thought was tough as old boots. I keep noticing that the only green on the fence is from ivy creeping in from the field. Seeing nothing but white wood, I thought the whole thing was dead; closer inspection shows a few leaves, shrivelled up like those on the hydrangea. Last year, the whole fence was covered in pink flowers. Will I see any this year? Then there’s the hardy fuchsia, which should be four feet tall by the end of summer. When I went to prune it, I could see no buds on it at all. I was ruthless and cut it right down. Yesterday, I noticed one new shoot at the base, so I may be lucky. The other main problem is all those plants in the greenhouse which should be hardening off. I haven’t the heart to put the poor things outside in the cold wind.

Thank you, plants which flourish whatever the weather: primroses, aquilegias, osteospermums (although the flowers only open in sun), perennial cornflower, spurges and that wonderful plant Erysimum ‘Bowles’ Mauve’, which is covered in flowers and glows violet at dusk. The garden is full of foxgloves again this year but although I think of them as a ‘Chelsea’ flower, they are way off flowering yet. Lily of the Valley and London Pride are flowering cheerfully as is a gorgeous Solomon’s Seal. What was I complaining about?

PS, after looking out of the window: hawthorn, quince, a Cerinthe which over-wintered and the first hardy geraniums.
Tags: garden, spring

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