The Japanese celebrate cherry blossom time because it heralds the arrival of a change in the season as well as for its reminder of the fleeting beauty of life. I wonder how many of you Six-ers out there are, like me, remembering today just what it is we love so much about gardening: being out in the sunshine, watching buds unfurl into flowers, hearing the birds sing and catching delicious wafts of scent on the air.
Since I started following our Dear Leader, The Propagator, I have often found myself scratching around for six things from my garden to share, but not this week. I have arrived back from holiday to find that IT’S ALL HAPPENING OUT THERE!
- Our little cherry tree…
…has burst into bloom, like a pinky white cloud of candy floss. I am not sure of the variety as it was already here when we moved in. Last year the view of the cherry from our French windows was obscured by a small, nondescript tree, which I never found out the name of before I unceremoniously chopped it down in the autumn. I am glad I did now I can see this little bit of heaven from the dining room table.
I think this Spirea is what Vita Sackville-West calls Spirea arguta, also known as Bridal Wreath or Foam of May. According to Vita: “In a warm season it may well start foaming in April; and foam it does, for every one of its black twiggy growths is smothered tight with innumerable tiny white flowers. In fact you cannot see the plant for the flowers.” I’m not sure that’s quite true of ours, but it certainly is very pretty, although like the cherry blossom it does not last for long.
3. Our new lawn
There were some comments on last week’s Six about how thrifty us gardeners can be, and usually I am as thrifty as the next person, but this year we have splashed out on our garden a bit and as well as the new play area, invested in a new lawn. The old one having been destroyed by our trampoline, the guinea pigs and being mowed too closely by Mr Carrot in that particularly dry, hot period we had early last summer. It ended up looking like this:
And now it looks like this:
The plan was to put the trampoline back and move it every few days, but now I am not sure that I can bear to do this. The lawn is my new baby. I shall be watering it every day this summer, twice a day when it is warm and dry, and no-one but me is allowed to mow it. The Little Weeds still want a trampoline, so I am thinking of keeping it on the stone patio near to the house, but putting rubber play mats under the feet as it is supposed to sit on something soft. Has anyone done anything similar?
4. Fritillaria meleagris
I had given up hope that the snakeshead fritillaries which I planted last year would come up again, but they have – and they have multiplied!
5. The sweet peas are planted out
This morning, I enjoyed a blissful hour carefully planting out my sweet peas into one of the front garden raised beds, using a couple of homemade tripods. I am growing “Old Spencer Mixed” and “silver on plum” “Lisa Marie” from Eagle Sweet Peas. They are in a bed with a Gertrude Jekyll rose and some Ladybird poppies and cornflower from Great Dixter. I am planning to add some sunflowers later in the season.
6. Carrots and calendula
As the name of my blog suggests, these are two of my favourite plants to grow and this morning, I sowed the seeds in another of the front garden raised beds. Calendula is in front, then a couple of rows of “Nantes” carrots and behind some Arran Pilot early potatoes which I have been chitting for slightly too long on the kitchen windowsill.
In the bed behind that I am going to try the “Three Sisters” method of planting corn, beans and squash together. Today I sowed the corn and as Carol Klein suggests I will wait until they are four or five inches high before adding the beans and squash seeds. The rose in the corner is my new Lady Hillingdon climber from Peter Beale. The beds may look empty now, but the magic is starting beneath the surface.
As usual, don’t forget to visit The Propagator’s blog and scroll through the comments to see what other Six-ers are up to this sunny Saturday.