It’s been a long time. What has happened? Lots in the garden and a really welcome pause from writing. After all, blogging is really addictive. There is great satisfaction in talking to yourself in a blog, working things out and deciding what matters and what doesn’t. And, taking a pause whilst either torrential rain kept falling or we had clear spells when big works were needed, gave rise to the question ‘Why do I write a blog?’. And not that I want to go all existential on you, if you are out there!, but it is a good question. And to my surprise, when in my mind I didn’t have a ready answer, it seemed a good time to take a break.
I don’t think that I have fully answered the question even now. But, never mind.
So, what’s new and a surprise this half-Spring, half-winter/summer? Allium schubertii is new to me here in Tostat. I am really enjoying the gradual popping open of the myriad little flowerheads, and in the rain, they really do look like a collection of crown jewels. Last year I managed to grow Plectranthus argentatus ‘Silver Shield’ from seed, and even better, I managed to over-winter them on the upstairs windowsill. They have been surprisingly obliging. Pruning them down to re-start them this Spring has given about 15 cuttings, which are slowly producing small buds when they can decide whether the weather is clement or not. The original plants are now re-potted outside and coping pretty well. In a large burst of rain the other day, they looked sparkly and silvery.
In carrying out the aforementioned big works, I stumbled across survivors from the past. Plants that I had bought for good reasons that had then become dwarfed by other things and I had forgotten that they were even there. In the case of two Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’, I had even decided to move them last year and then promptly life got in the way. So, this year, they are out and potted up, and I will keep them in pots I think. Although a bit on the bald side this year, so surprised are they to be liberated, I think that they will bulk up nicely into two small fastigiated sentinels that will stand either side of the back door. The tiny blossoms, again a symptom of shock I think, will be fabulous next year when they are rejuvenated- and were pretty adorable this year even.
Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ is now four good clumps and does a great job of looking elegant and snazzy at the same time, especially when first out next to the Spanish bluebells. I have fallen for Geum ‘Fire Opal’, as the colour is just sensational, even more vivid than ‘TT’, but I am not going there till I have checked it out really well, as ‘TT’ is the only Geum that has ever survived more than a year here in Tostat.
I bought Syringa laciniata small last year, and it went into the hot, dry border facing South. Needless to say, this space has been neither hot or dry, but it will be later on, and so the extra water is a bonus for later. The Syringa is charming, a soft lilac colour, in droopy swags with a delicate perfume, and foliage-wise, the ferny strappiness of the bright green foliage beats your regular lilac in my view.
Spring bulbs have had a tough time- basically soaked. Last year’s tulips which were such duds did better this year, and this year’s tulips were weird- not flowering at all mainly or flowering totally green. But ‘Virichic’ a dud from last year came good. A sensational pink viridiflora look-alike, the petals were really contorted but the colour was lovely.