National Gardening Week 2019 is held between April 27th and May 5th. And is run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to raise awareness of gardening and horticulture, and to encourage more people to take part in the healthy and productive outdoor activity of gardening. Focusing on edible gardening it is appropriate that I have just taken delivery of some tomato and chilli plugs which will be grown in the Orangery.
At this time of the year we are often between the early spring flowering bulbs that are so welcome after a dull, dark winter and the summer perennials, roses and shrubs. Blossom on trees is fading, tulips going over. Time to look at the foliage in your garden perhaps? The many shades of green, the textures and the shapes of leaves. Green forms the backbone of my garden; it is a calming colour (along with blue) and important if you want to create a peaceful, meditative space.
- Ferns. I have a
fewlot. All the ones in the garden are inherited and the majority are Hart’s tongue ferns that grow wild in the Cornish hedges. I cut all the blackened leaves off in February allowing the fresh bright green stems to unfurl. This one though is a different type. Rougher looking it usually dies down during the winter and in spring the leaves unfurl out of brown hairy fronds. I think this is Dryopteris filix-mas – the Male fern or Basket fern which grows along the ‘Woodland border’ in the shadiest part. Or it might be Blechnum spicant – the hard fern. I’ll post another image once it is fully opened and maybe someone (Jim?) might recognise it.
- Eryngium alpinum ‘Blue Star’ is in one of the raised beds and produces pretty silver-blue, cone-shaped flower umbels above whorls of spiny, basal bracts, supported by strong, grey-blue stems in late summer, but for now I can appreciate its rather lovely leathery-looking foliage.
- Another interesting plant with jaggedy-divided, prickly bright green leaves in the same bed is Echinops which I planted last year, but didn’t flower. Growing strongly now I am hopeful for some pale blue spiky globes later in the year.
- Close by, under the Corkscrew Hazel is an Epimedium. I haven’t seen this one in flower yet, but I think it is an orange one. The new leaves are very beautiful though and I must remember to get underneath and cut off the older ones.
- Another fern, this time growing under the Kilmarnock Willow tree is, I think, a Shuttlecock fern or Ostrich fern Matteuccia struthiopteris. It has a lovely delicacy about it.
- Finally, the red-blushed tips of the new leaves of a hardy Fuchsia. This plant suffered at the hand of the ‘Beast’ last year and I thought it had died, but new shoots eventually appeared at the base of the plant and now it is back to the size it was previously. I hope there will be lots of flowers this summer.
Forget-me-nots have successfully photo-bombed most of the shots today, but their time is up. I have already been pulling them out of the raised beds as I badly needed to plant some new herbs and perennials that can’t wait much longer. I have also been removing dozens of Borage seedlings as I know that they can be thugs in the bed, shading out other plants. It hasn’t been the best of weeks to get outdoors though, being a bit on the chilly side and today is no different, a chilly wind is blowing although the sun is out and the sky is blue!
As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world
See here for the participant’s guide.