May is hotting up, this past week has been lovely. Here in the south-west we don’t get those mid twenty temperatures in the rest of the country, but 20°C is fine by me. I nearly drove to a nearby beach mid-week, but decided to empty some of the early spring bulb pots instead and get some salad sown. Glad I did as the roads to the beach were lined with cars so I imagine there were a lot of people on the beach, though at low tide there is a lot of space! Unfortunately car parks and toilets are still closed.
This week I am going to introduce you to six new plants that joined my household last year, but which are only now beginning to make an impression. Most of the plants I buy are to attract pollinators and I also try to avoid any that suffer from S&S (slugs and snails) damage.
(1) Rose ‘Fighting Temeraire’ is a David Austin shrub rose bearing masses of very large, single flowers. They are a rich apricot colour, with an area of yellow behind the stamens. The fragrance is fruity with a strong element of lemon zest. This rose was named for the Turner Contemporary Gallery, on Margate’s seafront in Kent. The Fighting Temeraire is a painting from 1839 by the English landscape painter, watercolourist and printmaker, JMW Turner. The flowers are ideal for attracting bees.
(2) Lupins – I received eight lupin plants last year free with another order from J. Parkers. Lupins are not plants I would have chosen because the S&S like them. A lot. Out of the eight tiny plants only four survived and one flowered. This year they have grown much stronger and there are many more flower spikes. I actually like them! As do the bees.
(3) Clematis koreana ‘Amber’ has gently nodding flowers of primrose yellow are double and have a slight hint of pink on the top near the flower stem. I bought it because it is suitable for a container and a north facing situation. It flowers from April to June and again in September. And it is a strong bushy climber. Well that’s what the description said…
last year there were a couple of flowers almost green in colour. This year I have several more flowers and they are a pale lemon / greenish colour so barely noticeable among the greenery. It is not very bushy. Maybe it takes a few years to mature, but so far I am not impressed even though the flowers themselves are a very pretty shape and size. It doesn’t require pruning, just a trim now and then. Perhaps I am becoming an impatient gardener, expecting immediate gratification!
(4) Camassias – I planted several of these bulbs last autumn in my mini-mini-meadow area. Camassia quamash (x20) is a vivid blue, with tall, bold flowers, Camassia cusickii (x5) is a vivid sky blue camassia, tall and elegant and Camassia leichtlinii subsp. suksdorfii ‘Alba’ (x5) has spires of creamy-white flowers. The quamash were refunded because they arrived in a mouldy condition, but I planted them anyway. The bees love them. (I don’t see the cusickii ones yet, leaves but no flowers)
(5) Scabiosa ‘Blue Butterfly’ – another small perennial last year, this is now flowering well in the raised bed, though somewhat overshadowed by the leaves of my Echinops. It produces huge numbers of purple-blue pincushion-like flowers throughout the summer (though mine look distinctly more pink than blue) and is attractive to bees and butterflies.
(6) Chilean Lantern Tree / Crinodendron hookerianum – this tree didn’t have any flowers last year (they form during the winter months) but has redeemed itself this year. Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’ has wound herself around it again. This exotic beauty is quite cold tolerant and displays lantern-shaped, crimson flowers, 1in. long (2.5cm), that dangle on long stalks from the branches from late spring to late summer. Mine grows under the Goat Willow trees so I think it might be in too much shade, but I pruned a lot of the lower branches last year to allow more light in which may have helped.
That’s all folks! 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.
Remember to stay alert out there!
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