A rather damp week with temperatures still below what they should be at this time of year. My tulips have all gone over as have the narcissi, with one exception. Lots of things coming into bud though, including roses and clematis and lupins and alliums. One or two (or six) things caught my eye though, so let’s have a look at what’s happening in the shady parts of the garden.
1) Aconitum napellus. A beautiful but deadly poisonous common plant that contains the toxin, aconitine, can poison by touch, but this does not seem to cause fatal toxicity. Common Names. Monkshood, Old Wives Hood, Soldiers Helmet, Dogs Bane, Devils Hood. I thought I had removed this plant from my woodland border last year, but it has appeared this spring in a better condition than it ever has! It’s a beautiful herbaceous perennial with finely divided leaves similar to those of delphiniums, to which it’s related. It bears deep purple-blue flowers held on spires a metre or so in height and if you look closely there is a touch of turquoise too.
2) Heucheras. Great foliage plants and usually quite hardy in my garden, though the hybrid Heucherallas (crossed with Tiarellas) and the Tiarellas themselves don’t do as well. These Lime Marmalade and Marmalade plants have been here since I moved in. They are getting a little tatty now so at the end of the summer I shall dig them out and give this patch some fresh compost before replanting them (or replace them), then a new mulch of small bark. They share this spot under the twisted/contorted Hazel with Geum ‘Bell Bank’ with semi-double, salmon blooms which matches Marmalade perfectly, and a Brunnera macrophylla ‘Sea Heart’. All seem to like the dappled shade under here.
And two new ones from May last year – planted in the new shady bed where Heuchera ‘Champagne’ and Heucheralla ‘Zebra’ also grow. They are all producing fresh new leaves now with the dainty spikes of flowers appearing. There are so many beautiful colours there must be one for everyone.
3) In the same shady bed, is a Japanese Acer. A dark red one which I have in a container and was bought for the courtyard. However it hasn’t done well there. Although it is north facing it does get a lot of light, but also a lot of wind, which swirls around the courtyard and the burns the leaves. The Acer is still in its pot whilst I find a suitable position, currently enjoying the protection of the Hazel. Finding the right place for some plants can be difficult.
4) Staying with this shady bed we find this late flowering one, N. Poeticus the poet’s daffodil, poet’s narcissus, nargis, pheasant’s eye, findern flower or pinkster lily with its amazingly strong scent. I only saw one flower last week, but now there are about ten. There is a beautiful fragrance in that part of the garden especially in the evening. This flower has pure white, slightly recurved, perianth segments and small, red-rimmed yellow cups. Such a beauty. I will buy more bulbs to plant in the autumn now that I know it likes this spot. I also like how the colours match the fresh leaves of the Himalayan honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa ‘Golden Lanterns’) catching the evening sun.
5) Hosta fortunei var. aureomarginata (Gold-edged plaintain lily) – every year I think I will compost this Hosta as it gets shredded by the end of the season, despite being in a container. This year it had a mulch of Strulch, but I see something has already had a munch. I reckon the snails here abseil onto the leaves from neighbouring trees/rocks/fence – take your pick.
6) One white flower which was missed off last week, is my Camellia. A double white, unknown variety, has been flowering since mid-March despite being blown over in a winter storm and breaking the terracotta pot. It is coming to an end now though and the white blooms do suffer from the rain which is why it looked so good during April’s dry spell. I just wish it had some scent.
The week has finished with sunshine and showers and some new plant arrivals which will remain in their pots until June when I will make a start on removing yet more lawn.
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.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #147 | Gardens