This Month

This Month May 2018 - Monday, 30 Apr 2018

One of the exciting moments in April was seeing the patches of Martagon Lilies push through the soil, these, a few hundred of them, mum had grown from seed and I had planted in several difficult dry shady areas, I look forward to seeing them bloom. I was also very pleased to see  Cardiocrinum leaves emerge as I had thought we had lost them, I do like these giant monocarpic woodland lilies which I have had a desire to establish for a long time.

It took some time to decide where to plant our Xanthoceras sorbifolium which is not a plant I have seen before. It is a deciduous shrub/small tree from China with upright panicles of large white flowers with deep red centre. It is hardy but not in exposed sites, after much indecision I have planted it in the area which is predominantly Magnolias, a sunny sheltered area of the Lower Garden.

With the shrinkage of the nursery  to ‘plants for sale’ there was about 100 trees of several species to find a home for, these are now all planted out to enlarge a local young woodland. I would like to spend more time managing this woodland but unfortunately have very little time to spare for this however nature is managing quite well without our input and although there are some brambles there are also grassy glades, sweeping rides and plenty of wild flowers. It was quite a big job on the list and I am relieved to have it completed.

The plants for sale will include some of the more popular plants we sell such as Primula candelabra  as after visitors have seen the river of them in the Fernery they often want to take some home.

The jobs in May will of course include work on the vegetable garden but also, now the leaves are out, going through the shrubberies removing any dead which we had not noticed during the winter prune.

May is one of my favourite months in the garden with many shrubs in bloom such as the lovely Cercis and the scents seem stronger with Viburnum carlesii and V. carlcephalum being amongst the strongest and sweetest. One of my favourite bulbs at this time is the tall dark blue Camassia planted in the grass. I will also be happy to feel a bit more warmth and hope the few warm days in mid April is not our only summer for the year.

I saw the first Swallows here on 29th April and hope they stay and nest in the barn, some of their nests of previous years have other birds nesting in them. I have seen a Stoat a few times which is great as they will help us with the Rabbit problem.

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