This Month

This Month May 2021 - Friday, 30 Apr 2021

What a mixed month April was with its warm sun and frosty nights, cool breezes and even a layer of snow one night which looked pretty but, thankfully, didn’t last long due to the warmth of the following day. I was about two weeks later than usual planting the vegetable due to the cold preventing the soil warming. Unfortunately we then had a dry spell when the average rainfall, even this early in the year, was already down. It was such a relief to get some rain at the end of the month.
I have had some very exciting wildlife moments watching the activities of the many birds as well as pheasants, just near the house there are three males which are all very different in colouring with one being quite brown, another with pale blue on its back and the other having a silver back, they do get  territorial at times and all walk around like the lord of the manor.
The stoat family has also been great to watch, two ran past me within three feet once when I was working in the kitchen garden and I frequently see the adults and kits running to and fro. I have seen one rolling a pheasants egg along and one day one ran within a foot of me when I was sitting on the veranda.
I have got some new plants, quite a few new plants! I knew where most would go from the moment of choosing them. Below the veranda are the two small lily pools surrounded by a lot of Hosta and some Iris and I decided to extend this area by moving a few small shrubs and a patch of ever increasing Phlomis russeliana. The Phlomis  I am trying under some Firs near the lake as I noticed that some had already seeded there and I hope to increase that patch as not much wants to grow there. Where the moved plants were I have put in more Iris and Hostas.
I also have several new Hydrangea, ten are to put in a semi-circle around the Mulberry on the right bank of the Lower Garden, the rest are dotted around the garden to add splashes of late colour and fill gaps in various places as they are not too fussy where they are planted.
I have bought some new ferns for one area in the lower garden where we cut back a rapidly spreading smooth-leaved Holly and some other shrubs. I also hope to get some shrubs with fern-like leaves for this area. They are very varied but all have wonderful fronds from the bold Matteuccia orientalis, a variety of Shuttlecock Fern, to the delicate spreading Adiatum Miss Sharples, I hope they are as happy with me as I am with them.
I couldn’t resist Metapanax delavayi for its gorgeous leaves with long fingers, it grows to about 10ft (3m) in semi shade in rich moist soil so it is planted in my new area which is all about leaves.
May is a fantastic month and as I write this I am looking forward to more planting out as well as taking time to relax and enjoy the garden.
Don’t forget that you can have daily garden pictures if you follow me on Instagram @moorsmeadow

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