greentapestry : April 2020

Wednesday 29 April 2020

Almost Wordless Wednesday ~ So Near Yet So Far

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of my longstanding love/hate relationship with tulips. For once I thought that I had cracked it - an almost perfect potful of tulips 'La Belle Epoque'. Well one or two were shorter in stature than others but that was fine. I intended to take a photograph to post last Wednesday but my camera was misbehaving big time. By the time I had checked the online manual and Google and finally sorted it out it was too late in the day to take a photo. I left it to the weekend and look what happened in the meantime - avert your eyes to the top left of the pot - an entire flower head has vamooshed without a trace! I'm not sure who or what the culprit was. The neighbouring pot also containing tulips has flowers with their heads bitten off but in this case considerately left on the surface. Pigeons maybe? They have been seen lurking in the vicinity. Oh well my search for the holy grail or in this case the picture perfect pot of tulips remains to be continued.

Monday 27 April 2020

IAVOM ~ Froth

Opening the curtains up this morning to see no sign of the forecast overnight heavy rain was slightly disappointing. However when I got out to peruse likely candidates for this week's 'In A Vase On Monday' it was noticeably cooler and fresher than of late. Maybe some rain may fall over the next week.

I made a beeline for a couple of spring favourites and added to them. In my vase this week are :

  • Geranium phaeum - this in various shades is an easy going stalwart which just on with its business with little need for human intervention. It does have the propensity to self-seed rather generously but you can forgive it that trait. The bees love it. I noticed this morning that the foliage is peppered with mildew probably a sign of the dry month we've had. I will give it a good haircut when the flowers are done and dusted to encourage fresh foliage to emerge. There may even be a second show of flowers.
  • Anthriscus sylvestris - also known as cow parsley, one of our most common native plants. It grows up the sides of the lane leading up or down to our house depending on your starting point. For some unfathomable reason it annoys the sensibilities of the motorist in our house each year as it froths over into the lane. I persuade him to let it have it's head for a few glorious weeks each year - after all there is no danger of it scratching the car. It does make me sneeze rather violently and for this reason this vase is going to reside outside in a shady spot.  
  • Some foliage from errant young would-be sycamore trees. I am not a fan osf sycamores but the juvenile foliage is quite a treat.
  • Flowers of the last narcissus still standing in 2020 - in this case the new to me 'Starlight Sensation'.  Their numbers are definitely to be added to next year. 

Thanks to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her excellent hosting skills. I see that she has her dancing shoes on this week and is encouraging us all to trip the light fantastic to the tune of 'The Waltz of the Flowers'. Do join in!

Saturday 25 April 2020

April Musing ~ Observations

"When proud pied April,
dressed in all his trim, 
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything" ~ William Shakespeare.

"I have seen the lady April bringing the daffodils,
Bringing the springing grass and the
soft warm April rain" ~ John Masefield.

"April prepares her green traffic light and the
world thinks Go" ~ Christopher Morley.

"April's rare capricious loveliness" ~ Julia Dorr.

"I had not thought of violets of late
The wild, shy kind that springs beneath your feet
In wistful April days" ~ Alice Dunbar - Nelson.

"Today has been a day dropped out of June into April" ~ L.M. Montgomery.

Illustration by Lena Anderson.

The world has been in turmoil this month yet the weather in this part of the world has rarely been so glorious, bursting with endless days "dropped out of June". Possibly when the monthly meteorological statistics come out they will reveal one of the warmest, sunniest and driest Aprils on record or at least one of those measures. Whatever the conclusion this hint of summer has certainly provided much comfort and has been a most welcome open-ended invitation to spend as much time possible out in the garden.

Monday 20 April 2020

IAVOM ~ " I Am The One And Only"

I did say when commenting on Cathy's post last week that I would not be cutting any tulips this spring for 'In A Vase On Monday' so I will eat my words. This is the one and only tulip I will not have any guilt for beheading. It's the sole survivor of a collection that were planted in a container. There has been other foliage but no other flowers this spring so the contents of the container are imminently heading for compost.

I'm not completely sure of the variety but think that is probably 'Havran'. In the milk bottom vase some sprigs of a euphorbia that has appeared of its own accord.
I like euphorbias but dare not touch them. I was struggling to remove more of the lower foliage as I was wearing gloves nut in the end gave up on this task. Meanwhile you can see from the photo below that I will have some tulips this year - below is a glimpse of things to come.

With a special thanks as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for making Mondays more fun. She is showcasing an elegant tulip in her vase this week along with a cuckoo as a companion. Do have a peek!

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day ~ April 2020

It seems to be a while since I've joined in with Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and I 'm not sure why. A determined effort will ensue to participate more regularly. Putting a smile on my face today are the flowers of malus x robusta 'Red Sentinel'. I bought this crab apple as a bare root plant in February 2014. The first flowers followed in the spring of 2015. Since then it has had a couple of blips - one year when there were but a handful of flowers and another when there no flowers whatsoever. I'm not sure why this happens. These occasions have been doubly disappointing as no flowers means no beautiful red fruits later in the year for me and the birds to appreciate. This spring my 'Red Sentinel' is dripping with flowers. I love the way the pale pink buds slowly unfurl to give rise to white flowers. It enjoys the companionship of two pear trees which flower slightly earlier but for a brief spell they flower in unison. One of my favourite highlights of the gardening year.

With many thanks to Carol over at May Dreams Gardens for being such an excellent hostess over the years. My first Bloom Day post was back in 2009!

Monday 13 April 2020

IAVOM ~ Pastels

My 'In A Vase Of Monday' this week is a confection of pastel shades including some liquorice allsort colours. The contents are as follows:

  • A stem of lunaria annua variegata alba aka variegated white honesty - about half a dozen plants considerately self-seeded last year, came through the winter to produce some most sturdy plants which are now covered with white flowers. I am delighted as there will be a source of their shimmering transparent seed cases to pick later this year for vases and hopefully another source of seedlings for next year.
  • Some baby blue flowers of muscari armeniacum 'Valerie Finnis'. I planted these in pots and for some reason thought that they would flower much earlier than they did. I had convinced myself that I had planted the bulbs at the wrong depth resulting in no flowers this spring but have been pleasantly proved wrong.
  • A couple of stems of the plant that I will also refer to as dicentra spectablis alba (I know it has had an ugly name change) or white bleeding heart. Sadly I broke a few hearts whilst placing them in the vase.
  • Last but not least the pink flowers are from a plant which I always struggle to identify. It's a moisture loving perennial which does well in shade. I'm reasonably sure though that it's chaerophyllum hirsutum 'Roseum' rather than it's doppelg╚ânger pimpinella major 'Rosea'. However I could be wrong and come back to amend this post later. I have both plants with one flowering before the other.
Easter Monday has turned out cooler here than of late but still with blue skies and sunshine. I have been pottering about in the garden doing a few gentle jobs.  I hope that my blogging friends have had the chance to get out too and enjoy their respective gardens which are keeping a lot of us grounded in the present situation. Thank you as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for providing with a steadfast platform to display and share our vases each week. It is much appreciated.

Monday 6 April 2020

IAVOM ~ A Work In Progress

I certainly remembered that it was Monday today as our green bin is due for emptying in the morning. A good part of this afternoon was spent with a pair of secateurs in my hand with some of my prunings going towards filling this week's 'In A Vase on Monday'. They are as follows :

  • I gave my mathiasella burpleuroides 'Green Dream' a rather brutal haircut. Some of the stems had got very woody and unattractive but were still sporting flowering stems which I thought would be a shame to waste. I should have done this job in the autumn but I had to put nearly all gardening tasks on hold then. The green flowers last for weeks fading to a pinkish hue as they age.
  • I have also been cutting back cornus sanguinea 'Anny's Orange' today so a few stems were put in my vase.
  • I deliberately put some of the lovely white narcissus that is 'Thalia' into the vase.
  • Finally a snippet or two of catkin bearing branches of salix purpurea 'Nancy Saunders' which has grown from a cutting kindly sent to me by Chloris of 'The Blooming Garden'.
The vase is was bought from one of the mainstream supermarkets a few years ago. It is sitting on a table that is an integral part of the decking that himself built some years ago. The construction has been in dire need of painting for a couple of years. Himself has been busy doing all sorts of practical tasks in the last couple of weeks this being one of them. Unfortunately the supply of paint changed colour as the work progressed before finally running out. It now has a rather chequered appearance and will remain a work in progress until as and when new paint can be located.

With a big thanks as always to our hostess Cathy over over 'Rambling In The Garden' who brings us together to share our vases each week.