greentapestry : April 2022

Saturday 30 April 2022

Garden Diary ~ An April Catch Up

An extremely dry April looks as if she is going to exit on a last minute downpour in this part of the world which will be more than welcome with farmers and gardeners. We have had a very settled month with much in the way of sunshine but some cold nights when the fleece has come out to protect the more tender greenhouse occupants at night.

April has seen more seed sowing activity - another tray of cut and come again salad, thunbergia alata, aka Blacked Eyed Susan, Swan River daisies, nasturtiums, sunflowers 'Claret' and 'ProCut Plum', anethum graveolens 'Mariska' also known as florists' dill, moluccella laevis aka Bells of Ireland, a second sowing of cosmos 'Apricotta' and scabious 'Fata Morgana', courgette 'Atena Polka', beetroot and chard. There has been much in the way of pricking out and some hardening off of hardy annuals has taken place. March sown sweet peas are now more than ready to get into the ground. The first couple of bags have been planted with 'Charlotte' potatoes with another bag at the ready to plant.

The February planted ranunculus have flowers which is most exciting but some of the foliage is looking rather miserable so it's a case of wondering what will happen. I have never had any joy with growing these so I do so hope that these plants will turn the corner and I will be able to cut some flowers for a vase. 

 The potted snowdrops all made their way back outside at the beginning of the month to make room for seed sowing and other greenhouse activities. Dahlia tubers have been planted including some new to me varieties and are presently in pots still undercover.

It was a month of no plant purchases until we visited a local garden centre yesterday when it was warm enough to sit out in the sunshine and enjoy some lunch. Leaping into the basket gallantly wielded by himself went three lemon verbena plants, hyssop, apple mint, a tray of violas and a substantial plant of deliciously scented nemesia 'Wisley Vanilla'. 

Giving me particular pleasure this month has been the blossom on pear, apple, crabapple and amelanchier - so pretty and the display from the three pots of tulips. The most impressive has been the pot of single planting of 'Ballerina'. Two pots of mixed planting of 'Ballerina', 'Havran' and 'Purple Dream' have not convinced me especially the 'Purple Dream' which is either taller than the other two varieties or has not grown to full height in some cases and is on the pink shade of purple to my eyes. I shall tweak the combination next year.

Some of my stalwart spring flowers have been in fine fettle this month - especially brunnera, 'Solomon's Seal' and geranium phaeums. As the month departs and we enter my favourite month of the year alliums are on the point of bursting, aquilegias are slowly opening and elderflowers have just started to show. Exciting times!

Monday 25 April 2022

IAVOM ~ 'Blue Monday'


Today's vase is part yesterday's weeding activities - a collection of just bluebells which we inherited with the garden, some bulbs more suitably sited than others.  As far as I can these are native English bluebells as opposed to Spanish bluebells, the difference between which is described here. These would have been deadheaded sooner than later to prevent them spreading further into an area which is already host to the thug that is lamium galeobdolon 'Variegatum' aka the yellow archangel. The common name seems most inappropriate as this plant is far from angelic in behaviour. The variegated leaves are visible in the above photo but none of the yellow flowers.  I have mentioned before now that I innocently looked out for this plant and welcomed it with open arms before I knew of its tendency to run everywhere. I've come to the conclusion that I will never be rid.

The vase is a recent purchase from eBay - a James Keiller & Son Ltd. marmalade jar. Keillers was established in 1797 and made a number of different flavoured marmalades until it ceased to be in 1992. The descendants of the Keiller family include the gardening writer and broadcaster Monty Don amongst their numbers.

"Enter the wood with care, my love
Lest you are pulled down by the hue,
Lost in the depths, drowned in blue"

With thanks as ever to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her steadfast hosting. Do take a peek in what is other vases this week. 

Monday 18 April 2022

IAVOM ~ "Wearing White For Easter Tide"


Well not just white but shades of cream, green and even some red too. In this week's vase are :

  • Lunaria variegata alba - this variety of the biennial honesty obligingly self seeds so I now have a perpetual colony. The foliage is attractive too with the variegation varying slightly from plant to plant. I can't remember cutting the flowers for a vase before and somehow don't think they will have much staying power. Later in the year I will be cutting the stems down when the seeds have set and using them for seasonal decoration. I will have seeds to spare if anyone would like some.
  • A couple of stems of cornus which missed the chop out when I was pruning the shrub.
  • Narcissus 'Thalia' - possibly my favourite narcissus and one that is still going when most of its more diminutive siblings are fading.
  • The last occupant in my vase this week are stems of the tactile pussy willow catkins - none to be purloined in the immediately vicinity so I have to confess that these were bought especially for Easter.
The vase came from my mother but other than that I have no idea of its history. The little tin came supplied with little Easter eggs. The illustrations are by Arthur Parkinson who is developing a reputation as a florist, gardener and author and is is currently working on a book on keeping chickens which he has done since a young age.

My post title comes from  A.E. Housman's 'A Shropshire Lad' which includes these lines : 

" Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Easter tide"

As always a special thanks to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' who enables us to share our vases each and every Monday. I hope that you have all been enjoying the long weekend and that you have some beautiful gentle spring weather and delicious chocolates too.

Monday 11 April 2022

IAOM ~'I Will Survive'

We had a reminder on Saturday that winter still had a sting in its tail when there was a sudden and most dramatic hailstorm.  I was inside and cosy at home at the time and wondered what the loud clattering noise was, before realising that  himself had left our bedroom window wide open so I was being treated to the additional sound effects of hail bouncing on a wooden floor. Whether that is winter's final fling remains to be seen but yesterday and today have been noticeably warmer and there is a strong pull towards the garden. In my vase this week are :
  • Tulip -   this is the only one one in the pot that has flowered so time to jettison all the bulbs. As to variety I know not what. Before the bulbs depart I thought that it only fitting to include the only survivor in this week's vase. 
  • Lunaria annua - this has arrived by itself and I'm delighted to make its acquaintance. It's in an out of the way part of the garden used as a gathering place for pots of bulbs after they have flowered. I'm hoping very much that will gently self-seed.
  •  A stem of amelanchier - variety unknown. This has made rather spindly growth but is slowly bulking out after a few years. I'm hoping to find room to tuck in another specimen somewhere . The colour of the spring foliage is exquisite. I just wish that it flowered over a longer spell but that of course is being greedy. 
  • Some hellebore flowers which have now reached the stage where you can see the seed pods forming. The colours are fading but they are still attractive. 

The hearts vase is an Emma Bridgewater creation which was purchased through eBay some time ago. I realised that it hadn't come out of the cupboard for a while so thought that it deserved an outing.

Thanks as always to Cathy whose blog can be found over at 'Rambling In The Garden'. Cathy most kindly enables us to share our vases throughout the year each and every Monday. Do visit and see what treasures are sparkling in vases created by fellow bloggers this week.

Monday 4 April 2022

IAVOM ~ 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart'

 I snipped the content's of this week's 'In A Vase On Monday' in anticipation of some wet weather today but it now looks as if we might have a better day than originally forecast. It will be milder which will be welcome after some biting chilly winds over the last few days.

In my vase are companions, well in fact next door neighbours in the garden. They are :

  • A single leaf of arum italicum var. Mamoratum - this plant has really grown in spread this year and needs dividing. I will have to look up  how and when the best time is to do this. As well as growing in stature it has gifted me with some seedlings for the first time. which when slightly larger will be extricated and either potted on and then eventually planted or shared.
  • A single sprig of one of my favourite spring plants, the artist formerly know as dicentra spectablis alba also known as 'Bleeding Hearts'. The form of the flowers is fascinating. I refuse to learn the new name which is ugly and which I also find difficult to remember and spell. This perennial which goes completely underground in winter, always amazes me each spring as it seems to appear in the blink of an eyelid and then is flowering in no time at all.  It has a a clump of snowdrops in front of it and the dicentra is planted behind and just to one side.  I had a trio of dicentra at one point but the other two plants have disappeared. In the latest episode of 'Gardener's World' Monty Don demonstrated how to take cuttings in the same way as dahlia cuttings but the growth on my plant is too advanced to do this. I think that the programmes are filmed a good ten days or so before they get to our screens. I must try to divide it when it first shows next year which I've done in the past or even treat myself to two new plants. It was really too bright when I took my photo but after waiting some time standing in a chilly wind waiting for the sun to go in I decided that it wasn't going to happen. Of course it did as soon as I got back in the house!
The vase is tiny being just over 5 centimetres or 2 inches high and has the distinction of being the second smallest vase I have. 

My thanks as always to Cathy who blogs over at 'Rambling In The Garden' and who welcomes fellow blogger's contributions of vases both little and large every Monday.