Spring into Summer 2017

Mid April and spring is well and truly sprung; there is a constant succession of colour in my garden from the daffodils, tulips, little blue bulbs, Anemone nemorosa, Ranunculus ficaria and Pulmonaria cultivars, and many more.  The birds are busy and there are plenty of nectar rich flowers for the visiting bumble bees.  So far this spring I have seen brimstone, peacock and comma butterflies.

Comma butterfly basking in the sun on my back fence.

This spring I have been preparing a new talk, Spring into Summer, which completes my trilogy of seasonal talks.  The Garden in Autumn and Winter is a fairly old  talk, albeit with a lot of new photographs and Plants for the Summer Border is more recent, so it is great to have the full set.   I have been busy adding more photographs to my collection as my flowers open in all their glory!

The hellebores have been flowering since early January and are still looking great in late March.

Helleborus × hybridus

My garden backs on to the embankment of an old railway, with a wonderful collection of trees; a haven for wildlife.  The blackthorn contrasts well in full sun against the intense blue sky in late afternoon.

Prunus spinosa

A very tall wild cherry tree at the top of the railway embankment, photographed on a warm spring afternoon.   In mid to late summer the birds gorge themselves on the cherries!

Wild cherry tree

A small section of the Long Border in glorious spring sunshine, with spring flowers framed by snowdrop leaves on either side.   Pulmonaria ‘Cleeton Red’, Anemone nemorosa, Anemone × lipsiensis ‘Pallida’, Fritillaria meleagris, Pulmonaria ‘Diana Clare’ and Ranunculus ficaria ‘Collarette’

The Long Border

My back garden is about 70 feet long and 35 feet wide and faces north east. The Long Border runs the full length of the garden and is roughly 5 feet wide.  I grow ferns and hostas at the shaded end near the house, under-planted with spring bulbs, with sun loving perennials in the remainder, also under-planted with bulbs.

Anemone × lipsiensis ‘Pallida’

An interesting cultivar of our native Anemone nemorosa.

Anemone nemorosa ‘Bracteata’

A great little blue Scilla which naturalises happily amongst my other plants.

Scilla bithynica

An attractive Pulmonaria growing in the narrow border beside the scree, which I replanted last summer with semi-shade loving perennials.

Pulmonaria ‘Trevi Fountain’

A Bergenia with a great colour, which grows happily in the Long Border, where it has plenty of space beside the edge of the patio.

Bergenia ‘Ballawley’

Our native primrose, growing amongst Viola sororia ‘Freckles’.  Despite my well drained soil, full of stones, primroses self seed in the most unlikely places!

Primula vulgaris

An old cottage garden favourite, growing within the fresh new leaves of Astilbe chinensis var. pumila, which has now spread to surround it.  Although Astilbe is supposed to be grown as a pond margin plant, like many other plants it has not read the rule books!  Astilbe chinensis var. taquettii ‘Purpurlanze’ also grows vigorously in my well drained soil, full of stones.  All they require from me is a good mulch of my garden compost and regular watering in hot dry weather.

Primula ‘Wanda’

Another old garden favourite.

Primula ‘Gold Laced’

Two beautiful modern Kennedy Irish primroses.

Primula ‘Dark Rosaleen’

Primula ‘Avondale’

An old perennial wallflower cultivar in the Hardy Plant Society conservation scheme.

Erysimum ‘Lewis Hart’

A great tulip species, with beautiful markings inside the flower with the message for the bees, “this way to your reward”!

Tulipa whittallii

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