Is it really almost summer?

On a day like today – rainy, windy, chilly, low light –it definitely does not feel as though it is almost summer. We actually resorted to lighting the wood-burning stove earlier; in previous years we’ve been in t-shirts and flip-flops by now. It’s June tomorrow, for goodness’ sake!

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Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ in yesterday’s late afternoon sunshine.

Yesterday was not so bad and we did manage to make some progress along the back-wall border. It’s taken us a while to clear the huge pile of rocks, weeds, tree seedlings and bathroom sinks(!) and David has been re-laying the brick edging and bits of the path. As the mortar has dried, I’ve been following along doing the planting.

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This border is an experiment… Rather than plant in groups of three or five, I’ve repeated plants every so often. I hope the overall effect will eventually be lush foliage with pops of colour – blues, oranges and reds. It might not work, it might look like a right dog’s dinner, but hopefully it’ll look lovely! I’ll show you the results over the next few months as the plants fill out.

I’ve used plants we’ve grown from seed (annual grasses Setaria ‘Lowlander’ and Panicum elegansTithonia rotundiflora ‘Torch’, snapdragons which I hope are  red); plants rescued and divided from elsewhere in the garden (blue or white geraniums, heuchera, and red achilliea); and plants we bought earlier in the month (Nicotiana, Geum ‘Tangerine’, Alchemilla mollis, Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ and Aconitum).

I also re-planted an agapanthus that we’ve had in a pot for about six years. It didn’t flower last year, so we thought it might get a new lease of life in the ground.

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They’re meant to like having their roots restricted but this poor thing was so pot-bound – practically all root and no soil at all! There was no pulling it apart so we ended up sawing into four.

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Fingers crossed that it survives the shock and lives to flower again.

In other news… The children go back to school this week for the 8-week-long wind-down to the summer holidays. My daughter reckons she’ll be doing art and rehearsing for the school show as the SATs are over. Hmm, not sure about that. My middle son has end-of-year exams all week and has been revising hard this half term (much to our delight and astonishment). And the eldest is going to find being back in the classroom rather a shock after his trip to Barcelona and a half-term holiday lolling about at home. Here’s to a good week and more seasonal weather.

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Is it really almost summer?

  1. I love your garden and your photos. I’m the world’s worst gardner, but I did manage to move a couple of sage plants this year, and they’re actually doing well!

    Also love the terms “revisions” and “revising.” Much better than our boring “studying” or the rather crass “cramming.” At least I think those are parallel terms. 🙂

    -Amy at http://www.momgoeson.wordpress.com

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  2. Last week I was so determined not to give in and light the fire but ended up sitting one evening wearing two jumpers as I was so cold. What we need here is some sunshine! And some rain – everything is very dry.
    Looking forward to seeing the border come to life. I’m sure it will be a riotous success of colour.

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  3. We have still been snuggling under blankets here in the evenings, wish that it was warm enough to fling the doors and windows open and just move outside! It will come – she says hopefully! I hope that the exams go well for your children! xx

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  4. My ancient pot-bound agapanthus also did not flower very well last year (don’t fancy quartering it with a saw) but it has taken to self-seeding and flowering in the gravel around the water butt, which I guess is a clue to it liking well-drained but moist conditions. I cut the flowers for the house and moved the non-flowering plants into the borders so I’m interested to see if they flower this year. I do like the look of your mossy brick wall. I would be very tempted to add a crimson-red climbing rose, but of course you’re on chalk. Maybe a ceanothus, it would flower in that often tricky May gap. Just thinking aloud, please feel free to ignore my musings!

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    1. Thank you Sarah. It’s great to hear your suggestions! There is an old, deep-red climbing rose just along the curve of the wall which we rescued from brambles and ivy and pruned hard. It’s sprouting new leaves, so I’m hoping it will be reinvigorated. A ceanothus is a fine idea, though. I fear we may have butchered the poor agapanthus and it might give up the ghost. We’ll see…

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  5. Your first shot up there took my breath away Sam! It is so rich and pretty!!! And good luck to you on your border…I have no doubt it will work out just as you imagined! Good luck to your kiddos on their start back into school! Nicole

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