#SixOnSaturday: Budding stars

My secret garden is going through what I hope will be a brief transition phase. The daffodils and grape hyacinth are finished. The tulips – almost universally underwhelming this year – won’t be around much longer. But the garden is full of buds.

I acquired this astrantia from the plant stall at Kelmarsh Hall about this time last year. So far as I can remember it cost me £2 and I was able to divide it before I planted it and both lumps have established really well, so absolute bargain! I thought it was a red/pink variety but it doesn’t look like it now!

Last autumn, I invested in a few heucheras, both because I like them and because I’ve realised they do really suit the shadiness of my garden. This one is ‘Marmalade‘. Given that my garden is basically created from containers I am mindful of the fact that vine weevils could be an issue, but no problems so far…

Alliums are playing a bigger part in my garden this year, and some of my new bulbs are looking really promising, but over the last couple of years I’ve decided I like having chives in the garden at least as much for their flowers as for their role as a tasty addition to a homemade potato salad!

I’ve grown several varieties of nigella from seed this year, but inevitably it’s the self-seeded plants that have established best. By process of elimination I think this is probably ‘Miss Jekyll’ and she’s made herself at home amongst similarly self-seeded aquilegia and forget-me-nots.

I moved this honeysuckle tellemanniana in late 2020, and while it put on new growth last year it didn’t flower. So it’s great to see this little cluster of buds!

And finally, assuming that this hydrangea actually flowers it should be absolutely spectacular, with its dark red/green foliage set off my deep pink flowers. I was a bit worried that this very dry April would have cut it off in its prime but I think we’ve dodged that bullet.

Head to The Propagtor‘s blog to see what’s going on in other gardens in the UK and beyond!

This week at Waddesdon

Another new set of experiences at Waddesdon Manor this week! I worked on bank holiday Monday which I wasn’t massively looking forward to but which turned out to be a lot of fun (and hard work, obviously. I wouldn’t want you to think I wasn’t working hard…)! And there were only five of us in so it was a great opportunity to get to know those people a bit better.

The main task of the whole week was mulching a fairly steep slope, primarily to suppress weeds. The slight drawback was that huge piles of mulch had been dumped at the bottom of that steep slope because access was easier than at the top. So three of us basically spent three days pushing / carrying / throwing wood chip up the slope!! It was as exhausting as you might image and my ankles and knees are still recovering!

On Tuesday the major additional job was helping to uncover two concrete bases for a pair of original gas lamps that are returning to the formal entrance drive this summer. The ground was almost as concrete-like as the concrete and the bases turned out to be quite a lot larger than we’d expected!

And once we’d finished the mulching on Wednesday, there was weeding to do – there’s always weeding to do! – and tidying of pheasant damage in the formal parterres.

Oh, and we got absolutely drenched when the heavens opened last thing on Wednesday afternoon!!!

Plot 35

I did manage to get down to the allotment three times last weekend, and was joined there on Saturday by some friends and their children. I had a lovely time working with the kids to plant straggly nasturtiums, and they did loads of excellent watering for me!

The garden’s looking fairly respectable at the moment which is a relief. And I’m at the point with seedlings / young plants where I’m starting to throw caution to the wind and moving trays into the garden now the forecasts are pretty uniformly for warmer nights.

Whatever you’re up to in the garden this weekend, have a good one!


Twitter and Instagram: MySecretGard

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