Mother’s Day today and most of the family to lunch with me. The all-day rain that had been forecast earlier in the week fell yesterday (very welcome) which was good because it meant that Mum and I could take a look at the garden together, something we always do, whether I’m visiting my parents or they are visiting me. A walk around each other’s garden, always in the company of the gardener, to see what is coming up, doing well or struggling, is a shared ritual. Very often there are plants to be donated; Mum is great at propagating and can get nearly anything to grow – and today she brought me some plants of Ammi majus (think Cow Parsley type flowers – it’s very pretty) that she’d grown from seed.
In turn I’ve promised her some Aquilegia, once they have made larger plants and I can tell if they are the purple A.’Miss I H Huish’ or the green A.’Lime Sorbet’; both of which I grew from seed last year. We did not stay out too long, the wind had turned cold again, but it was good to spot the many allium and tulip bulbs I planted last autumn starting to show above ground – I’m hoping for good things from them in May. Digging nearly everything out of the garden last year, in preparation for the new design, gave me a good chance to give more consideration to what I planted and where.
I’ve tried, and the coming weeks will tell if I succeeded, to place bulbs by colour, either to give strong contrast or softly compliment each other – but I have a suspicion that nature is going to throw a surprise or two my way. I’ve a sneaking feeling that some very advanced looking tulips are the offspring of some letter-box red tulips that have come up every year without fail; tulips often don’t come back a second season, things eat the bulbs during the summer months or they just put too much energy into flowering the first year, but the red ones – I’ve had them in every garden I’ve owned, whether I put them there or not. Because they give a splash of colour I never have the heart to get rid of them, even if they are in the wrong place, but this year, alongside the carefully selected pinks and purples they might be a contrast too far. We shall see.
This photo is of my garden taken last April, just before work started – you can see the red tulips. The purple/pink flowering tree is the Cercis siliquastrum I wrote about earlier, and you can see the beautiful white stems of the Silver Birch, or Betula jacquemontii.