I’m about to write a sentence that I very rarely put on paper:
The garden could do with some rain.
Not too much, mind you; just an overnight shower to freshen things up and help my peas to germinate. The soil is quite damp enough a few inches down. But the ‘creek’ is dry, and I do like to have water running through my garden.
Next, I’m going to complain about the heat. It’s all of 25 degrees today; more in the direct sun; and that means I have to run around with little sunshades (pieces of slate, usually) for all the delicate primulas that wilt at the first hint of hot weather.
This is Ourisia Coccinea, a slowly creeping ground cover plant from Chile. I grow it in slightly peaty soil on a slope, and I have never seen it so good. The bright vermillion flowers, so close to the ground, are a really useful colour – especially since they go so well with the unweeded buttercups.
When it’s too hot to do any weeding, I can sit in the shade of the Himalayan birch, and admire the effect of my spring cleaning:
The blue poppies in the border by my folly are now approaching their loveliest. Last year, they were pretty miserable, but over the winter, they were lifted and the whole border was re-dug, re-drained, and given lavish helpings of compost and leafmould. The poppies are happy again. They will need a year or two to bulk up before they are really spectacular. But still:
Usually when I plan colour combinations they are ruined by frosts, or pests, or no flowers, or eccentric flowering times or something else. But this year, for once, the ornamental bramble, Rubus ‘Tridel’ is performing, opening its pure white flowers on arching branches behind the poppies: The deep crimson species rhododendrons I had planned as a further backdrop have yet to make any impact – but they will, they will….