The Alliums are just coming out now, huge spheres of colour floating above the rest of the planting. Every year I tell myself I must plant more, then promptly forget once they finish flowering!
It's aquilegia time too, and I have allowed them to spring up in unlikely nooks and crannies as well as filling the borders with splashes of colours. Last year I bought quite a few to supplement those already self-seeding around the garden, as they were losing vigour somehow. The colours were washed out pinks and mauves, and the flowers were getting smaller and smaller. I introduced strong new colours like the dark purple, and larger flowers, like the pink and cream plant shown above. I hope that that their influence will be seen in the self - seeds over the coming years.
The first rose opened about five days ago - the climber 'White Cloud' and today one of my new roses began to flower for the very first time. It is a repeat flowering shrub rose, 'Alissar Princess of Phoenicia' and I am really excited, as it is a lovely, big flower with very subtle pink colouring, and a dark eye.
I find chives (pictured above) are very useful to fill an odd corner, or to place at the front of a bed. They split easily, and seem to grow happily in most conditions.
This Cerinthe made it through our mild winter, in the border, with no protection at all. If you have never grown them they are a lovely and unusual flower with fantastic glaucous foliage. They are very easy from seed, but tender, so it is worth saving seed every year and treating them like an annual. I also make sure I overwinter at least one in the greenhouse.
Centaurea, the perennial cornflower, is a thug in the garden, and left to its own devices it bullies more fragile plants, and pushes them out of the way. However, the blue of the flowers is so intense I can forgive its faults for the most part. It will grow anywhere, and will self seed where there is little soil. After flowering I cut it right back and it has another flush of flowers within a few weeks.
The promise of delphinium flowers yet to come. These are going to be a dark and intense blue. However, if I don't get them staked, I will get up one morning to find them collapsed in a heap, after a heavy shower !
What's not to love about Dicentra, in the pink and the Alba forms ? The flowers are unusual and intricate and well deserve the name of 'Bleeding Heart'.
Why do the plants we don't like, grow so well for us ? Is it spite ? I dislike this bi-colour lupin - well, all bi-colour lupins actually, and I can't remember what possessed me to but it in the first place. I have loads of the blooming' things. All enormous.
Clematis Montana, and bud, growing through the Tamarisk tree, which is also in flower. I thought they would make a good combination, and they do, but the Clematis is mustard and grows almost as you watch, so needs a lot of cutting back and pruning to keep it from smothering the tree.
Yet more self seeds, and they all brought themselves into the garden ! Bright and cheerful, they come in acid yellow and fluorescent orange and they are guaranteed to ruin any subtle colour theme !
So many flowers, so little time ...