May 2016: Plants and Progress

After a hiatus for a few weeks whilst Spring gathered momentum and the garden finally raced away,  I wanted to record progress and share some of my humble highlights. (Photos chosen by my eldest daughter as the ones that were “least boring”.) The Stream Garden was planted in August last year, so this is the first time I’ve actually seen the Spring blooms since I narrowed the plant choices down from internet photos and catalogues. The gaps are still many, but it’s getting better and better…


Geranium spessart

Geranium macrorrhizum “Spessart”. Bright green, semi – evergreen scented foliage, months of flowers, races ahead in early spring whilst other perennials are still struggling.  So easy to propogate,  it was the plant that gave me the gardening bug. Scraps of  roots of  this type of Geranium from my sister’s garden thrived after I sceptically shoved them in the soil… (p.s. not to be confused with the red window box Swiss chalet “geranium”, a totally different plant that isn’t a geranium at all but is actually called a pelargonium….)

Primula Japonica

Japanese Primroses (Primula japonica) from Beth Chatto’s nursery –  “Miller’s Crimson” and  “Postford White”. Damp loving bog plants that were bought for the pond edges, but never got there. Mostly because I wanted to see them every time I looked out the window, but also because I feared the rabbits would destroy them in seconds. 


Astrantia major (no idea which type – all my choices were deep reds so this dusky pink beauty must have been mislabeled in its early life), Stipa tenuissima and Papaver oriental “Patty’s Plum”. 

Bleeding Heart Geranium spessart

Bleeding Hearts and my fave Geraniums… again.

Sambucus Papaver Oriental

From L to R: the airy pink flowers of evergreen ground cover London Pride (Saxifraga x urbium) in the left back; a black Elderflower  called Sambucus nigra “Eva”:  will soon have dusky pink flat flower heads and eventually tower above the border, but not yet. Oriental Poppies ” Patty’s Plum” in the centre. Just underneath that, the bright yellow foliage of  Aralia cordata “Sun King”, a VERY late starter that is tormented by slugs. Not sure I’d bother with it again.  Aquilegia comes next: an unknown variety with  two totally different types of bonnet – like flowers on the same plant- purple ruffle with a white rim on one stalk and pink, simple doves on another. (I’ve never seen that before). The grass spikes under the Aquilegia are feather reed grass or Calamagrostis x acutiflora “Karl Foerster”: small and green  right  now that will be 6ft tall golden  and upright by September and all through the winter. Far right is the fine, green foliage of Sanguisorba “Red Thunder”, a damp and  shade loving perennial that will have masses of tiny, burgundy bottle brush flowers on tall, wiry stems come autumn. They float about the plant, catch in the breeze and should shine with the golden feather reed grass background.


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