May - Colourful Tulips, Bluebells and Poppies
I write this on the eve of May 1st in the fervent hope that it ceases to rain and it gets warmer. April turned out to be a bit of a disaster. March had been so warm and dry the plants were well ahead, had put on plenty of new growth and many were flowering to perfection. Then the snow fell, but what really did for them was the frost that followed.
Still there is plenty of colour as the Tulips and Bluebells put on a show along with the late flowering Rhododendrons that have escaped the damage done by the frost. The first of the Himalayan Blue Poppies (Meconopsis) have started to flower. Everybody loves them; they look stunning and remain in flower for months. Thankfully, in Scotland we have the ideal conditions to grow them. This will be the year that the M. napaulensis flower. I managed to germinate some a few years back and looking at the size of them, they will put on a grand display. Then I will have to start over again as they are Monocarpic, meaning they flower once and then die! I hope to get some seeds to germinate again. It is well worth the effort, they are stunning plants.
I have been adding a few more Bee friendly plants into the borders: two Prunus trees (flowering Cherries), 'Amanogawa' and 'Autumnalis', and two Malus (crab apples), 'Golden Hornet' and 'Wedding Bouquet'. They should give the bees a supply of early nectar with their scented blossom and the birds get the crab apples in the Autumn.
The greenhouse is bursting with plants. The cucumbers are too large to remain in the propagator so are sitting on the floor with a layer of fleece over them forming a tent like affair. Little fruits are showing so when the weather improves they should take off. The tomatoes and the potatoes have come through the cold nights but we did have to put on the heater and cover with fleece.
The area for the hive is complete and the hive is in place. All that remains is for the Bees to be delivered.
The garden is now open until the end of September and we have the first booking for Wednesday 9th May, a group of amateur artists who wish to do some 'outdoor painting'. There are several large groups booked in, most of them during June and July, which looks like it could be a very busy time.
My next major task will be the staking of all the Delphiniums, Lupines and other tall perennials. It takes forever but is well worth the effort. Over the years, I have collected many 'link stakes', which just need pushing into the ground around the plants forming a support.