The start of May in The Fortnight Garden

The start of May in The Fortnight Garden brings real change. The rain has made a huge difference to the garden, coupled with slightly cooler weather. Beds are starting to fill in and the fruit trees have been a joy. It has been a particular pleasure in a week when there were two ambulance trips to hospital and much languid languishing. I am not ready for active gardening yet so this week’s Six on Saturday is about enjoying what I have!


1. The fruit trees are still a joy, although the flowers are now starting to go over as the fruit sets. It looks as though there will be another good crop of quinces and crab apples. I think I need to be more imaginative with both this year – I cannot possible make more jelly or membrillo!

Crabapple flowers at the start of May in the Fortnight Garden
Crabapple flowers starting to go over

2. Ferns are unfolding and just beautiful. OK, there is only one variety, Dryopteris Affinis, but hey, it is growing and green.


3. Geraniums continue to give pleasure: Phaeum Samobor and to my surprise, Ingwersons, which I thought I had lost. I will be watching the latter very carefully and hoping to take cuttings at the end of the season. It is such a lovely pink. I am also finding a few scattered plants of a white geranium, which I did not plant. By the look of the plants it may be a mutation of Mayflower, although it is not as tall.


4. I like the blue heads of the ajugas but there are fewer than I would like. Perhaps they have been swamped. I need to start new ones and try again. I find that cutting off the creeping bits and putting them in water encourages rooting and off we go again!


5. Persicaria are starting to flower and pretty in pink, but I think I need to dig out when they are done, dig in more compost, and start them again – they look a bit crowded and small to me. And perhaps I should be combining them with some of the purple Heuchera?


6. And finally the paeonies are starting to show buds.

Paeony buds
Paeony buds

I looked back to this time last year and am quite surprised to be reminded of the constant changes in this small garden, and I am quite happy with the challenges and changes. And that is the start of May in The Fortnight Garden and my Six on Saturday. I look forward to seeing what is happening elsewhere and thank you to The Propagator for putting us all in touch!

London Garden Plants

I started planting the new London garden in the second week of April – it has been hard work but I am finally finished, apart from the ‘fernery’. You need to get down to ground level to see anything – the plants are still so small! Next to the steps into the ‘fernery’ the Hakonechloa overlooks the stipa tenuissima, alchemilla mollis, and geranium macrorrhizum ‘Ingwerson’s Variety’. The miscanthus, molinia, and verbena are also growing.

15-6-1 London Garden LR-1716

Under the damson tree the knautia macedonica is flowering in an interesting colour, the nepeta are thriving, and the viburnum sargentii ‘Onondaga’ is looking settled.

The Patio looks rather ‘thin’, but the four(!) libertia grandiflora will be wonderfully impressive in three years’ time and I want to ensure they have enough space to grow. In the meantime aquilegia ‘Black Barlow’, geraniums ‘Brookside’ and ‘Elizabeth Ann’ will spread and be pretty. In the centre is an amelanchier lamarckii.

Along the flint wall the plants are growing – slowly: brunnera ‘Jack Frost’, anemone ‘Robustissima’, and bergenia ‘Abendglut’ which should turn a wonderful colour in the winter.

The Fence Bed

The bed along the fence moves from sunshine to shade, and includes a Viburnum Plicatum (which has been transplanted) and the damson tree. It is difficult planting but thankfully DeakinLock are immensely helpful and knowledgeable – and patient!

And in the sunnier part of the bed there will be grasses through which the knautia may spread.

Counterpoint in weather

Over there the geraniums need pampering. This splendid plant has faithfully repaid attention for five years: ‘..It begins to flower indoors in late April or early May and then is put outdoors. Trimmed and fed it stays quiet for a while, but now has burst into bloom. Has it not repaid attention?..’.

14.7.9 Pink geranium, 2

Over here they stayed outside and made it through the winter unaided this year!