Just an attempt to get back into the swing of things a bit, after a very long blogging break.
April was dryish, but not nearly as dry as late March/April last year when we went over 41 days without rain. Now we are having wonderful rain, regularly. A real pleasure since I’ve just planted a new border and am (as we all are) furiously sowing seed before it’s too late.
So – from a coldish but well-watered garden in Lorraine, here are my six:
1. Ivy on the walls. It’s a plague. Fortunately this spring the BV decided to tackle it in a much more determined way than I ever have in the past – the walls look (a comment by our neighbour) ‘comme neuf’. I took a little bow on his part.
2. Lawnmower and new small garden shed. Since we are finally starting to garden in the orchard, we recently purchased a new petrol lawnmower and a little metal lock-up for it. The strimming was a noisy pain in the neck and left us with huge bald patches into which prolific dandelions have sown.
3. The ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ espaliers are looking really pretty and flowering was not damaged by frost. They aren’t the most elegantly trained apples you’ve ever seen, but I take pride in the fact that I grafted them myself (even if I did use the wrong rootstock) and have (however inexpertly) pruned and tied them in over since they were planted in 2015. Underneath the pheasant’s eye narcissus (N. poeticus ‘Recurvus’) are looking rather pretty.
4. Peonia suffruticosa subsp. rockii. Now this is really exciting! I’m going to ignore the sad death of Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’ in another corner of the garden and celibrate this, purchased in March at a newly discovered – and decent – garden centre called ‘Botanic’, which is only an hour from our house. First chance I’ve had to buy plants anything but online.
5. Denman’s forget-me-nots. My husband gathered the seed from a car park just over the wall from John Brooke’s old garden in West Sussex. So we now have a little waft of freshness from England.
6. My new borders in the orchard. Now completely planted. The cherries (‘Tai-Haku’) were planted in 2013. The bed on the right, looking from the house (where the espaliered ‘Cox’s Pippins’ and forget-me-knots are) was mostly completed last spring.
The bed on the left during April this year. Although Stipa gigantea grows easily inn our garden, I find that transplants often don’t take root very well – I think I’m too greedy and cut the clumps up into portions that are too small. Most are still surviving with all the lovely rain. I’m hoping the gardener’s paths will disappear when everything has grown up properly.
The borders should (with luck!) turn into prairie-style plantings, a la Piet Oudulf.
Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to go over and inspect the SoS offerings on our gracious host’s blog at The Propagator!
33 thoughts on “Six on Saturday, 8 May 2021”
Your garden looks so clean and tidy! What a nice job… Here also the Cox Orange apple tree is growing quietly ( I only have one, not espaliers ) and the flowers have been arriving a few days late compared to other trees. They won’t have frozen either, which is not the case with all my fruit trees …
Hi Fred – that’s so sad – what got frosted with you? I think our cherries and pears were alright but I’m not sure. Thanks for the compliment. It warms my heart to actually have someone describe the garden as tidy. Mostly thanks to my husband, I’m afraid! He’s a treasure …
You’ve been busy and it’s all looking lovely.
Not so much me as my favourite man!
Nice to see you again Cathy. I think your espaliers look great! And what a wonderful transformation in the orchard, this area will look amazing in a few years time as the borders mature. The FMNs look perfectly at home. I hope we will see more of your wonderful garden this year.
Thanks so much. The garden did take a step forward this year with the man about the house able to concentrate on it. Usually it’s just me!
Wow, what does your garden not have? A river, and a medieval wall and some kind of knot garden, and some terraces?! Shucks. Green…
You are very sweet. Of course, we gave up many things that most people would not give up in order to have this garden. Home, family, etc. etc. I do love it – but sometimes question my mad thinking!
A medieval wall would be something to display as a prominent feature of the garden!
There are three rampart walls, dropping down in stages to the lower part of the garden. If only someone hadn’t tried to rescue them quickly by slapping concrete on them! The others are actually better, the one in the Mirror Garden is the most unsightly.
There is nothing like that in California. The native people who used to live here built nothing to be permanent. Only their shelmounds, which were trash piles that included shells from shellfish, lasted long enough to be noticed during modern times. Most were destroyed before anyone knew or cared what they were. The Spanish arrived less than five centuries ago, and did not build much during the first half of the time that they were here. When they started to build permanent buildings about two and a half centuries ago, they build only a few. Those few buildings were constructed with adobe, so were mostly destroyed by earthquakes or weather since then. Except for the few remaining Spanish buildings from the Eighteenth Century, most of the oldest buildings here were constructed during the Gold Rush in 1849, or just prior, and there are not many. Buildings from the end of the Victorian Period that survived the Great Earthquake are considered to be very old. (Some insist that the Victorian Period lasted longer here because so many of the old Victorian homes of San Francisco were build after the Great Earthquake in 1906.)
Fascinating Tony! I remember how old houses in Canada were usually nineteenth century.
Loving your forget-me-nots and espaliered apples. Looking forward to your Oudold-style prairie borders!
Let’s hope they work! I’m looking forward to seeing them in 3 years time!
A big difference from your last post 😉 Looking great, Cathy. 🙂
Thanks Eliza – it’s mostly down to the tidy man in the family!
I can see you have had a lot of rain by the amount of water flowing in your stream. Your garden is looking beautifully green. I am a big fan of Piet Oudolf’s gardening ideas and am trying to create that kind of garden myself, with mixed results.
I must get over and see your lovely garden Jane – yes, the river is high. First spring we’ve had like this since I moved here. It’s been such a treat to sow seed and not to have to continually water afterwards!
I’m glad to see you are back. I always enjoy looking at your garden and your new projects.
Back – and then away again for months! That’s me. But at least I try! Thanks for your kind comment.
Your garden is looking marvellous. Good job from the BV!!!
Thanks so much!
It all looks wonderful, I am very impressed that you grafted your own apple trees, I’ve never tried that.
Thanks so much – have been having a long break, as you’ll have noticed. Grafting is easy – but very fiddly and since I’m not the greatest ‘fiddler’ on the planet, not quite sure how to take my new semi-skill forwards!
What a lovely catch up – thank you! I too am very impressed with your grafted apples, which look very professional (but there again, I think you have done it professionally, have you not? 😉)
So sweet, Cathy. But you always are. I didn’t actually do grafting professionally (I used to look after a woodland garden/herbaceous plants and when I was a propagator it was tender perennials. Grafting is not something I think I’m ever going to be good at. But so satisfying and clearly not so difficult if even a less than precise person like me can achieve success.
Had to smile at your last sentence – but you certainly make it sounds as if it was worth any of us trying 😊
I definitely was!
I’ve been absent from garden blogging for over a year, and now I come back to find my friends’ gardens have grown so much and are looking so lovely… Yours is no exception, Cathy; it’s clear the garden is enjoying the rain and general attention it’s getting! 😉 The espaliered apples are marvelous. I can only hope I will someday have the nerve and energy to try budding fruit trees! Your forget-me-nots are so special too. I had assumed they were common in France also, but apparently not so much? I look forward to seeing poppies and larkspur along the wall… sounds so perfect!
Sorry to have taken forever to reply Amy. We all need to take breaks from time to time. Yes, forget-me-nots are common, but these cultivated ones are larger and showier, so I’m treasuring them – and they’ve self-seeded. From the leaves, I think they are going to stick to type rather than reverting to the daintier, less impressive, wildling.
Just read your article on roses in The French Connection newspaper and realised it was you. Most enjoyable!
I am so sorry to have taken half a year to respond to you Cathy. Really, really, sorry. It’s been a tricky year and I’ve been a bit ‘off’ blogging. Trying to ‘do more’ (again!). Glad you enjoyed the article – I always enjoy your posts!