The open day (Sunday 23rd April) is drawing near and I am in full-on gardening mode. It is remarkable how many weeds spring up when my back is turned. I managed to spend the virtually the whole day in the front garden clearing beds and cutting back various shrubs that have got out of control. The Viburnum tinus has a worrying tendency to dieback. I am not sure if this is caused by fungus or the viburnum beetle but an annual prune seems to help and so far the shrub has survived. I found a small nest while clipping so I stopped, but I suspect it is one made last year.
Yellows and blues dominate the spring bed. My Mum’s creeping veronica, which I think is Veronica umbrosa ‘Georgia Blue’, looks particularly fine contrasting with the golden foliage of golden lemon balm (Melissa officinalis ‘Aurea’) and golden spikenard ‘Aurea’ (Valeriana phu ‘Aurea’) as well as the flowers of Geum ‘Lemon Drops’.
Mahonia × media ‘Winter Sun’ is sickly. We may have disturbed the roots when removing a large Rhamnus alaternus ‘Argenteovariegata’ disfigured by sooty mold. I don’t think this dry weather is helping, but I have done some radical pruning (with the help of Mr B) and fed and watered it. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
There should be plenty of colour on the 23rd including tulips, clematises (what is the plural of clematis?), epimediums, euphorbias and fruit tree blossom.
Best of all, ‘Molly the witch’ (Paeonia mlokosewitschii), that most glorious of peonies, is looking her very best.