The Yarden - Late May update

From famine to feast is an expression I came across which perfectly sums up the recent changes in our Haworth ‘yarden’, the once bare raised beds are a distant memory, as are the on-going problems we were having with the neighbours cat. And now, as predicted, i’ve come to the realisation i’ve over planted…

It’s really quite something watching these rapid changes in such a short space of time, watching hours of hard work (+ procrastination) unveil themselves into beautiful new formations. This really is the most exciting time of the year for a gardener.

The first of the Gallery White Lupins I planted from seedlings have flowered with more buds waiting in line to raise their heads and bloom. I love Lupin foliage and would quite happily plant without the bonus of these beautiful flowers. 3 weeks ago I sowed some Blue Javelin in a sectional tray for my mums newly designed garden, but this time with little success of germination, out of about 16 seeds I only had 2 seedlings appear - which i’m now tending to like a new born child. This batch it’d used a propagator unlike before and have now realised the excess water wasn’t evaporating as effectively as when they were open to the air, therefore causing the seeds to drown and rot, a lesson learnt for next time.

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This spring has welcomed many beauties, we’ve had plenty of tulips and anemones, but the ranunculus have been in short supply and i’m left wondering why? Apart from the obvious, which was the constant battle with the neighbours cat that inevitably led me to mumble countless expletives every time I discovered yet another pot dug out, chewed up and frankly destroyed. Was this the reason I only grew one lonely orange ranunculus this year, or was I doing something very wrong? The tulips and anemones survived the cats destruction and flourished. I’ll be trying a new planting strategy this fall which will hopefully in turn reward me with plenty of blooms next year. Here’s to hoping! (Tips welcome).

I did however purchase some young ranunculus which seemed to do well until the aphids got to them, and boy did they go to town. I was only away for 4 days and in that time the destruction was catastrophic! Until then it’d be out everyday keeping an eye on my climbing rose, combating those pesky green fly, they may have won the battle but they haven’t won the war. Once i’ve published this post i’ll be back on duty removing them since we’ve been having such heavy rain pour this past week, they’ve been in a sappy paradise, buggers.

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When we came back home on Monday I was blessed to see the Foxglove Digitalis in full bloom, it was just gently teasing on the Friday (see pic at the top), it’s amazing what a little sunshine can do. I actually bought 6 ‘Polka Dot Pippa’s’ as seedlings earlier in the year around March time which are going to be some serious jaw droppers late next Spring, the foliage on them at the moment is quite large, much larger than this Digitalis which has given me an indication of how much of the raised beds they’re going to swallow up, but if they put on a show anything like this fella then i’m more than happy for them to be a little greedy.

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The Black Eyed Susan’s - Thunbergia Alata Mix which I directly sowed outside from seed in late March have gone wild, I think every one of the 30 seeds germinated so I had a task splitting them up and manoeuvring them around the yard to various different sunny spots. Right now i’m just enjoying their foliage which is starting to trail over the beds and out of a fixed basket I have on the back wall, however it’s probably going to be a colour overload come summer when they start flowering, oh well.

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This year i’ve grown a couple of species of Poppies, Giant Gnomes and Papaver Orientale 'Royal Wedding' (I may have actually planted another type which i’ve forgotten, let’s wait and see). These I’ve grown purely to cut for floral arrangements as they’re difficult to pick up locally, much like the anemones which have finally stopped flowering after 6 productive weeks, proper work horses. I’ve also bought some Icelandic Giant Poppies which i’ll slow early Autumn ready to flower in this time next year.

The nasturtiums are just as eager this time of year too, another plant i’m thankful for the foliage and will just regularly dead head for it’s flowers to use for decorative flair in summer salads and dishes.

I’ve been enjoying the Cosmos ‘Purity’ which are currently blooming this month, great as cut flowers in displays with a longer vase life than some might expect. I’ve also growing some from seed to extend the harvesting period which are currently ready to be potted on and will be planted out into the beds late June/early July.

There’s so much more to appear over the next couple months Hollyhocks, Dahlias, more Lupins, begonias + more. I actually can’t remember half of what i’ve planted over Autumn and early Spring which adds to the excitement, in-fact I noticed an Aquilegia Barlow ‘Green Apples’ appear in one of my pots the other day which It’d completely forgot it’d planted as a tuber - looking forward to it’s fresh green/white ruffles to flower.

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