Bluebell time

Soon to be over. That must of blue flowers will be gone. I’ve suddenly fallen in love with the romance of flowers! I don’t think I noticed them much last year and now it’s a revelation to see them in bloom. We have some bluebells but they are pink and white too. I think ours are the Spanish variety with blue Bell flowers all around the stem which is more upright and the leaves are wider and strappier. They are worth commenting on because of their gorgeous colour.

Alliums

Alliums, ornamental flower heads from the onion family. Globes that resemble fireworks peppered the borders at the Dorothy Clive Garden this weekend.

Chelsea Flower show is now on and no doubt these will be on display there too. The Northern Hemisphere is suddenly blooming. The joys of Summer will soon be with us.

Alliums come in different colours from white through pale purple to deep purple, I’m not sure what other colours are available. For a larger plant with bigger flowers I’d suggest Agapanthus.

Dorothy Clive is great

The  Dorothy Clive Garden is at Willowbridge in Staffordshire on the border with Shropshire and Cheshire. It costs £10 for adults to visit.

At this time of year the garden is coming into bloom. It is planted on a sloping site and the main garden is full of blues, whites and purples at the moment. White and purple Alliums, Aqueigia, Irises, and other plants made a lovely display from the pond at the bottom up to the tearooms at the top. Then into the quarry garden. This is full of rhododendron and azalea flowers, the mature trees are in leaf and the waterfall drops from the rim of the quarry into its base.

We also walked along the Laburnum arch which is in full flower and is under planted with purple Alliums. Then there are ferns and lots of other interesting plants. We’ll worth a visit for the day.

Poppy painting

Nine years since I painted this poppy with a white centre. I think that makes it look fresh and cool. Poppies have paper thin, crinkled petals. They look so delicate. I have lots of yellow, Welsh poppies in the garden, but not as many red ones that seem to need more sunlight. This was an acrylic on canvas and I think it sold quite quickly? But after almost a decade I still love it.

Growing

I need to start gardening again. I haven’t emptied out the old pots and put in new compost yet. It’s May and I’ve hardly been round the garden. We are trying to save money and so we have delayed making a start. But the perennials in the main garden are growing. The Russian vine is growing like mad after the rain. We have lots of lesser celandine and bluebells coming up, plus wild garlic. Geraniums are getting big enough to flower and the bushes keep growing. Oh so much to do and not enough energy or strength!

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Vinca

This little purple flower with a white centre with five spiralling petals is called a Vinca. It has glossy dark green leaves and sprawls across the ground under dappled shady patches. We used to have some in our garden but I think the shade got too deep and other plants grew over it. We will have to try again. It cheers me to see this purple among the muted colours of helibores and fading tulips. Soon the summer will arrive and the flowers will change again.

Clematis

Clematis on the fence. Duplicated photo, magical early flowers before the leaves come out. Pale pink, fresh looking, giving the Spring a start. Daffodils over, bluebells opening. The new season is coming. Hardly any rain for a month. We’ve been trying to hand water every day but I haven’t got my pot plants sorted out yet. That will happen in May. Hanging baskets to come soon. It all needs a good tidy up.

Trentham Gardens

One of the metal sculptures / plant supports in a planter at Trentham Gardens retail Village. I like the art nouveau or is it art deco feel to these (I can never remember). They are already pretty but come high summer they will be packed with bright and cheerful flowers. Vines climbing up the sculptural sections of metal.

Spring flowers

It’s almost the end of tulips and daffodils season. Soon it will be bluebells and other spring flowers… Leaves are opening on the trees. Buds swelling with the water that is falling from the April showers. We decided to go out for the day and headed south for a few miles. You could see more leaves on trees the further south we went. I remember hearing on a TV programme once that you could see the spring slowly creeping up the country as the days lengthened and the daffodils flowered. It might have said it takes two weeks to go from the far south to the far north? Not absolutely certain though.