Six on Saturday – 30 April 2022

No rain for what feels like weeks, days that fluctuate from 18C down to 3C at night and tomorrow is the 1st of May. If we can’t decide what’s going on with the weather, it’s amazing how the plants manage!

My Six on Saturday this week is all about colour in the garden. I am very lucky, my ground floor apartment faces our beautiful herbaceous and shrub borders, tended by residents (me included) who miss not having our own gardens. The second photo is the view from my patio.

1. This is our front garden. Bursting with Erysimums around the Monteray Cyprus, most of the daffodils are now over and the Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ is clashing perfectly with the Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’. The tulips, Amber Glow and Attila Grafitti, are still standing tall and strong. Alkanet bringing its piercing blue to the part is being allowed to spread for a little longer.

2. Here is a true pot of cheerfulness. There are a few container around the edge of the drive, usually filled with bedding plants such as violas and bellis. When I potted up this one I hadn’t taken on board the colour match, but although many might find it garish, I rather like it.

3. I did say this SoS was about colour! This vibrant primula is holding its own despite being a tasty treat to the local snails.

4. Last year I transplanted this pretty Sweet William (Dianthus) from a patio pot into the bed along the hedge. It is growing happily and weathered the winter. It doesn’t get a lot of sun and brightens up the shady border.

5. Cerinthe is one of my top 10 garden plants. Yes, it does spread like wildfire if you don’t keep it in check but it is very resiliant and provides great colour. I first came across it many years ago when visiting an open garden. It was grown as a low hedge on the edge of a garden path. It wasn’t happy in my Worthing garden but clearly is at home here on the Hampshire coast.

6. We have a deep border down the side of the front drive which has never had a planting plan. Various donations and plants from the sick bay at garden centres have been added over the past few years and are still being shoehorned in. Whilst still mainly green (and that is still a colour) it is full of promise with Agapanthus, Alliums, Salvia ‘Amistad’ and Altromeria ‘Indian Summer’. We do have other plant that don’t start with the letter ‘A’ 😂.

Thank you to The Propagator for hosting this weekly meme. Please hop over to his blog and peer over the garden fence at the other contributions.

From Leylandi to a floral garden

In 2018 I moved to the Hampshire coast following retirement, the outlook from my ground floor flat was on to three enormous leylandi trees on one side of the drive and another three on the other side. Imagine my joy when in 2019 the ones to the right were removed and in 2020 the ones on the left came down. The difference was amazing!

Whilst not everyone is interested in gardening, my neighbour and I miss having our own gardens. There is a regular maintenance contract gardener who mows the lawns and trims the hedges around the drive. There is a large garden area at the rear mainly laid to lawn but our gardening time is spent mainly at the front, not just because we look out on to it, but to have a good looking entrance pays dividends.

We found the soil under where the trees were was wonderful to work, a product of many years of pine needles composting down. So we started to turn the bare soil into flower and shrub beds with colourful, shrubs requiring little maintenance. The tree surgeons left the tree stumps and we put large containers on them, filled with plants such as fuschias and small shrubs.

Gardening was a lifeline to many during lockdown and it certainly was for us. We sourced plants and shrubs from friends and donations as well as sowing seeds for herbaceous plants. When full lockdown was lifted we bought spring bulbs had a planting session. The garden is now in its fourth year and looking established.

Right hand side flower bed March 2022
Left hand side flower beds March 2022
Spring border along the drive March 2022

The side bed between us and our neighbours has had no planning, we have just planted with gay abandon from cuttings, plants turfed out of patio pots as they’ve outgrown them, the odd shrub from the market and moved a few things around. I had a small alstroemeria ‘indian summer’ on my allotment garden which was not happy so brought it down here and now it’s thriving.

March 2022 – alstroemeria coming through despite the thug behind it.

This mishmash of a border looks glorious in the summer, a complete patchwork of colour.

The side bed in May 2021
The side bed in July 2021

This year will be one for sorting and moving now most things are established and we can see our mistakes. Now I’ve started blogging again you will be able to follow our progress.