Over the last month the garden has changed significantly and whilst the plants have been going through a growing spell so to have the weeds. I spent the first part of May dodging the heavy rain showers weeding the flower beds to try and gain the upper hand. If you let the weeds get hold this early in the season you end up fighting a constant battle for the remainder of the year.
The border at the back of the garden was the first as usual to take the lead with the rhoderdendrons coming into flower, soon followed by a mix of dicentra, brunnera and aquilegias. The foreground of the border filled with geum and alchemilla. Last autumn some alliums were planted in the midst of the border and these have also come into flower this last week and are seemingly floating above the other plants like purple pom poms, its starting to look quite good.Meanwhile in the border nearest to the house the plants are bulking up for flowering later in the year. To make the most of the space left by the dogwoods, which were pruned back in March, we have planted centauria, which is electric blue in colour and loved by the bees, and the oriental poppy Pattys Plum. During this last week I had also decided to add one or two of the smaller flowering aquilegias to the border to give more colour.
In the kitchen garden the boundary wall is draped with clematis Montana. This was a gift to us after the family dog had taken a liking to chewing on the branches at the base of the plant. It survived well and this year its put on its best show yet.
The weather has been warm and sunny these last couple of weeks and it has been all systems go in the kitchen garden. As the peas have started to grow these have been tied into their supports so that they can start to climb, and I noticed today that they have already got their first flowers. The canes have also been put up to support the climbing beans and the courgettes have been planted out to hopefully fill the ground at their feet.Due to the weather earlier in the year the shallots and garlic are a few weeks behind and the leeks directly sown into the ground are no-where near as ready as they should be. That said the leeks that were sown into a pot in the greenhouse are now ready to be planted out into their final positions, but they will have to hang on in there another week or two until space becomes available.
The parsnip seedlings that were sown out, after getting kick started on some damp kitchen towel indoors, appear to be growing well. After the third attempt at sowing the swede, beetroot and beet at regular intervals, the seedlings for these have also finally germinated. The celeriac has been planted into its final growing position and it wont be long before the cabbages join them. The only worry now is whether there is enough room for it all, well that and whether the slugs will devour the lot overnight.