The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

Rough Winds Do Shake The Darling Buds Of May

April 2011.  Another one for the record books - the hottest April since records began!

So far May promises to provide some much needed rain showers, perforated with warm sunshine.  Perfect conditions for the garden.

Another keen gardener in bud?  Bumblebee shows The Man That Can just how it's done.

And the fruits of his labour...

Not content with just one container, he moved onto the flowerbed created especially for both Bumblebee and The Toad.  This has not only been planted up with the left over bedding plants and a couple of tiny shrubs, but the complete contents of each of the seed packets that had been waiting impatiently for just such an occasion.  It will be a surprise mix, to be sure.

Talking of surprises, the clematis Montana has more than double the amount of blooms we had been expecting!

I cannot let the month go by without showing off the new growth on the tree.  Luckily we have had just the right clear blue skies to show it off to its best advantage.  Interestingly, this new growth has appeared almost 3 weeks earlier than last year.

Self sown aqueligia beside the greenhouse.  I do rather like these, regardless of where they pop up.

 Busy Lizzie.  What more can I say?

Choisya.  Mexican Orange Blossom.  These are the very first blooms on this young shrub.  The leaves are being nibbled though.  I've checked around the plants in the vicinity, and cannot find any of the usual suspects.  A little research is in order I think, and a night-time prowl.

Whatever the culprit, this purple-leaved sedum is also being attacked.  They share the bed, which I had hoped would be safe from marauding molluscs.  I've tried using some organic pellets, but these haven't even thrown up the usual slimy trails.

A wee gift from a good friend.  I haven't had much joy with Lily of the Valley in previous years due to the slugs.  Maybe a more established specimen will fare better. 

Did you know that Kate Middleton had Lily of the Valley in her wedding bouquet?  In the language of flowers, it symbolises a return to happiness.  The bouquet also contained myrtle, an emblem of marriage and love; sweet williams to signify gallantry, hyacinth is for consistancy of love and ivy for marriage, friendship, fidelity, wedded love and affection.

The fruit garden is beginning to take shape.  From blackcurrants to strawberries and raspberries.  All are coming into flower ready for the visiting pollinators.  I had planned on planting all the fruits out into the garden this year, but as usual time ran away with me.  They don't seem to mind staying one more year in their containers.

Azalea still going strong in such a vibrant shade of pink.

I think I've bought the wrong variety of ceanothus.  It's not nearly as strong a blue as the previous shrub that we lost a couple of years ago, and it seems to prefer to sprawl along the ground rather than create a nice blue ball.

Some of the trees are being replaced in our street, and the lovely tree surgeons allowed us to nab some of the chipped wood for our garden.  I'll let it sit for a few months before I use it though.

You can't have May without hardy geraniums.  This particular clump needs to be divided.  The centre of the crown looks like something has been lying in it.  In the autumn I'll dig it up, cut it into sections and replant the healthiest pieces.

And an update on the bedding plants.  As you can see these Bizzies's are eager to please already.

"When April steps aside for May,
Like diamonds all the rain-drops glisten;
Fresh violets open every day:
To some new bird each hour we listen."
- Lucy Larcom

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