May 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for May

Here we are at Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day again, I'm not sure where the last month went!
The cutting garden in early may, just before the tulips went over
In a word the garden is parched. Three months with virtually no rain, and it is a struggle to keep plants alive let alone looking healthy. The grass is turning brown, and flowers are going to seed in record time with foliage lacking vibrancy - the over all impression is a lack of colour and a bleached pallor  at the exact time of year all should be looking verdant and lush. It is tough having a wildly atypical English spring, in my first season as a boutique flower grower/seller, but I will show you (and myself!), that there is still plenty to enjoy out there!

The last of the Allium hollandicum 'Purple Sensation' have been harvested for bouquets, but fifty or so remain, their green seed heads giving a final flourish  before I cut them down. The baton has been handed to the Alliums  christophii, metallic looking purple star-bursts which look great at every stage of opening, and look lovely on their own in jugs.

I am also intrigued by the tall statuesque form of Allium siculum (Nectaroscordum), more easily known as Mediterranean Bells.

It has a vaguely other-worldly look as the buds unfurl but I think it is rather wonderful. What do you think, freaky or fabulous?!

There are also a few white Alliums in bud, serried ranks of little white nibs about to explode into flower!

Alchemilla mollis, bless her frilliness, is beginning flower which is absolutely wonderful not only for the borders but also on the bouquet front, providing gorgeous lime green froth to set off the roses and peonies which are just arriving - oh joy!

You can see in these arrangements the colours that are flourishing in the garden - greens of the Lady's Mantle and applemint, whites of Astrantia 'Shaggy', and Nigella buds, pinks of Aquilegias and a tiny Allium I know not the name of, purple of Salvia 'East friesland' and the final Alliums hollandicum 'Purple Sensation'. The Peonies in the bouquet below belong to my friend's garden, a garden of real loveliness that I am allowed to raid! Mine our mainly still in bud.

The anemones are slowing right down, so each last bloom I am really savouring. The white ones are purity writ in flower form, no?

So, spring bulbs are making way for the summer flowers and it really feels like summer is around the corner. The hammock has been up for a couple of weeks now and in the raised kitchen beds, chives and mints of all sorts are romping away and little green motorways of green salad leaves promise platefuls all summer, and the strawberries are coming along nicely.

Last night we harvested some of the baby spring onions, and had them cut up in tiny pieces sprinkled with salty capers plus olive oil and lemon juice on still warm Jersey new potatoes. They went down a treat with the garlicky/lemony roast chicken and roasted asparagus. Yummm! It is a glorious time of year isn't it when the garden is in flower, there are cut flowers in the house and food from the garden on our plates? Someone reminded me of Monty Don's declaration that "When I die I want to go to May." I couldn't agree more!


  1. Beautiful blog post, inspirational and sublime photography.. thankyou x

  2. Oh good morning Belinda.

    I hope you get your much needed rain soon.

    But your garden and flowers look beautiful as ever, and I love your arrangement in the mason jar.

    I might be a wee bit to tired to pull it together today for Bloom Day.

    Perhaps you will represent me also?

    xo Jane

  3. Monty Don? Just looked him up...I wanted ton see the guy who said "when I die I want to go to May". I wish I'd thought of it...exactly how I feel. Thanks, Belinda, for that and for the great photos. When Mediterranian Bells hit our market, I scoop them up...yes, quirky, long-lasting and always a conversation piece.

  4. Hells Bells, as a rock and roll singer bellows. Pretty unique blooms and nice phots. Well done. Happy GBBD.

  5. Sorry but don't like allium siculum at all. Looks a bit lazy to me - I always want to shout at it, "Come on, put some effort into it!" (Similarly, allium 'Hair' - fell for that in the catalogues a few years ago and hated it immediately. Of course, it's spreading all over the garden now... ) And it may well have been me who reminded you of the Monty Don quote - I use it all the time, as I have never come up with a more perfect way of summing up my life and loves. x

  6. What absolutely exquisite photos Belinda. I have a few Meditteranean bells too. They remind me of fireworks.

  7. The weather appears to be much better where you live. The past week has seen the winds and showers that March and April did not bring with hail storms mixed in too. Sadly arriving in time to batter the huge pom pom peonies... I was rushing around in the rain yesterday gathering as many as I could to bring inside.
    Your garden looks in great shape, (not a weed in sight!), you must be very busy at this time of year... it is a lovely job though :) Abby x

  8. Oh Belinda, your garden!! Wow!! I can't help with the specifics, all I can do is appreciate the beauty and you have it in spades here! We live in a rental so I can only go so far but I have been busy taking notes when we finally get back to our own garden. I visited the Chelsea Physic Garden last week...what a sensational spot. I am due to post on it soon, once I decide which of my blogs to put it on!

    Thank you Belinda for your very kind comments and for giving me this beautiful post today!!

    Jeanne xxx

  9. HOly mooly that Allium siculum is awesome. I love your your blog and your thoughtful angles to your pics. Matti

  10. Your garden looks so healthy and the flowers are beautiful in spite of the lack of rain. May is my very favorite time to be in the garden!

  11. I have two of those twiggy things in my garden Belinda!

    Your garden looks amazing despite the lack of rain.

    We have torrential downpour and no end in sight...
    (April was the wettest on record)
    too bad we could not send you some!

  12. Belinda beautiful flowers you take a great photo.

    Funny how parts of England differ we have had rain most days here in the Marches I am barely able to keep up with the lawn growing so quick.Ida

  13. Well from where I'm sitting everything in your garden looks lovely, despite the weather. I am mad about the mediterranean bells, haven't seen them before, they are gorgeous! Your bouquet is fab. Love Linda x

  14. I'm going to have to try that potato mix, sounds wonderful. Have been eating the odd strawberry from the greenhouse, and revelling in that explosion of taste in the mouth. May truly is a wonderful month. Sorry for your continuing drought, but your bouquets look lovely and lush.

  15. I covet all your alliums. And also the sculpture at Malvern for Avon bulbs ;~)

  16. I just want you to know, that I follow your blog daily, even if I don´t comment regularly. Maybe I am just a " bit " envious of your wonderful garden, flowers, and all the green.
    We could have a garden of some sort too, but for now, we have decided to let Hampel and the dogs to enjoy the yard. It is only fair after the long, terrible winter.
    However, I get much pleasure through the pictures you show us. This will satisfy me for now : )!!

  17. We have had a couple of days of good rain so looking better here, hoping you the same.. I have the Siculum Allium and must say not a great lover, well unless you are laying on the ground and looking up into it :)...loved this post and love the quote at the end x

  18. We are having an extremely wet and cool spring with the bloom schedule running about three weeks behind schedule. I absolutely love the tuteurs at the top of your post, and the plants and blooms are wonderfully photographed! Thank you for sharing... Larry

  19. Thank you so much for all your kind comments - seems like Allium siculum divides opinion as I thought it might! Glad you like the Monty Don quote as much as I do! xx

  20. Lovely photos of your garden and flowers. Enjoy your blog.

  21. Hi Belinda, I love the Monty Don's toes up for me in May for sure!! not that you can plan these things, oh and not for a while yet!! sorry i'm rambling! , May is my favourite month. You have so much knowledge, and your garden is beautiful, some people I guess are born to be gardeners. I'm hoping for rain too. Thank you for your lovely comment xx

    Keep thinking about my necklace, can't wait!!!!!

  22. May is a great month in the garden indeed....... except for a very sweet baby rabbit that has eaten all my peas and celery down to the quick. Hmph! I am stalking it like Mr McGregor! Lovely photos as usual, Belinda
    Katie x

  23. I love your little willow (i'm guessing) very charming! Those Allium are awesome...I have some 'Purple Sensation' this year, but they are JUST starting to bloom...hopefully I'll have some flowers in the next few days. Love those Chives...I'm always amazed when they bloom at just how beautiful they are!