After last week’s snowstorm, the temperature has been fluctuating wildly – some days are 26°C (80°F) while the next is barely 8°C (46°F). Typical spring weather, you might say!
The garden doesn’t seem to mind at all. Many of the tube-stock plants that I put in last autumn have really started to fill out. One of my favourites is Weigela florida:
I love the multitude of colours, and its many seasons of interest. There is an existing plain white Weigela in the garden, but sadly it will have to be taken out. It’s in the middle of the lawn, and was cut to just a stump by a previous owner a number of years ago, giving it a decidedly ugly silhouette for much of the year. This is the first time I have seen it in flower, so I shall be striking cuttings before it is removed.
The Deutzia gracilis has put on its first show. It’s tiny now, but will fill the space in years to come:
The variegated Red dogwood shrub is starting to flower: it certainly is subtle against the white margins of the leaves 🙂
The first of the Aquilegia plants that I put in have started to flower. I splurged and put in a few named varieties (I have a mixed seedling tray which will be ready to go in the ground in a few weeks), but I must confess that this is the only one that has really done anything – the others, while still alive are no where near being ready to flower. This one is Aquilegia vulgaris plena ‘Bordeaux Barlow’:
The Pelargonium ‘solstice star’ is in flower. The purple centres pick up the burgundy-wine colour of the Aquilegia nicely. And while many gardeners won’t agree, I do like the contrast to the sunny yellow of the wallflower:
The tiny Lupins that I planted in the ‘secret garden’ area have grown:
If you look closely, you can see a proliferation of Japanese Maple seedlings that have self-sown. There would are hundreds everywhere throughout the garden….who would have thought that beautiful Japanese Maples could be weedy?
The ‘secret garden’ area is already sheltered, but the idea is to enclose it with a clipped, formal hedge. This will also have a dual purpose of hiding a very ugly, fibro-cement garage wall. To do that, I put in a dozen Leyland Cypress trees in June, and they sure do live up to their fast reputation. In just 6 weeks, these have put on almost 30cm/1′ of growth. You can see the colour change 3/4 down from the tip which indicates the growth:
Little wonder that these trees are often so reviled when planted in a suburban setting. However, when these hit 3-4m (10-15′) they will have their tops cut off and clipped, so they won’t become a menace.
Other trees have also put on strong growth. The Sugar Maple:
Quite surprisingly, the Horse Chestnut seedling has delivered quite strong growth. These are rare trees in Australia, but remind me of my time in the UK and Europe. Additionally, in Australia, we don’t have the bleeding canker disease that is wiping out so many trees in the Northern Hemisphere, so I’m quite proud that this little fellow has almost doubled in height:
As always, happy gardening! 🙂