Having spent nearly four weeks on the show ground at the Chelsea Flower Show, (please see my Pinterest board for images of the Chelsea Garden), I was not surprised to see the garden grown when I returned. It has rocketed forward and there are many plants that need attention. The Buxus are beyond fluffy and are in dire need of their summer trim which if the weather allows is next weekend's job. The Wisteria has put on a good 8' of growth and pushed its way through a window so that was first on the list. January and July are the approved pruning times but the upstairs windows were almost totally obscured by growth so it has had a half cut today before a full chop back in July. A poorly looking 1/2 standard Photinia was felled leaving its partner opposite looking a little lonely (we will see if it still looks odd in a week or so rather than removing it straight away simply for symmetry). Those were the most pressing tasks but beyond those it was a sight for sore eyes to see well-loved plants doing what they do best without any attention from me:
I don't know how old this Deutzia is, perhaps somewhere near thirty but it flowers beautifully every year taking over from the Helleborus that are planted underneath it.
The bronze Fennel has clearly loved the winter wet and will soon dwarf the Rosa 'Skylark' it is planted with but at the moment the tight buds and blousy flowers of the rose look very pretty against the warm tones and ferny foliage of the Fennel.
A self-seeder, Meconopsis cambrica germinates all over the garden; in cracks between the paving where I keep meaning to re-point the patio, under Buxus balls where the soil is very dry and here to the rear of a clipped Lonicera japonica over which grows a rampant Clematis later in the summer. The yellow blooms of the poppy never fail to bring a smile to my face and their pepper pot seed heads are so tempting to pick and distribute once they are ripe.
Flowers are all well and good but I was struck as the sun shone this afternoon providing an illuminating backlight how beautiful the seed heads of Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' are. Underneath in the pitch shade the Cyclamen still have their leaves but will soon become dormant; their show will come when the Acer has lost its leaves at the end of the year.
Allium, tight in bud at the start of the month are now in full force. Often the stars of Chelsea gardens they were actually few and far between this year in the show gardens (although the ones in the marquee were magnificent) with shrubs making a comeback so to see these at their peak was lovely.
At this time of year the garden is often a riot of green but I suspect in the next week or so if the weather remains mild there will be much more to see.