TUESDAY GARDEN RAKE
Well it's been another glorious week of sunshine, with the occasional dose of cloud here and there.
I finally got round to sowing some seeds.
Flowers - Calendula, Nasturtium, Sunflower, Morning Glory, Venidium and Cosmos.
Vegetables - Summer Squash, Runner Beans, Beetroot and Tomatoes.
Bees really love to get their noses into Lamium, otherwise known as Deadnettle.
My garden is full of many different varieties of bee at the moment, including a small dark black one who has set up home in our hose reel!
Lamium makes great ground cover, either in sun or semi-shade.
Over the years my Dad has given me lots of clumps of Cowslips.
I've had no success with it when planted straight into the borders, so not wanting to see another one just disappear, I planted the latest one in a medium sized terracotta pot.
It looks lovely in the sunshine, on a South facing wall.
Have you noticed how lush the garden looks at this time of year, with so many vibrant shades of green?
The Euphorbia above is one of my favourites in Spring, with its zingy lime-green bracts. Another plant given to me.
Be careful when handling all parts of the Euphorbia plant, the sap is highly toxic and an irritant to the skin and eye.
Will happily multiply in sun or shade.
The Lily of the Valley in my garden, is another plant which originated from my Dad's garden. You'd think I never bought any plants!
Planted in a damp position, it looks as if it will be another rampant spreader!
My Mum loved Lily of the Valley, its flowers and scent always remind me of her.
I've noticed a lot of wildlife this week, including this neighbourhood cat which visits my garden from time to time. It's got a very dappled grey coat!
Butterflies include the Small White and Holly Blue, also lots of Hoverflies and Mosquitoes.
This loved-up pair of Woodpigeons are around much of the time.
And well off-course, we had a couple of ducks waddling across our drive the other morning!
SNOW IN SPRING
The sunshine arrived weeks ago, and it just won't go away!
Flowering now in the garden is Amelanchier, also known as Snowy Mespilus.
The bees are loving it.
I recorded snow in April on my blog back in 2008, which did no favours to the blossom above.
There's nowt so queer as British weather!
TUESDAY GARDEN RAKE
I love my garden in April.
One of the plants which is looking its best right now is the yellow Primrose. The one above having the most perfect of flowers and foliage.
Thank goodness I've finally got around to moving those Raspberry canes!
Given to me by my Dad a few years back I ended up planting them in a spare patch which I had at the time. Enjoying the morning sun, they did well, too well infact and where growing high, were seriously restricting my view into the garden.
To restrict their spread underground, I'm experimenting by re-planting them in groups, in cheap small black storage containers, having drilled four drainage holes in each base.
They are now on a West facing fence, where they will get most sun late afternoon and evening.
I shall let you know how they do?
Another plant which I may have regrets in planting is Lysimachia ciliata, Firecracker. It's sure to spread like fury much the same as the two other varieties I have around the garden. I know I shall curse the day I ever saw it, but having a definite liking for dark foliage plants I couldn't resist it!
It's teamed up above with Forget me Not, another plant which once introduced to your patch, will self-seed and be with you forever onwards!
The birds in the garden are getting through food at a rate of knots! Stocks of bird food have been running perilously low.
My on-line order from Haiths arrived.
As much as I like to see Stock Doves and Woodpigeons around, I've bought Premium Wild Bird Food, a mix with no wheat, to deter them from using the birdtable.
Also, I've noticed an increase in finches around at the moment, so to attract more into my garden I've bought Native Finch, a mix containing oil rich seeds.
My garden with its ivy and high hedges provides lots of food, shelter and nesting sites for birds.
It sees many of the most common species ie House Sparrows, Dunnocks, Blackbirds, Starlings, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins and Wrens, so to spot something a little less ordinary and unusual to my garden, is always a treat.
Not having a long range zoom on my camera, with it taken through a window, and being cropped to the extreme, the photo above is not of the sharpest quality. The bird with its flitting movement, I'd say is some kind of Warbler?
On two occasions this week I've spotted a female Blackcap around the garden too.
TUESDAY GARDEN RAKE
You really couldn't have asked for better weather over the past week for gardening.
It's been bloomin' gorgeous!
I've spotted my first Painted Lady of the year.
If something does well, I use repetition, rather in the style of a Cottage Garden.
At the end of flowering seedheads were left on Japanese Anemone plants, and they've rewarded me with lots of little plantlets.
I've potted up ten new plants, and will leave their roots to establish. They will be planted out either this Autumn or next Spring.
This variety has a lovely pale pink flower.
This spider's not backward in coming forward in making the most of this lovely sunshine. Behind the rock is Sedum.
Big hedges surround most of the garden, ideal for nesting sites.
Having spent a lot more time outside this week I've noticed a fair amount of Blackbird activity, with male and female both busy in and out of the nest.
This saucer of sultanas will help build up their energy. That's if the starlings don't get to them first!
Simone from Linden Grove came up with the idea of a Tuesday Garden Rake. Pop over to her blog to find out how to join in.
Lesser Celandine, a native wildflower or a weed?
Whatever, it spreads like wildfire in my garden!
Looking less intense on a bank in semi-shade, this native wildflower mingles well with the Deadnettle plant, both having complementing white blotch marks on their leaves.
Looking more intense on a rockery in full sun, this weed will put itself right where you don't want it!
BLUE WITH A HINT OF BLACK
Above, the peachy pink buds of the Amelanchier tree, against sunny blue sky.
The purply, pinky blue of the Pulmonaria, in dappled shade.
And a hint of black.
Mr Blackbird taking a rest from his duties in the nest, amongst branches of the Hazel tree.
THE COMMA BUTTERFLY
It is said the male Comma butterfly is territorial. This one kept flitting backwards, forwards, sideways and upwards to the same spot on the wall!
I wonder if you are as fascinated with their brightness of orange as I am?
photo - The RSPB
MAGPIES AND THE WINNER OF MY GIVEAWAY
Sal from Sals Snippets, it's you!
Yes, you guessed it, the nuisance factor in my garden, is Magpies!
Like any clever thief, as soon as your backs turned, will come in and steal what's yours, or in this case the Robins!
Thanks to everyone who had a guess.