Nothing but blue skies

Blue skies smilin’ at me
Nothing but blue skies, do I see
Blue days all of them gone
Nothin’ but blue skies from now on
It may not seem the right time in history to quote Irving Berlin’s lyrics but yesterday was a lovely day. The wind dropped and it was almost a scorcher. But after the much-needed rain failed to appear on Sunday I am worried for some of the new planting – I mustn’t moan but I knew when it stopped raining it would forget to start again! But the morning started with a light frost and it caught the alstroemerias that were poking through a the last magnolia bloom – not significant though and the Japanese maple is planted with a little overhead cover and that saved the delicate new shoots. So I looked at the black mulberry to see what it was up to. I always think it is the wisest plant in the garden because it always waits till the last frost before opening its leaves – it is still waiting.
Almost as tardy is my Prunus ‘February Pink’. It waited till May the first year before opening so I suppose I should be glad it has managed to flower in April this year – completely misnamed though!
And on a blue theme, praise again for the perennial violas. Here is ‘Icy but spicy’ and ‘Blue Moon’. This is their second year and they pulled through winter and are now in full bloom, scenting the air and attracting bees and butterflies. It is curious what you notice in a photograph and not in real life – that bit of couch grass (crab grass) in the middle is really annoying me. And I had not noticed that I must have a sizeable slug population among the plants judging by the many holes in the petals below.

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8 Comments on “Nothing but blue skies”

  1. Anonymous
    April 15, 2020 at 8:45 am #

    So true, a little rain wouldn’t be a bad thing but it’s hard to complain when the weather is so beautiful for once!
    How did all your seedlings cope with frost in the polytunnel. Do you cover them ?

    • thebikinggardener
      April 15, 2020 at 4:44 pm #

      True, Most of the seedlings are of hardy plants so will be OK.

  2. tonytomeo
    April 15, 2020 at 9:15 am #

    Is that a pindo palm in front of the Mediterranean fan palm? Was that always there?

    • thebikinggardener
      April 15, 2020 at 4:43 pm #

      Well done! I do not know it as pindo palm but yes it is Butia capitata. I have had it many many years and it was stunted in a pot most of its life. I used to keep it in a cold greenhouse when I and it were in the UK but it has been outside two winters in Ireland, one in a pot by the house and the last in the garden where you can see it. It has not been a very cold winter but it looks as good as it ever has. It may have to move one more time when I decide on the raised beds – it is planted in a mound because the soil in this location is a bit waterlogged in winter – but if it does move it will be quick and careful – and final. It is supposed to be one of the few that is hardy in this part of the world and it has certainly coped with the continual storms this spring.

      • tonytomeo
        April 15, 2020 at 9:39 pm #

        I did not consider hardiness. I consider it to be rather resilient, but of course, it does not get very cool here. There are so many palms that it is difficult to select just a few to grow. I just recently canned two nice Mexican fan palms from a house that is to be demolished. They were so rad, but I had no idea what to do with them. Fortunately, the guy who moved out of the house took one to his new house.

  3. Paddy Tobin
    April 15, 2020 at 10:44 am #

    Likewise, a beautiful day here with blue skies and gardening in short-sleeved shirt. The frost was more gentle with us and left no noticeable mark on anything.

    Re the photograph and the couch grass. I find the same with photographs. I go with friends to find native orchids and take countless photographs of each flower, full flower, close-up etc etc and it really is amazing the detail you can see and appreciate later when viewing on screen.

    • thebikinggardener
      April 15, 2020 at 4:39 pm #

      We had a sharper frost this morning that did for the corylopsis and damaged the acer but that is how it goes. Yes – it is like proof reading – you can read it a dozen times on the screen but you only see the errors when it is print!

      • Paddy Tobin
        April 15, 2020 at 7:36 pm #

        We are escaping so as we had no frost last night either.

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