And so it goes on. Applause broke out at 8pm on Thursday so I opened the window and joined it, then someone went for a bottle of wine and before long there were all our neighbours out with chairs and bottles, all keeping a sensible distance from each other but socialising in a totally unprecedented fashion because of social distancing. I half expected the police to turn up to break up the “street party”. We’re talking seven households here, before you get the wrong idea.
Other than that, life carries out on the trajectory of the new normal. For me, the new normal is much like the old normal, out in the garden or on the allotment from morning till night. Sowing seeds, pricking off, potting up, potting on, planting out, weeding, watering. And taking pictures.
The weather is like high summer, things are mostly growing like mad, except where they’re already getting too dry. I’m third way through my stored water already. It’s brought out the flowers to a degree I’ve not seen before at this time of year. Later may be trickier as there’s no recourse to the garden centre for bedding and such like. For now though, no such problems.
Asarum proboscideum. Mouse plant. I did a set of photos on the blog a few days ago and this was amongst them. I doubt I’ve put it in a six before, I tend to overlook it. You walk right past it beside the path and are oblivious to what is going on under the leaf canopy. It’s fighting it out with a Chaenomeles, which is also flowering and grabs the attention, but peer beneath the leaves and all is weirdness and wonderfulness.
Magnolia ‘Ann’. This has come out in the last week and I suppose if the weather keeps up is going to have a much shorter flowering season than normal. Better make the best of it while it’s there. One of my books says it’s an upright grower, but evidently Ann can’t or won’t read, she only wants to grow sideways and has had some fairly harsh pruning to keep her within bounds.
Camellia japonica ‘Eximea’. There are either several virtually indistinguishable varieties that look like this or just one going under several different names. I have a strong suspicion this is C. japonica ‘Imbricata’. “A rose by any other name” I hear you say, and you may be right. This flower form is known as formal double.
Acer palmatum atropurpureum. Our poor old maple didn’t like the hot summer two years ago, leafed out meagrely last year and this year looks like it’s not going to bother at all on at least one main branch. A fairly severe pruning may be coming up once the sap stops running too much. We don’t want to lose it, it’s the only plant in the garden that’s been here as long as we have.
Seed sowing. Earlier in the week I sowed most of the outstanding seeds in my seed box. Mostly it was my home collected stuff, some was the remainder of my Alpine Garden Society seeds that hadn’t needed chilling. A few veg too. I keep a record of seeds sown, the tally stands at 109 different items this year. I shan’t get seedlings from all 109, mercifully, but it’s still pushing the limits of what is regarded as normal behaviour. If you think all this lot is all of them, it’s not.
Last year it was mentioned in these pages that there wasn’t much to choose between Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’ and Daphne ‘Pink Fragrance’. That might have been true last year but it isn’t this year. D. ‘Eternal Fragrance’ is the same nearly white as before but D. ‘Pink Fragrance’ can only really be described as pink. I have both tucked in between the two glasshouse near the house and the scent is superb, even for me with my diminished olfactory capabilities. They are outgrowing their allocated space and I doubt they’ll respond at all well to pruning. I’d like to get some young plants going to replace them eventually but I haven’t had much success so far.
I was wandering round the garden as the sun went down yesterday and took this picture of Begonia luxurians silhouetted in my tunnel. It makes as much sense as anything else at the moment. Completely un-retouched, as they say.
Weekends seem the right time for doing allotments so I will largely steer clear because everyone else will think the same. Thin the bamboo possibly, that’s one I’ve been putting off. I’ll be checking on the socially distanced SoS contributors of course, links in the usual place. Stay sane people, this can’t last forever.