The beginning of May is Euphorbia time usually twinned with Aliums. Alliums are bulbs, and my favourites are Globemaster, which when purchased from Bob Brown a couple of them soon turned into 30. Bob said that that never happened to him! Globemaster comes before Allium Purple Sensation, which lives up to its name. To my horror James has fallen in love with Nectaroscordons which seed more than any of them, and increase at the base, which they all do. Funnily enough at the edge of a border I can see why James likes them. Opening very slowly from a sheath they are like half a dozen bells in various shades of brown, on a long stem. One of their drawbacks is they smell very strong, and it is not a nice smell. Allium Everest is white and elegant, and I have got them in the Klimt border. Quite expensive to buy initially, they have doubled up a lot. My favourite is Allium albopilosum, which is pale pink, huge, and beautiful in every aspect. We have had a bad frost this morning, and James returning from his dog walk said two of my magnolias had dropped their leaves. Oh dear.
The result of James making me go through all my Country Lifes and Gardens Illustrated has given me quite a few new ideas. Particularly when Gardens Illustrated list their dozen best Baptisias for example. I rather like the look of Baptisia ‘Golden Chestnut’. Their only drawback is that they are slow to come up. Mine are only just emerging now. Though I suppose you can fill the gaps with either Camassias and or Tulips. I do not always get the tulips right by any matter of means. Tulip Formosa is Polly’s new discovery, and a very good one too. At this time of year is the appearance of Aconitum Stainless Steel, a very pretty soft grey blue and tall, However not only very poisonous, it collapses after flowering so you have to have something in front of it.
The star of the magnolias is Magnolia Sieboldi, flowering now, and Magnolia Lilliflora Nigra, which seems to flower indefinitely, and has got quite large, in a spreading way. I cant imagine a garden without Magnolias. We have eight Magnolias which I think is a lot for an acre and a half garden. They have suffered a lot today. Particularly this morning, and Athene. Everyone is saying this, but I have never known such a beautiful Spring.
Mostyn, my family home, the back of it with the Japanese garden on the left. This was in May.