James is back, wandering round the garden looking at everything, and killing the nettles on the boundaries which I am pleased about. I am so pleased he is here as it all looks so pretty. This weather is so wonderful that I am leaving my curtains ajar so I can go out early and take some photos (not quite as early as Clive unfortunately!).
The main failure in the garden is the amount of Spanish bluebells that we have planted down the bottom of the garden. When I dug them out of the beds, (both Dianey Binney and her sister Betsy were furious that they were there) I had no idea of the difference between Spanish bluebells and English! I thought I might dig some of them out, but they go down very deep and increase hugely. So that is that. One of my successes are Ipheions, which are very pretty and easy to succeed with. Sometimes it is better to go for what is going to be successful. Fritillaria Imperialis are difficult, I give them very good soil but in five years they have not increased much. I think that one of the most tricky things over the years have been bulbs. I nearly lost all my Fritillaria Meleagris by mowing them over too soon. Camassias are easy, although quite expensive, and seem to increase well with me. I have a lot in the garden, and I love them all. Veratrum are difficult, and I will have to move my only one, as it is not getting any bigger. I think a lot of people never look to see what conditions various plants like. Clematis are tricky, sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t, and Delphiniums are also tricky, The other problem child is Dictamnus which are worth persevering with, if not for the lovely smell alone.
Epimediums are easy and they love me. The most sensational is one called Spine Tingle, as it is so enormous, and is eye stopping. Roses are easy as long as you grow healthy ones, and you have to keep your eyes open for any better ones, for example I have just planted Burgundy Ice, and sooner or later I will put a picture of it on the blog.