We may have had some great sunshine but there has also been hard frosts, with tender growth caught a little. The ground absolutely sodden just a few weeks ago is now parched, so a little watering of newly planted bits and pieces and pots has taken place, and the water barrel is already nearly empty. The propagator has been moving plants around and has some really bright blooms to share this week, I'll be tagging along there as usual.
1. Andrew, a fellow SOSer posted about having a tortoise.last week, which reminded me of my husband's tortoise. She is still around, and with a niece, and most probably a great niece or nephew. We happen to have two concrete ones which are moved around the gravel garden. Both found abandoned in previous gardens. They are a reminder of Toby, who only after being named and after laying an egg, revelaedl her true identity: dear old Tobbie!
2. Phlox bifida Ralph Haywood has come through the wet winter and is in flower. Buds were showing in March but it is now nicely covered in its pretty divided blue flowers. This picture shows it a little too blue, when in reality there is a touch of mauve very similar to the Foxtail Rosemary growing not far away in the same bed.
I wasn't sure when to prune it back, so it has been left alone, as I thought the growth would protect it from the weather. The stems are thin and brittle, but I can also see tender green shoots emerging deep within the growth. I may get two periods of flowering: early April on the old stems, continuing with a later flowering on the new stems. This plant came from Pottertons in 2019, and I have a little plant taken as a cutting last spring.I read In Portraits of Alpine plants: "Ralph Haywood was a tall, quiet gentleman and an expert plantsman and propagator, who once worked at Joe Elliott’s renowned nursery at Broadwell in the Cotswolds; and then later became foreman of the Alpine House and propagation departments at Wisley. Sadly, Ralph died at the early age of 42, but his name lives on in a number of outstanding plants."
3. All winter I had been looking at my wonky trellis which I had put up in haste last year. When Mr S realised that I was planning on replacing it he said he rather liked it, so instead, I untied and realigned the bamboos, separated out the stems of clematis Sugar Sweet, tied in some stems and it is already forming flower buds.