In the Fulness of May.

That time of fulness has arrived in the garden; that time of the first lushness of the year; that time when plants which were small individuals only a few weeks ago have now come together, shoulder to shoulder, to cover the ground and fill the beds and borders; that time which tells us that unquestionably the winter is now well behind us and we are into summer.

These past few weeks have put this wonderful time of the year on hold as we have had night after night of frost and days of cold breezes. The glasshouses are at long last beginning to empty of the many pots of dahlias which were put there in late January and though they should have been put outdoors by day to harden off for the past fortnight or so and would have been planted out at this time in many previous years, it has simply been too cold to do this. Now the glasshouses are free to accommodate pots of tomatoes and the many pots of plants grown from seed – at long last there is room to pot them on to bigger pots so they can grow away.

There has been some rain – and it was welcome after a long dry spell – and it is this combination of moisture and rising temperatures which has brought on the lush conditions in the garden and it also has encouraged the growth of a rash of weed seedlings so we have been busy weeding, lifting, dividing and with all the usual gardening activities though we did take time off to visit Altamont Gardens, a favourite garden, in Co. Carlow – see a previous blog – and I headed off yesterday morning to visit a site where Green-winged and Early Purple orchids were growing.

There was a morning earlier in the week when I was sitting with the breakfast coffee and thought the young emerging foliage on the trees looked very pretty so I went out with the camera – yes, still in PJs and dressing gown – to catch them while the light lasted.

Rhododendrons are beginning to put on a show and we have grown a number in the garden for many years but find we haven’t bought any more for quite some time. I think our proximity to Mount Congreve Gardens, with their several thousand different varieties, means we can go and enjoy rhododendrons whenever we please and not need to have them in the garden. Here are a few presently in flower with us:

By way of contrast, though it is an equally showy flowers, this Cypripedium has just come into flower. I had baulked at the expense of these plants previously but treated myself to one a few years ago and now regret now doing so much sooner as it has proved to be a very easy plant to grow, perfectly hardy, and it produces a great display of very exotic-looking flowers. This is Cypripedium ‘Kentucky Pink Blush’, a form or cultivar of Cypridedium kentuckiense:

Some of the earlier paeonias are into flower in the garden, always special plants:

Aquilegias and astrantias are less flamboyant than the above but very valuable as garden plants:

9 thoughts on “In the Fulness of May.

  1. what a wonderful collection! My astrantias are just starting and I am grateful for their colour and toughness. I have been tempted by cypripediums but always been scared – maybe, when the garden gets a bit more settled, I will give them a try!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Likewise re the cypripediums with me but this has proved to be a perfectly easy plant in the garden. I have it in damp semi-shade. Some of those astrantias I posted are seedlings from Gill Richardson, so are treasured for their association.


  2. Very beautiful cypripedium. I’m looking to buy some near my home but can’t find them. I’ll have to order them online. Is it the right time to plant them in the spring? Better in the autumn ?


    1. From my vast experience – now that I am growing ONE cypripedium – I would say plant it when you can get it.


  3. Great to have discovered your beautiful garden Paddy. A labour of love! Is it just you and the “head gardener” doing all the work.
    When not rambling gardening is my other passion but the acres of our small holding out here in the Wild West do not compare to your manicured haven. And I envy you the drier and warmer weather of the south east.
    Thanks for reading and “liking” my ramblings and I may join you on the six for Saturday post one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, the faraway hills! I was so envious of you rambling around Clara Bog and had images in my mind of finding orchids there – a big interest of mine but one which hasn’t been exercised because of Covid. We are being, perhaps, too careful and haven’t ventured out very much. We are both keen walkers but our joints have become rusty from lack of use. Re the garden: yes it is Mary and myself here, a hobby we have shared for many years and wonderful to have this past while when other activities were out of the question. I joined the Six on Saturday group some time back and there are some very interesting gardeners and gardens there but at time I feel it can become a burden, a “must be done” activity rather than something more spontaneous which I prefer. I look forward to reading of you small holding in due course!


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