We have had a nice week of quite warm weather and sunny spells, top temperature of 23 degrees C, not exactly summer but a very nice change from the below 10 we had for weeks on end.
My garden is filling in and everything is growing fast these days. Still no sign of roses, which is very strange for me – it’s May and I have no roses at all, that’s never happened before. I have spotted the first, tiny buds on most of the bushes though, but I guess it will be June before I get any flowers. The first roses usually appear in mid April in my garden so we don’t seem to be catching up with things as of yet, still 6-8 weeks behind. At the bottom of my garden, to the right is my woodland area, where I last year had a magnificent display of crocuses and anemones. This year the display was a bit more drawn out and some of the crocus bulbs seem to have ended up at the squirrel’s dinner table during the winter months.
There are still lots of things going on at the woodland area, but giving the nature of many of these plants, they are not possible to see from the other end of the garden, you have to be up-close and personal. Can you see the heart shaped, masses of leaves in the centre of the picture? It is called Arisarum proboscideum and is a typical spring plant, here now and gone before July starts. But there is more to see here than what meets the eye at first glance.
Let me push some leaves away to show you what’s underneath, here are the flowers, looking just like a group of sleeping mice, hence the common name for this plant, ‘Mouse Plant’ :-)
Look at the tails, they can be incredibly long!
They really look like the back-end of a mouse!
Just like mice, cuddled up together. Let's slip the leaves back and leave them in peace.
And now to something growing next to the mouse plants, this is a Trillium luteum. In 2005 I got 4 small Trilliums, one of each type, a T. grandiflorum, T. cuneatum, T. luteum and a T. erectum. I have written about the Trillium cuneatums before, they are a lovely big clump by now and thoroughly photographed every spring. Trillium grandiflorum came back a couple of years, but only one plant every time and then I saw nothing more of it. The T. luteum and T. erectum flowered that first year when I got them, but never came back in subsequent years. But last year the luteum emerged again, after 7 years of dormancy! The photo here is from last year. There was a specific reason why the luteum didn’t come back for all those years and then finally emerged; the flower broke off the first summer I had it – it got trampled on and the stem broke. Nope, it wasn’t me, but it was an accident and he didn’t realise that the trillium would not just come back next year. You see, picking a trillium seriously injures the plant by preventing the flowers from producing food for the next year. A plant takes many years to recover. And that what’s happened to my Trillium luteum, it took 7 years. I was of course very anxious for it to come back this year too, and possibly with a sibling – and it did come back, but only one flower stalk.
But look, before I could even manage to take a picture of it, look what happened – the flower broke off, again! I assume it is a cat that has broken it off this time, possibly even my cat, when jumping off the fence, it was certainly no boots size 12 this time, I haven’t had any visitors to my garden for ages. I have a large clump of trillium cuneatum next to it, so it is so unfortunate that it was the luteum that broke and not any of the cuneatums I have loads of. I assume it will be another 7 years until next time I will see this little beauty.
Because I know it will be a long time till next time I see this flower, I made a display of it together with some other flowers from my garden.
The Trillium luteum looks fresh and crisp floating in the water.
I made up this bowl several days ago and it still looks great in the sunshine.
Daffodils and primroses.
I hope I will see a new Trillium lutelum next year, but I am prepared for this being the last I will see of it for many years.
My bird bath has proved popular with the magpies around here, I usually have two of these black and white birds visiting my garden, not sure if it is the same two and if they are a couple, but they are not that afraid of me and will land even if I am sitting in the garden. They have a good splash in the birdbath and take turn, usually coming back 3 or 4 times before they are finished. (Click on the photos to get a larger version.)
The birds are getting thoroughly soaked by the bath, and sometimes it looks like they are too heavy with water to take off again. I can always tell when they have been round for a bath, they make such a splash that half of the water is gone every time they have had a bath.
Sometimes they share, I wish I could have captured this moment in proper slow motion, or even filmed it, cause this was a double splash! There was almost no water left after they had finished today.
And finally, my cat hasn’t featured here for a long time, he has definitely enjoyed the recent sunshine too, spending the days being lazy on the garden bench. Let’s hope we get many more days like that.
There are stormy weather for tomorrow and showers on the way for the next week or so, I guess having 23 degrees for more than a day would be too much to ask – but as long as we are in the upper teens I won’t complain...although I spoke to my mother today on the phone, my parents live in southern Spain, they had 30 degrees C today, the back-end of a mini-heat wave. Mmm, wouldn’t mind 30 degrees for a while, I can’t remember last time we had that in London, I am not sure we actually had 30 degrees last year at all. Anyway, we no longer have night frost. Ayah! Something to celebrate I suppose, my tender seedlings are happy for that at least. Until next time, take care.