Since 2014 I completed a project of personal interest. My wife and I have been involved with Kelmscott Manor near Lechlade, the former home of William Morris the arts and crafts wallpaper and curtain manufacturer. I went in twice a month the photograph the garden in flower between March and October. You can see what will be in flower there in early June (when this magazine comes around) by going to https://kelmscottmanorgarden.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/. I see there are old fashioned roses, variegated weigela, delphiniums, solanum (potato vine), cardoon, ornamental poppies, foxgloves, geraniums, sysyrinchium, honeysuckle, and aquilegias. The meadow has yellow rattle in flower, planted to keep meadow grass short.
Since 2014 I have, with Conor Hurst's help, restructured the garden at Roman Court and will share some of that with you. we have about two thirds of an acre which includes natural springs which feed a bog garden. Blog addresses will be given at the end. The spring has meant daffodils, tulips, hellebores, camassia, alliums, lungwort and primroses have been centre stage. Before that, the snowdrops filled January and February, the tallest being the earliest. I have rescued quite a few snowdrops from building sites where they are dug out and left to die. One clump of tall early flowers came from John Henry Newman's house in which we were working, where builders had decimated a Victorian snowdrop bed. The churchyard where we buried my mother in March was covered in snowdrops, disturbed by the digger, which with the vicar's permission I brought home to pot up to give to family members next winter. My plant of the month (April) must be the caltha or Marsh Marigold. A bed where I mixed white daffodils with black tulips have flowered together for the first time. Jobs to do include repairing the greenhouse, repairing the pond and of course keeping the weeds at bay. As the plants wake up from winter, this is a good time for softwood cuttings which I will share with you next month.
Looking ahead to June, in my own across-the-year photos from 2012 (http://romancourt365.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/) I notice I started with sempervivums, their brief flowering easily forgotton, then lots of roses, starting with the yellow Banksian Rose (already in flower in April). Another favourite is the white corydalis I begged from the gardener of Down House, Charles Darwin's home which seeds around freely (without being a pest) and flowers from March to November. I created an ericaceous bed which has three large Camellias, three Pieris, all looking lovely. Just out elsewhere is the acid-loving Fothergilla with white bottle-brush tassels. Grow in a pot with ericaceous compost.We have since savagely pruned the tunnel which is rejuvenating the climbers growing there - Rose 'Rambling Rector', Clematis 'Freckles', white Wisteria, variegated Jasmin and Honeysucle 'Roy Davidson'.Some roses are already flowering and June will be rose season
Stephen Bigger. 22.4.2017.
Miniature flowering cherry
Anemones and hellebores
White flowering current
Amelianchier in blossom
Gordon's flowering current (hybrid)