Both here and at my garden at Ynyswen (which I started from just bare lawn and a path), the land has never forgotten that it used to be a field. The little strip of grass at the front of the house, when allowed to grow feral, becomes an old hay meadow. This year there is just a strip at the bottom of the hedge where the Primroses grow, but that is already putting out Red Clover, Herb Robert, the few tentative fronds of Yarrow, Common Sorrel, Nettle, and the last Lady's Smock is finally bowing her head to summer.
The roses are coming out now. This is one I bought last year - it's a stunner. Starts of with a dark moody bud, opens up and then starts to go pink, which is my favourite stage. So beautiful.
This is the lovely pink and yellow Aquilegia I had at Ynyswen, and brought a pot with me. This year, apart from the pink and yellow candy stripes, it has produced several heads with what I call "ra-ra skirts". I am absolutely delighted - it is so beautiful. It always used to annoy me when I was selling young Aquilegia plants at car boot sales, people would say, "Oh I've got those already" and I would ask, which colour or flower-head type (Clematis-petal, Norah Barlow, spurred etc) and they'd look at me blankly. An Aquilegia was an Aquilegia was an Aquilegia to them.
Talking of which, it's Flag Iris time in the pond. Gabby was here yesterday and assembled the other raised bed for me, and we filled it and topped up the other, with leaves, and then grass mowings, and then wet leaves from the pond. I have managed to get a splash of pond water in my right eye - thought it had just missed but no, this morning right eye sore so I will have to try and get some eye drops when I'm out and see the Optician tomorrow. I can remember that Katherine Hepburn got canal water in her eyes when filming in Venice, where she had to fall into the canal, and was affected permanently by some nasty incurable eye infection. I am sure this is a quick fix.
This is the main bed, which I inherited with just a reverted rose, some Golden Marjoram and bushes and bushes of leggy untended Lavender (much of which I have hoiked out). It's gradually starting to come together though it's too sunny to see the purples of the flowers in there - wild Aquilegia, Iris "Bold Print", several Purple Lupins, Hardy Cranesbills etc. I have a couple of tall white Valerian to pop in the back. Progress.
I'm glad to say not all my Clematis died, though I lost 3 or 4. This is The First Lady. I thought I had lost Dr Ruppel, but no, the slugs had been at him, so I've moved him and he's now growing again. Clematis Montana wilsonii is in full bloom - such a sweet delicate perfume - and the nameless one next to it is growing on well too, and Princess Diana in a tub nearby. Two wellgrown Montano rubens were fatalities though and I have bought two to replace them and put them both in the shelter at the bottom of the hedge, to scramble up through it. Nearby is a Paul's Scarlet climbing rose I was given for my birthday by a friend. It is happy as Larry and now in bloom - really scarlet flowers.
Ah yes, the naughty Pippi kitten-cat . . . She loves it outside and is very adventurous. I seem to lose her regularly, but she generally comes when I call her. Yesterday she decided to press all my buttons, and disappeared off somewhere after tea and DIDN'T return. I rattled biscuits, called and got more and more worried in case she had turned left out of the gate and was up by the lane. Anyway, accompanied by Ghengis, I went down the track, calling her. No sign. I came back in - then Lulu started to get brave and ran out onto the track (a first for her) and looked like she was going to worm her way into the field next door, but came back when shooed. I'd just got back to the house, and who should yell "here I am - did you miss me?". I turned and saw Pippi, who pressed another button and jumped up onto the lawn and hurtled off at warp speed, obviously wanting to test my powers of endurance! I ignored her and she came back and promptly went under the low chair in the hall, where she knows I can't reach her. I think she gets easily bored.