I haven’t really done much to prepare for spring, usually I get carried away with bulb catalogues but I’ve come to the conclusion that whilst I’m still moving lost of perennials around there is a high chance of bulbs dying from me putting a spade through them. The squirrels are also delighted at the annual Easter egg hunt I put on for them and very good at finding bulbs wherever I hide them. However I’m a sucker for a bargain and bought some discounted bulbs in Wilkinsons and also bought a tray of wallflowers from the market.
I love wallflowers as they are a flower that really reminds me of the garden where I grew up, and scents are one of those things that can transport you back in time. They are also so cheap as I was buying bundles of 10 plants for £1, and they show you how incredible some plants are at surviving as they are just bundled together in an elastic bands with just a couple of tiny roots, yet by spring they will be flowering the hearts out. BUY SOME NOW!
The garden is transformed in spring, and in a way peaks first in May and then again in September when it is at its exotic best. In May the forget me nots will be a carpet of blue with wallflowers everywhere and the odd allium I haven’t sliced up poking its way through. It all then comes out for the summer plants and to make space for things to grow through. I love this successional planting and wish I was better at it, as growing exotics which break through the ground late gives you a good window to have other stars in their place. The forget me nots are so easily pulled out, and the Eremurs which look stunning then die back almost immediately.
|A little different to now, where you need a machete to get through (as stated on Gardeners World)|
Anyway...plants! Things have been winding down but what is interesting is the difference between my two Paulownias.... P. Tomentosa (the one everyone has) lost its leaves about a month ago whereas P.fortuneii ‘Fast Blue’ is only just beginning to lose them now. I know the tomentosa is more exposed, but I do think there is a difference.
|P. fortuneni is on the left, the other is a stick to the right|
It is named after Anna Paulovna (1795-1865), a Russian princess who then became Queen of the Netherlands however originates from China where they grow it near to houses to bring good luck and attract the Phoenix. In Japan there is also a tradition that one will be planted on the birth of a daughter, and when she was married it would be cut down and the timber used to make a wedding chest. Interestingly it grows wild and is a bit of a pest in Eastern USA after making its way there in the 1800’s when seeds that were used as packing material for ceramics escaped
It’s very fast growth and dense rot resistant wood has led to many calling it the ‘tree of the future’, it is also used as a tree to help with reforestation, and also with intercropping to prevent soil erosion. China is still the biggest grower and the wood is used to make everything from houses and furniture to electric guitars.So there we go a good plant to grow if you want something jungly as it is very easy, and you can encourage a Phonenix to come visit!