What a terrible wet winter we had, rounded off with two lots of snow in March. Then suddenly in late April we had the hottest spring temperatures recorded for years!

The garden rushed to get spring started and when the temperature went up, it was all over in a couple of weeks. All the tulips flowered at the same time, no distinction between early or late, and then it felt only too soon the alliums were in flower.

We have had a higgledy-piggledy spring in the garden. We think most plants were two to four weeks behind the ‘new’ normal. Even now some early summer plants are slow, in particular our wide range of hardy geraniums. However they are beginning to get going. The heucheras have been doing really well, mid summer flowers are coming out and there are flower buds on the solidago, asters, echinaceas, penstemon, phlox, crocosmia – many plants that will take us well into October.

We have managed to complete our initial tidy-up and some replanting of the garden, the latest additions will take a year or two to really fill out but it is looking much better.

Our current issue is lack of rain! We haven’t had much rain in about six weeks now and it is really beginning to show. Although we are loath to water the garden, there are so many new plants it has become a necessity to make sure they can become established. The sprinkler system in the plant sales area is really earning its keep. As is the new canopy over the tables outside the tea room! With temperatures in the mid to high 20s this week it creates a lovely shady place to enjoy a cream tea.

Photo: the top end of the sunken garden in its June vibrancy.

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