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Jo's May Extravaganza Part 1 Commentary

Well dare I say it ??? I think spring has sprung at last here at Myddelton. The garden is looking wonderful and very lush!

All the rain & sunshine has brought everything on in abundance and I've had a hard job whittling the photos down to a manageable number. It was so difficult that I'm still going to have to send you two emails as I have so many photos to share this month so make yourselves comfortable.

First stop is the Arboretum. The large area of bamboo was cut down in March to allow for regeneration. This is now happening and the new growth was already half a metre high when this first photo was taken at the beginning of May. It is now a metre high with its first leaves so I will follow its progress and let you know how it is doing next month. The lilac has been superb. James has done some serious pruning over the last couple of years and it's really paid off. The hedges were full of lilac this year, photo 2. Also, in the arboretum a large area has been turned into a wild flower bed, photo 3. You can just see a third of it here with another collection of lilac trees on the edge of the picnic area.

Walking around to the front lawn the camellias have given way to the rhododendrons, photo 4. The colours are glorious and more and more people are spending time on the front lawn instead of just walking by. Moving on to the side of the house, the Rosa banksiae is in full bloom, photo 5. It looks even better than last year and there are several other Rosa banksiae around the garden which also look wonderful.

The Old Conservatory has had a little make over with a new selection of plants added, photo 6. The Strelitzia reginae, bird of paradise plant, really did look as though they were about to fly off into the sunshine, photo 7. Don't worry they are still there as I closed the door behind me before they could escape!

The Pond Terrace always looks lovely and this year is no exception, photo 8. The succulents have come out of the glasshouses for their summer holiday on the terrace and add a wonderful splash of colour. This kalanchoe under planted with portulaca looks amazing, photo 9.

Whenever I'm working in the garden I do enjoy a chat with the visitors and no matter how much I think I know about the garden someone always manages to asks me a question I can't answer. This month the question was 'where is the royal fern'. Where indeed was Osmunda regalis hiding?? Well, after a bit of research (ok, I asked James) I realised that it was too early to see it when I was asked. The Royal Fern was given to Mr Bowles before the First World war and is believed to be the oldest perennial plant in the garden. You can find it at the bottom of the steps on the Pond Terrace along side one of my favourite trees, the Cornus kousa 'Miss Satomi', photo 10. I love the way the flowers on the tree stand up straight from the branch, photo 11. Another plant that has burst forth this month is the Iris pseudacorus, the yellow flag iris. It is in abundance all around the pond, photo 12, along with the Gunnera manicata, photo 13.

Walking across the New River Lawn towards the Wildlife area is the most beautiful clump of Papaver orientale, the oriental poppy, photo 14. They look almost translucent in the afternoon sunshine. Nearby the Wildlife area has also received a makeover courtesy of Stephanie and her willing band of helpers. They have sunk logs into the ground to form a wall around an area that has been sown with wild flowers, photo 15. Can't wait to see this in the summer.

Well, that brings me to the end of part one so you've just time to make a cup of tea while I prepare part two for you.

Best Wishes


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