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Jo's News and Views No 5 May 2022

Hello Everyone

What a glorious May we have had this year. Certainly a time of year that I personally enjoy very much. The blossoms around the garden have been beautiful. The rhododendrons on the Front Lawn have been in flower all month and still look lovely, photo 1.

At the front of the house is the Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' or Golden Full Moon Maple, photo 2. For years it was overshadowed by a large holly tree but since that was removed this little tree has gone from strength to strength.

In the border beside Bowling Green Lawn is this Cotinus coggygria or Smoke Bush, photo 3. When the sun catches the leaves they look as though they are hardly attached to the branches. It is so pretty. It gets its common name from the fact that when the sun shines through the flowers later in the year it looks as though the bush is on fire.

I visited the Tulip Terrace on every trip to the garden last month because the tulip display was stunning. I love the apricot coloured tulips which were underplanted with different coloured forget-me-nots. Later in the month the alliums appeared and joined in the fun, photos 4, 5, 6 and 7. Forgive my indulgence with so many photos of them. At each end of the terrace is a Paulownia tomentosa or Foxglove Tree. This was the smaller one of the two which I noticed whilst taking the photos of the tulips. Looking up I thought the branches and new leaves looked lovely against the blue sky, photo 8.

Unfortunately, not everything in the garden is happy. The UK iris collection was divided last year and it is known that they tend to sulk as they don't like being moved, photo 9. This thought made me smile so I told them to behave and I expected bigger and better things next year. To one side of the collection is this unassuming iris called Stephen Wilcox. Not the prettiest name but definitely one of the prettiest irises in the garden, photos 10 and 11. There was lots of colour here though as the USA iris collection was in full bloom, photo 12. It may be their turn to be divided this year so enjoy them this year while you can. This was one of the irises in the collection called "Florentine Silk", photo 13.

Next I visited the glasshouses where there were more delights waiting for me. The Hoya carnosa, known as the procelainflower or wax plant, was flowering the best it has for some years, photo 14. The flowers seem to be spaced equally along the stems. It was slightly overshadowed by the exquisite Epiphyllum "Sherman E Beahm", photo 15. The flowers are amazing but only last for a couple of days so I was lucky to catch it, photo 16. Also here were these pretty little cacti, photo 17.

Walking through the garden there are many Nectaroscordum siculum or Sicilian Honey Garlic, photo 18. A great source for the many insects in the garden. Another good source of nectar in the garden is Phacelia tanacetifolia, photo 19. Often grown as green manure and is very beneficial in the garden because it attracts so many insects.

In the Wisley Corner the Rosa Wisley 2008 "Aubreeze" has been flowering all month, photo 20. Quite a delicate flower but very pretty.

On the edge of the pond the Gunnera has shown itself to be a survivor. The plants spent quite a while in bags while the pond was refurbished last year but has been replanted and has now re-established themselves, photo 21.

Last month one of the big trees near the pond came down, photo 22. When I visited the garden last week it was being removed, photos 23, 24 and 25. After everything had been removed it was hard to remember it had been there. We now have a new vista across the pond, photo 26. The team also removed the stump of the Cedar tree from the front lawn, photo 27. There is a new look for the front lawn now, photo 28 and in case you don't remember the Cedar tree here is a photo of it from February 2013, photo 29.

The only fauna offering I have for you this month is the Jackdaw that is nesting in the other Cedar tree on the Front Lawn, photo 30. I haven't seen any small birds this month but that's not to say they aren't there. Sometimes you have to sit and wait for them to appear and I have been too busy to do that so something I will do next month.

Hope you have enjoyed this wander around the garden with me.

Best wishes



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