Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A Bunch Of Grapes

In a manner of speaking.


This is Iris Grapelet, a miniature dwarf bearded iris. Bred by J.T.Aitken and introduced in 1989. It normally grows to about 5 inches tall, but with the highest April rainfall for 130 years, I suppose we can forgive it for growing a little higher this year. I grow it in a trough on the patio, where it gets good drainage and sunshine. This year, the leaves have been nibbled by slugs and snails. Normally not a problem in the trough, where it is usually quite dry, but this year isn't normal, is it ?

Those lovely people at Trehane have sent me another e-mail about caring for my blueberries. Apparently, now is the time to feed them. So that's a job for this weekend I think. Trehane really do take customer care to a new level. Maybe other specialist nurseries could take note, and inform their customers when it is time to feed and prune their plants. Just a thought.

I planted a Magnolia stellata this afternoon, a much-appreciated gift from my workmates. I dug the hole, put all the good stuff in, like you do, and planted it. The only job I didn't do, was water it in. As you know, I like to garden with Nature, and as she is about to dump over one inch of rain here tonight, I decided to leave the watering to her. She's better at it than I am.

And finally, a bit of good news; the hawthorn is blooming. Remember the saying:

'Never cast a clout,
Before May is out.'

I have found this to be a very reliable saying, as once the May blossom is out, we shouldn't get any more frosts. But do allow for any frost pockets in your area. The hawthorn hedges, in the fields where I walk the dog, have been in bloom for over a week, but they are at the top of a south-facing hill. The tree in my garden has only just started opening its blooms today.

16 comments:

  1. What a beautifully coloured iris - never heard of this variety before. Oo lovely - a Magnolia Stellata they don't grow too big do they - I think they smell nice too or am I getting that mixed up with something else? An awful thing to say but I haven't noticed the May blossom yet perhaps I just haven't been looking properly. It is pouring again at the moment - just what we need - more rain - NOT!

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    1. I'm sure they forecast a nice afternoon today, but it's raining again.

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  2. At this rate we'll all have aquatic gardens! But I guess, like you said, it saves us a job. Such a beautiful,rich coloured iris...quite magnificent x

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    1. That's the answer, a bog garden. Guess who has bought a lot of drought tolerant plants this year.

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  3. The iris is such a stunning colour....I may just put that on my wish list.

    The hawthorn started blooming two days ago here. The garden is in a frost pocket but like you I have found this to be a good indicator with regard to frost.

    We had over an inch of rain during the night (I have a rain guage)
    The garden once again looks like a lake......oh joy !!

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    1. We had just under an inch of rain last night. (Our local weather station is on Twitter) And guess what, it's raining again now.

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  4. What a lovely deep purple your Iris is and that's a lovely photo of it!

    My goodness, amazing customer service which I'm sure will win them many more sales. More companies could learn from them!

    We have had rain, rain and more rain and today it is grey and very windy and looks like, at any moment, it may....rain :-(

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    1. Yep, it's raining. What a surprise.

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  5. We have had a cool, wet spring (disregarding the summer-like March we had). I'm waiting for the soil and air to warm up. The flowers that have bloomed are staying a long time because of the cool weather, which is a plus. I hope you have no frosts. Our last frost date is May 21.

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    1. I think we'll be okay for frost now, but a little bit of sunshine would be nice.

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  6. That is impressive customer service! Well done Trehane!

    On a personal level - my clouts are going nowhere until mid-August - May or no May!

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    1. Actually it is still a bit cold isn't it? the plants are okay, it's just us gardeners who are a bit nesh.

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  7. Beautiful flower. I am greeting

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  8. What's a clout? Your iris is a beauty! Slugs are munching on one of my water iris so it's time to put out the beer traps. I just hope I don't attract anything other than alcoholic snails. :o)

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    1. In this particular saying, the clout refers to clothing.

      Just to confuse matters, in Yorkshire we use the word 'clout' to mean hitting someone on the head, as in the Yorkshire phrase "I'll gi' thee a clout" which translates to "I'll give you a hit on the head."

      If any birds eat your alcoholic snails, they could get a hangover too, you know.

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