It's the beginning of May. April's come and gone and as always has the knack of being the quickest month for me. Everything just takes off.
It seems a long time since the dark days back in early March when I started sowing large amounts of flowering annuals with thoughts of Summer and borders which are just brimful!
I 'd put out most of the young plants almost two weeks ago which in all honesty was a little premature, possibly foolhardy, but a risk I felt I should take as I'd inevitably succumbed to impatience, most of my seeds were started too early, simple as that. The ever growing juvenile plants fast approach that stage where they're 'pot' bound which simply doesn't do for any annual. Faced with either 'potting on' on a perceived industrial scale or taking a flyer with the weather the latter prevailed. Truth be known I made my decision as scientifically as I could after obsessively viewing and interpreting the synopsis charts provided by the Global Forecast system for many days ahead. Sure enough the devil's in the detail but the trend suggested no frost. I 've always had more than a sneaky regard for meteorology.
I've planted Cosmos 'Versaille tetra' which I've dotted with Amaranthus 'Marvel Bronze' plus Verbena bonariensis (a perennial I know, but treated as an annual, I took insurance cuttings last Autumn). I'm hoping they'll all make good friends. I have small plants of Cleome 'Violet Queen' which as ever were slow to germinate. I blame Cleome for my seed sowing haste as they truly benefit from big temperature fluctuations. Sown early under glass they bake on a sunny day and then the temperature drops like a stone at night.
Tobacco, I have lots of it. I love Nicotiana Sylvestris, I'm trying N. Sauvelens and a new introduction called 'Tinkerbell'.
Planted at front of La Grande Maison are Nasturtium 'Empress of India' and growing in pots are Rudbekia 'Cherry Brandy', a new one from Thompson and Morgan.
Finally, I had great plans to grow sweet peas which never materialised. Thoughts of mildew turned me against the idea as the spot where I want them just bakes. I even 'crafted' a teepee from weedy Alder which grows down by the river. The young trees make really decent tuteurs, good straight poles with the right amount of flex. I like it and am going to leave it where it is, sans sweetpeas.