Saturday, 1 May 2010
The Merry Month of May
New shoots of the hardy banana Musa basjoo. Each year this grows into a 15 to 20 foot beast, depending on rainfall. It looks great against the stone back drop of the old cattle barn, never out of place and interestingly, not particularly tropical-esque, just great foliage.
The first frosts of winter cut it down and that's where I leave it until the following spring, the blackened foliage self-mulching and protecting the crown until April when I clear it away and cut it back close to the ground. It's a ritual at this time of year to keep checking for new shoots wondering whether it's survived and voila!!!
Lilly of the Valley or muguet de bois makes an appearance. Today is May day and in France it is the equivalent of Labour Day or Fête du Travail. The French have a charming tradition on May one of giving this little flower to friends and loved ones as a porte-bonheur, literally, a bringer of happiness and they are sold in little bunches on many street corners.
The unfurling fronds of Holly fern are a wellcome sight. I like ferns as mentioned in a previous post, The Filicarium, and give it a couple of weeks, the sight of all the croziers reaching to the sky simply says spring to me.
Corydalis has self seeded with abandon this year. I reckon it's something to do with the cold winter we've had. The Lilacs (of which failed to get a photo of and now past their best) are the same, somethings really come back with renewed vigour following a harsh season, I can't see any other explanation.
Not strictly relevant though it was nearly May when I put it together, my Ivy sphere. Hopefully there'll be a lot of growth this season and the frame will almost disappear.
Finally, my favourite thing in a pot, Convolvulus mauritanicus. A tender perennial, The first blooms are out and it should continue on and off until late September. I plan to try to take as many cuttings as I can this year as I simply can't get enough of it.