One of my sons told me I should update my blog more often.
14 years old.
I told him he was right, of course. I didn’t want to ruin a good mother-son conversation.
But I could have told him I would have more time to blog if I didn’t have to help him learn his French words or Latin grammar. It’s that time of year again. The end of the school year and the end of year exams.
Good news: our eldest son passed his final exams and graduated from high school! He will be off to university after summer. So, we only have three left to worry about.
Last year, I felt pretty stressed about the end of year examinations. You may remember I wrote a blog post about it. My husband was in bed with a hernia and I was tired. But even though this year, the boys aren’t doing that much better in school, I feel totally different. They may, or may not be promoted to the next year, it won’t be the end of the world.
The first sweet peas
I feel totally different about the garden as well. Last year I wasn’t a happy gardener. Reading back the blog post I wrote exactly a year ago is even a bit depressing!
2016 was possibly the worst year ever for slugs and snails. Summer was warm and wet and slugs like that kind of weather. They ate all my seedlings and even attacked plants that are supposed to be slug resistant. This year is a much better year for slugs, or actually for gardeners. We had a good winter and spring was very dry. My seedlings are safe and growing nicely. The sweet peas are flowering! Yeah!
I have different varieties of sweet peas, but only the dark ones are flowering just yet.
It’s been three years since we moved to this house and our garden is finally beginning to take shape. There were lots of green shrubs and bushes growing in the garden, huge rhododendrons, holly trees and shrubs, different varieties of ivy and some beautiful hydrangeas.
I wanted to bring more variety to the garden, plants with foliage in other colours than green, and more flowers.
I worked hard and spent a fortune on young plants. But it was worth it! I am really happy with the way things are growing. My garden is far from perfect, a work in progress, and it will probably always be.
Want to see some of my favourites?
When in doubt, plant a Geranium
I stumbled upon this quote on Facebook. It’s an advice from gardener and writer Margery Fish. I had not heard of her, but she was one of the most important influences on English Cottage Gardening. She wanted her garden to be informal, using cottage garden flowers.
And she was right about geraniums. Hardy geraniums are easy to grow and low maintenance. They flower abundantly and if you choose the right one, they will bloom from June until frost.
Astrantia is actually a cottage garden favourite. The name comes from the Latin ‘aster’ meaning star. The flower looks a bit like a star or a firework.
I love astrantia, it’s such a delicate flower. The slugs seem to love it too though. They ate two of my young plants. I placed pots over them at night. They grew new leaves. One evening we went out to dinner and I forgot the pots. The slugs ate the fresh leaves. One of the plants is a little bigger and they leave it alone! Thank goodness, so I still have flowers.
Dahlia garden update
The first of my dahlias are almost flowering! Last year, dahlia Totally Tangerine was the first to bloom. It is full of buds, it won’t be long.
There is a huge difference between the plants though. Some have only just come up. I planted 4 Café au Lait dahlias, and only two have appeared. I am worried!
What’s blooming in your garden today? I would love to hear!