I was too tired today to go to the allotment.My back and legs were aching from all the digging I have done recently.I wanted to go to Hampsons for a coffee and sausage sandwich,and a quick look around the plants they sell.The sun was out in patches but it was cool most of the day.I bought three new Rhododendrons for the front and back garden.There is wooding decking along the side of the front garden that holds the grass back from the driveway.I cannot believe how many Ladybirds have been nesting in the grooves within the wood.The soil is quite dry as well so they do not drown.The sunshine has caused them to leave their wooden hotel en mass and to run along the wood and all over the front grass.Every time you step you have to look out for a Ladybird.I love their bright coloured coats and how they feast on aphids on my Roses.They are fearsome predators but lovely looking. The original Rhododendron (we call them Rhodie's) we had died after we transplanted it.I bought three new ones today for about £12 each.They each have a different coloured flower.The one in the front garden is called Rhododendron Purple Splendour.This has been around since 1900 as a plant type.I bought some Ericaceous compost to dig into the ground so it would grow away happily.
The other two Rhodie's were planted in larger pots for growing on the concrete path.They give some vertical structure with their shiny green leaves and conical shaped flower buds.There is a white flowered one with a central red wine splash called Sappho,and a scarlet red flowered one called Wilgens Ruby.
I also bought some Iris Germanica Bearded White and Blue.I bought a lovely yellow dwarf Iris called Yellow Brown which has beautiful throat markings.
I planted the Rhodie Purple Splendour in the corner by the neighbours Japanese Maple.We have done more to the front garden in the past two days then we have in 18 months.I think the warm sunshine helped inspire us.
I planted my new Oriental Stargazer around the Sambuca nigra.The Freesias have also gone into the new planter box,and in the sunken border.They will make nice cut flowers for the house.
The Rhodie's should keep us with flowers in May and June for years to come flowering between the Spring Bulbs,and the Summer flowering plants.I will try to have something of interest growing all year round in the garden.
Its back to work for me tomorrow but it has been a productive few days split between the allotment and the garden.My new compost bins arrived today.Big,black,and sleek.220 litres each.They will have to go up to the plot next week after these night shifts.All I'm waiting for now is the raised beds to arrive from Derby..