Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Garden report - May

Yes we've had some glorious sunny weather during May and we've also had rain. The mix has been perfect for plants and except for having to be vigilant about late frosts this has been a fantastic month . . .

gardens are made in May . . .

There have been so many beautiful sights in the garden over the past four weeks – apple blossom, a waterfall of wisteria on the wall, the Crimson Flowered broad beans in the vegetable garden and our harvests of asparagus. However, this week we have had storms and a deluge of rain so the garden is a mass of lush growth heavy with rain drops.

The vegetable garden is bursting with growth – the greengage crop may be meagre but it looks as though we'll have a bumper crop of strawberries!

And here are the first purple pods of the 2008 season. These are Pea 'Purple Podded' grown from my home-saved seeds from last year.

The other peas are showing their individual characteristics – on the left 'Victorian Purple Podded', tall and elegant with distinctive blue-green foliage and on the right is 'Salmon Flowered', the stalks are thickening and a mass of bushy growth is appearing quite unlike any other pea I've grown before. I like to think that the walls around my garden have seen some of these heritage varieties before.
On the far left planted around a large wigwam are climbing bean 'Mrs Fortune's'. In the forground you can see the lovely neon green leaves of lettuce 'Black Seeded Samara' and dwarf bean 'Negritos'.

The plants around the wildlife pond are now dense and lush, a perfect home for frogs, toads and newts. The flowering of these gorgeous tall irises usually coincides with the emergence of the first dragonflies.

We've moved the little lemon tree from our bedroom and it's now on the patio, the scent from the flowers is unbelievably exotic!

I usually prefer to leave the flowers outside and walk among them to enjoy the colours and textures, but I have picked a branch of my favourite single red rose, rosa moyesii 'Geranium', some softly scented Dame's Violet, hesperis matronalis, and Ox-eye Daisies to put in the Dudson jug on the kitchen table (it celebrates the fact we have de-junked the table and have vowed to keep it that way!). From here we can sit and watch the Blackbird fly back and forth to her nest on the roof of the bird box among the Boston Ivy leaves on the wall.


  1. fabulous photos of a wonderful garden ... it makes me feel very guilty at all the garden tasks left undone here ... that iris is very beautiful

  2. Completely idyllic and beautiful - it must be so lovely to enjoy the rewards of all the hard work. Any chance of a newt picture in a future post? How many types of dragon/damselfly visit/breed? Ever seen this one - http://www.dragonflysoc.org.uk/
    caspl.html ?

  3. Every thing is looking wonderful, although I envy you the lemon. Mine have yet to fruit, lots of blossom, growing like topsy with loads of embryonic fruit, but thus far, no Lemons. I foolishly promised the iGit Lemon Meringue made from home grown lemons, think that maybe a way off yet!

    Lovely to see the purple podded peas too.

  4. I think you have captured everything I love about English gardens at this time of year. It's all so achingly beautiful.

  5. Wow, have all your peas (and everything else) really grown! I still adore those purple podded peas -- the colour and the name are precious.


  6. Beautiful. I am so envious of the wall around your garden Celia. I just love walled gardens. x

  7. Ahh! The memories of an English garden in early summer. So much work, but so much joy.
    And did my little eye spy an unusual wicker cloche in there!
    I've just picked a few leaves of mizume, tat-soi, mignonette lettuce, oregano, basil and parsley for tonight's salad.The snow peas had to come from the shop!
    (By the way, you are not far, I think, from Cavendish?)

  8. It is all so beautiful - I have serious garden envy!

  9. Drool-worthy, walled garden. Feeling garden-envy over here. :-)

    I don't think I've ever seen actual purple podded peas beyond the seed packet drawings. Are the peas purple as well, or just the pods?

  10. Joanna - believe me, there's masses of nettles and ground elder and incomplete projects in my garden too.

    Silverpebble - the dragonfly web site is really interesting, thank you!
    Broad-bodied Chasers and Southern Hawkers breed in our pond, as do Red Damselflies and Common Blue Damselflies.

    Zoe - the lemon tree was Cliff's Christmas present, and came bearing 9 lemons. So fingers crossed that the tiny embryo fruit grow to produce fruit for next spring.

    Threadspider - you're right, it's more beautiful after the rain.

    Diane - PPPs make people smile, the colour is so unexpected!

    Louise - the wall is very special, we feel lucky to garden here.

    Dinahmow - your salad sounds delicious. And yes your eagle eyes have spied the Vietnamese bamboo cloches (they're really designed to be chicken coups!)

    Gina - all the hard work in the veg plot is paying off this spring (love that orange frock - so clever!)

    Hi TLC - welcome to PPPs! Sorry but the peas inside the pods are green.


  11. Love your garden!

    Can I ask where you got your purple peas from originally? I really want some and I'm struggling to find them anywhere.


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