The blooming garden ideas from a suffolk garden fluid in ear symptoms

Indeed Chaucer had it right, there’s been no slogardie* in this house because how could one bear to miss one second of this fabulous month of May, the crown of the whole year? The beauty certainly priketh my heart; is May always this beautiful, or is this year specially green and flowery? The colours seem extra sparkly and the birds sing louder and more joyfully than usual. The Pianist and I have cycled for miles and the countryside has never looked so lovely with meadows full of buttercups and every lane frothing with cow parsley. And in the garden the flowers are all shouting for attention. My self-imposed task of featuring just ten blooms is really difficult this month. But here goes.

I have to start with a paean to peonies. The Gansu mudan as we have to call Paeonia rockii now have been fabulous.


Followers of my blog will know that I am extra proud of mine because I grew them from seed under the impression that I was growing the fabled white Rock’s peony with the deep purple blotch. But of course bees get busy with them so you never know what colour your seedlings will be. I have a magenta one and two pale pink ones. They are about nine years old now and full of exquisite and enormous blooms.

When I can drag myself away from contemplating these sumptuous beauties I am enjoying the masses of pure white blooms of a late flowering magnolia called Magnolia laevifolia ‘Gail’s Favourite’. This was formerly listed as Michelia yunnanensis and it needs a sheltered spot. Michelias generally are not totally hardy. Having said this, it came through a terrible winter unscathed. The flowers open from brown buds which look like suede. The blooms have a central boss of yellow stamens and they are sweetly scented.

Actually, what I found was just more and more pots, not all mine, my predecessor left enough to create a whole new landfill site. Surely pots could be made of some slow bio-degradable material. We gardeners like to think we are helping to save the planet, not carpeting it with plastic pots. Anyway, I got rid of loads of them and the lovely Pianist put up some shelves for the rest.

No, several friends have already asked me, as you can see I didn’t wash them before I put them away. I will wash them as I need them. The Pianist wonders why I need to keep so many. ‘ Oh reason not the need’ as King Lear would say. I have already taken so many to the dump that I am getting funny looks when I go there.

Anyway I digress, this is about the greenhouse as that is where the blooms are to be found at the moment. Cathy at RamblingintheGarden asked me which plants I had in there for winter colour. Earlier there were hyacinths, little irises, crocuses and snowdrops. Sarcococca, skimmia and pieris will be planted outside when they have finished blooming as will the hellebores. Primroses come in every colour imaginable and certainly keep the colour coming. Of course apart from the jasmine, lemon and mimosa most of the plants are hardy but in the greenhouse they bloom earlier and are quite unaffected by ice and snow.

You notice I cunningly slipped in another snowdrop there. I know there are some bloggers out there who don’t get them, so I slip them in when you aren’t paying attention. I am not quite as fanatical as my friend Christine who is well known amongst Suffolk gardeners for her devotion to snowdrops. Every season she has different snowdrops painted on her nails. Now that’s what you call galanthophilia. These aren’t just any old generic snowdrops they are all named varieties.

Snowdrops and bleached apple blossom are all very well, but what we are starved of at the moment is colour. My vase offering today, is rather white and all ‘ alone and palely loitering’ like Keats’s knight- at -arms. You remember the poem ‘ La belle Dame sans Merci’?

So this week I am going to stretch Cathy’s meme a bit to include ‘In a Greenhouse on Monday’ because that is where the colour is. And I am sick of a monochrome world. My greenhouse is an oasis of scent and colour and I have been so glad to have somewhere to retreat to escape from the Beast from the East.

Well, the weather has been so cold and grey since my last Favourite Bloom post, that not a great deal has happened. We still have hellebores and snowdrops, only more so. But this weekend, joy, oh joy, the sun came out and I took some photographs. It’s raining again today of course.

One advantage of living in a 500 year old house is that there have been many years for snowdrops to establish themselves and make carpets. They are not thought to be native. In medieval times, they were extensively planted in abbeys, priories and churchyards, and from there made their way to local gardens, roadsides and woodlands. I suspect previous owners brought mine from the nearby church. Not only did the early church take over pagan festivals but they claimed favourite flowers as well. Snowdrops were associated with Candlemas and the purification of the Virgin. It is odd that there was, and perhaps still is, a superstition that it is unlucky to pick and bring into the house these symbols of purity. It probably started in Victorian times when as it grew in churchyards so prolifically, it was associated with death. It doesn’t stop me enjoying little vases of them.