My friend and I went to Harrogate Flower Show on Thursday, we had a great time, perusing all the plant stalls and making a purchase or two…or more! There’s always a plant creche at the show, for £1 or so you can leave your plants there until it’s home time. It’s a great idea, but it’s not good for the purses – having arms full of bags is a fair indicator of how much you’ve spent, leave them all in the creche and you suddenly have empty hands to fill again!
The problem then comes at home time when we realised we probably had getting on for twenty plants to carry between us! We used a tried and tested method which always causes great hilarity as people see us walking past…I had bought three 6′ metal stakes which were bound up together, my friend held one end whilst I threaded the bags onto the stakes, we could then carry the plants between us swinging gently from the stakes!
So what did I buy – two beautiful clematis to grow up my new arbour, some very pretty variegated irises, a geum, a very pretty aquilegia (I can never resist an aquilegia!) a purple lupin and a few others besides! Here they all our, tucked around some pots by the back door…
Over the weekend the weather suddenly dried up a bit – we had thunderstorms and hail on Thursday! I decided to take the opportunity to paint my arbour. I had just enough soft green left from other projects to give it two coats. I’m still chuffed to bits with my arbour!
My bench is from Skipton market, it looks like it’s been made using various recycled bits of chairs, so it’s got curved arms, turned legs and a carving bit on the back. It was either distressed or painted to look as if it was distressed. Either way although I thought it look pretty (My OH clearly wasn’t quite so keen!) I felt it needed painting to weather proof it. I didn’t have any green left but I did have a full tin of cream which I was originally going to paint the inside of the summerhouse with. Perfect I thought.
It took two coats to get a reasonable cover, it was pretty fiddly to paint. Unfortunately I’m really not sure about it, it looks awfully bright! I’m hoping a couple of months in the sunshine will tone it down a bit, otherwise I might just repaint it in the summer, maybe a heathery colour or a soft grey…or even green! Luckily I still love the concept of the arbour and the bench, I think it’s gone together really well, I can’t wait for the clematis to start covering it.
I managed to plant most of my purchases today, I’ve put a clematis up either side of the arbour. A few plants went in the bed by the conservatory door, I’m aiming to have this bed soft blues and creamy whites, so I’ve got a cream standard rose, purple sage, a gorgeous cream broom which was an impulse buy at last year’s show, I’ve added today a very pretty blue and white aquilegia, some soft blue irises which have beautiful variegated leaves and I also moved a veronica to make way for a clematis. I need a couple more soft foliage plants I think to bring it all together.
My pond area is one of my favourite areas at the moment, the solomons seal are standing tall and starting to flower, blue cammassia are flowering too. The foliage is all starting to unfurl, hostas, irises, dog toothed violets, primulas, it’s all fresh and changing every day.
We finally had a good amount of rain this week, so the weeds are shooting up as well as the plants, I’ve been busy weeding today but I’ve still a long way to go. There’s lots of dandelions flowering but we’re advised now not to spray dandelions until the brambles are flowering as they are such an important source of nectar for bees at this time of year and we need to look after the bees!