Byzantine gladioli

To my considerable astonishment, I have flowers on the Byzantine Gladioli.

They’re supposed to be planted in autumn, to over-winter in the ground, in well-drained soil. This lot were a bargain-bin batch bought in March, and stuck in my heavy soil more in hope than expectation. Fingers crossed that they survive to future years – they’re a lovely plant.

flowers on Byzantine gladiolus

fingers crossed!

My “Black Pear of Worcester” has only had one fruit on it since planting five years ago. This year, there’s promise of a lot more … if there are no gales, if I keep it watered , if … Nothing is certain in the garden, but I’m hopeful !

several small fruit on the Black Pear

bloody inconvenient!

I’ve been back in a spica splint for the past few days (due to osteoarthritis in my thumb). Handwashing multiple times a day is a nightmare, and I’ve yet to find a disposable glove that will fit over the splint. So far, I’ve resisted the temptation to take strong painkillers and leave the splint off, ‘cos that would be storing up trouble for the future …

thumb in splint

garden bits

In the garden, the snapdragons are starting to come out. The ceanothus is almost in full bloom (under the shade of the patio umbrella) and attracting bees … which means they zoom past me within inches when I’m sitting in the recliner!

snapdragon

.

blooming ceanothus, and chair back

sisyrinchium

The sisyrinchium stratum flowers have just started to open. Only a couple of flower spikes this year – I may have been over-enthusiastic about hacking it back and pulling up self-seeded clumps, but it can be an invasive pest if it’s allowed to be!

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be without it – it’s a plant that I associate with my Mum’s house where it’s self-seeded generously for the last 50+ years.

flags

Just over two mile walk this evening. The first of the yellow flags have just started opening – on the other side of the canal, so rather a struggle for the little camera! It only does 4x zoom, but it’s the one I usually take on walks ‘cos it fits in a shirt pocket, is “waterproof”, and does excellent closeups for flowers.

yellow flags (irises)

assorted flower things

The little geraniums (cranesbills, not pelargoniums) are now in full flower. The pale one is the “pencilled geranium” (g. versicolour), and I think the darker one is a cultivar of the “Bloody Cranesbill” (g. sanguineum). Excellent plants, which go on flowering for most of the summer … though they do get out of hand and need trimmed back towards the end of the season.

I spent the afternoon taking down the overgrown rosemary “Miss Jessop”, now that the flowers are over and it was no longer covered in bees. Hopefully, that will make the herb bed more useful. There’s a replacement “Miss Jessop” already installed in a half barrel, in which I’ve also planted parsley.

Not a very long walk today: 1.69 miles, – just down Merrimans Hill to the canal, and back up the footpath from Gregorys Bank top lock. I was too tired after an active afternoon gardening!

I was delighted to see the dog roses are starting to come out – they were in tight bud when I passed this way 3 or 4 days ago.

(images are “clickable”)

early evening walk

After a bright start to the day, it got very cloudy and windy by 1000h, so I was mainly indoors! It did clear up around teatime, and I managed a walk of 2.53 miles – probably the longest this year. Down to the canal, via footpath to Gregorys Mill top lock, then up the towpath to Bilford Road, then over the path by the playing fields, crossing at Bridge 16, back to the Bilford Road, then along the side of the recycling centre and so to home. I don’t feel as exhausted as I did after the 2.49 mile walk yesterday.

satellite route map

risky ?

Well, I’m not *really* expecting a frost tonight, though the forecast is a bit iffy, and “last frost date” for Worcester seems to be usually given as 16th May.

However, better to be safe … the tomatoes (in gro-bags) are snugly tucked up in bed. Assuming no local cat decides to disturb the fleece – which may be an entirely unwarranted assumption!

tomatoes covered by fleece