Flowery surprises photographed on the 19th May

As spring has progressed the conservatory and garden have come up with some gorgeous colours and textures. Most have been unplanned as I’ve left much of the garden design to chance particularly when it comes to planting.

This amaryllis is one of several that I always hope will flower and often don’t. But here it is, looking great next to the delicate pink flowers in the adjoining pots.

Stepping out of the conservatory here are two flowers that have surprised me. The rose now climbs up the fence and clearly likes it, all muddled up with ivy, Virginia creeper and hop. Some of those will be culled soon. The irises never look much for most of the year so I forget they exist until now – all of a sudden beautiful blooms. The blue ones flower first and the yellow ones are on their way.

And here we have some resilient chives in lovely purple bloom. Next to them are the bright pink and orange flowers of two succulents that were in the conservatory and swiftly went outside when their leaves started to show signs of blight – the kill or cure technique. Despite frosts recently they are now doing well at present.

A lovely combination here of geums, new leaves on two varieties of dogwood and in the background pink wigelia and valerian. I am particularly pleased with the wigelia as it is in a pot and has not flowered well before.

This is a really old plant – a cécile brunner rose (meant to be a climber) that has never grown to more than a shrub. The small pretty flowers keep on and on flowering until late in the summer/early autumn. It was given to me by my mother in the 1970s and moved house with us in 1986.

I like this combination of the brilliant poppies with the pink roses. Despite the success of the cécile brunner rose, normally I have trouble getting roses to flower – maybe it’s the dryness of East Anglia and a relatively free draining soil combined with neglect over the years!

If roses flower and look lovely it is always a surprise to me, particularly in this case as its new growth has poked through the screening and is flowering on the shady side.

Pinks and alchemilla mollis (just starting) with a blue geranium yet to flower. I am particularly pleased with the pinks as they have spread, so clearly like it in this spot facing south east.

Moving further away from the house, the flowers on this really ancient and woody sage plant look lovely as they spread across the mown path adjoining the wild flower patch (or maybe just a wild patch given the rather high grass content despite attempts to get yellow rattle to colonise).

This snapdragon was grown from seed in 2019 but didn’t do anything then. This year it looks amazing, and the surprise factor has been much helped by the fact that, yet again, I had forgotten it was there!

And finally, at the far end of the garden we have this lovely frothy cow parsley.

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