The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

The Pond

Last weekend we had glorious weather so what better time to give the pond a bit of a clean before the foliage makes it too difficult to access.

Firstly a quick check no spawn had been laid.

About half of the water was pumped out and reused in the Long Border which runs beside the pond, allowing any critters to return.

The stones and plants were removed and cleaned in a bucket of rain water from the waterbutt, to rid them of blanket weed and detritus.

The pump was removed, taken apart and given a good clean.

There was an awful lot of silt at the bottom of the pond.  A great deal, but not all, was removed and placed in the planting areas at the rear of the pond. This will allow creatures to return to the water and also provide nutrients for the ferns that grow along this area.

The stones and plants were returned to the water, to the joy of this little fella. 

And the levels were increased with collected rain water.

The next day the pump had been returned, after the remaining sediment had settled, and a couple of days later, the water was once more crystal clear.

In the autumn, we need to attend to the plants at the back of the waterfall as they need dividing.  For now however, bring on the blooms!

Bluebells in May

Sitting in the sunshine reading is one of the best ways to combat the boredom induced by recuperation.  The blue-tits are busy foraging for tasty morsels to return to their ever-hungry chicks, while the blackbirds repeat their song to one another.

Every now and then, a warm breeze delivers a delightful fragrance that for a moment I cannot pinpoint.  I could no longer resist investigation of this familiar scent and marking the page with my bookmark, I set off sniffing this flower and that.

Not the alliums or aquilegias...'s definitely not hellebore, Welsh poppy or azalea...

It's not the lilac, or the violas, although the latter do smell wonderful.

And it's not polemonium, clematis Shikoo or the variegated Weigela...

It is of course the unmistakable bluebell.

I have three different types of bluebell growing in my garden.  Two are scented, the third is not.

Close up, the slightly darker blue and the white varieties are strongly scented, have curled up tips on the petals, yellow anthers and have a drooping nature with the bells along one side of the stem.  These both could be English bluebells.

The lighter blue variety below is more upright with the bells arranged around the stem, the petals are not curled back and the anthers are a blue-green colour.  It has little if any scent.  I believe this is a Spanish bluebell.

Spanish bluebells will flourish in sunshine, raising their tiny heads.  They were introduced to England in 17th century and cross pollination is threatening our native variety.  English bluebells prefer slightly acidic soil in woodlands.  It's little wonder then, that the blue English bluebells are growing beneath the birch tree in the part shaded Pink Garden, and the Spanish bluebells were picked from the Terrace Border which is south facing.  The scented white-bells are happily naturalising themselves in the Folly doorway.