Out with the old, in with the new

It always feels slightly wrong to be uprooting spring bedding, just when it appears to be reaching its zenith.  However, it’s a bad idea to get too sentimental, as within a couple of weeks one can guarantee it will burn itself out and collapse.  This is exactly what has happened with my spring Violas.  The best I have ever grown, and they have filled the garden with their beautiful scent since early March, but their time had come and so out they came today, to make room for summer plants.

My fourth trip to the garden centre this week yielded all sorts of tempting treats, including this stunning Fuchsia, called “Dark Delicious”.  Tempting as it was to leave the flower buds on, I have nipped out all the shoots so that they bush up over the next few weeks.  The damson red colour is not one I have seen before, so I could not resist!

That was nothing compared to the next discovery, Petunia “Black Velvet”.  Now I have always had a bit of a thing for petunias, since growing them in the hundreds when I was a teenager, but they have come a long way since then.  This new variety could truly be said to be black, and I have teamed it with black freckled Coleus (grown from seed) and dark leaved Ipomea “Sweet Caroline”, which should make for a dramatic combination within a few weeks.

I had a number of spare Ipomea “Grandpa Ott”, so have planted them in amongst the new shoots of Melianthus mellifera.  Provided the wood pigeons don’t trample them, and the snails don’t devour them, I think they should make a very nice combination.  Both are vigorous, and so should keep up nicely with one another.  I’ll report back in a couple of weeks.

To end today, I always like to keep a cluster of succulent plants and herbs around the outdoor kitchen sink (more on the outdoor kitchen in due course…).  Out came the Aeonium, from its winter home in our bathroom, to join forces with Aloe striatula, which unlike the Aeonium is tough as old boots.  A coral orange Fuchsia and Begonia will complete the look.  It does not look much now, but within a few weeks should make for a fiery combination.

Aloe striatula and Aeonium "Schwartzkopf"

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