Stretch out and wave!

I can see the garden growing.  From my walk around this morning, to my lunchtime stroll, to my end of the working day perusal, shoots have stretched out as far as they can.  They are doing sun salutations in the borders.

Let’s start with a peony.  For the first time this year, I am growing intersectional peonies.  These are a hybrid between the lush herbaceous peonies and the lanky tree peonies.  The intersectionals retain the tropical colours of the tree peonies, and the precision laser-cut foliage.  Oh, just look at the silky feathers!

Paeonia 'Callie's Memory' foliage
Paeonia ‘Callie’s Memory’ (foliage)

For the yogis out there, I think this peony is crossing its elbows and knees for ‘Eagle’ pose.

Look at Alchemilla mollis!  No water-droplets!  Because it is SUNNY!!  Instead we can see its downy fluff, as it emerges from the nest.

Alchemilla mollis
Alchemilla mollis (foliage)

Still on foliage, the David Austin English rose, ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’.  She is possibly the most handsome rose of all time.  Imagine her with pinky peachy blooms!

Rosa 'Lady Emma Hamilton' foliage
Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ (foliage)

But my favourite rose foliage is Rosa rugosa.  If you ever need a shot of green, Rosa rugosa is here for a bit of vim.

Rosa rugosa foliage
Rosa rugosa (foliage)

Have wrinkles ever been so alluring?

As we transition into some flowers, let’s just enjoy the Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae.  I find her irresistible.  Here she is in the sun, breathing in, and then in the shade, breathing out.

Whilst I was there, I saw my first brimstone butterfly – lime green on the outside of the wings and brightest yellow on the inside.  I kept seeing it bouncing around the flowerbeds.  It didn’t sit still for a photo.  It inspired me to leap a wild leap across the flowerbed.

Now, I can’t keep the tulips from you any longer.  These are my first ones.  Do you want to get in close, to admire the brushwork?

Mystery tulip (2)

Embarrassingly, I can’t quite identify which tulip this is.  I know I have planted ‘Jazz’ and ‘Nightclub’ and ‘Passionale’ in this bed (bit of a party theme going on there), but this doesn’t quite match my memory of any of them.  ‘Jazz’ is lily-flowered, ‘Nightclub’ is multi-headed, and ‘Passionale’ is plump.  Maybe this one has been de-toxing.  I will try to feed her up.

If you read my last week’s Six on Saturday: Patience!, this is the tulip ‘Exotic Emperor’ that wasn’t quite out.

Tulipa 'Exotic Emperor'

And whilst we’re on tulips, why not have another mystery?  We’ll just have to call him ‘cream tulip’:

cream tulip (2)

And as the sunshine seems to have stolen my wits, I will remain vague with this ‘double daff’.

Double narcissus

Are you ready for the aubrieta?


And, appropriately for this post, the forget-me-nots:

myosotis and aubrieta

Can you feel the sun on your back?

Now, look very closely at this next one.  Can you see the grumpy little man’s face above the three flowers?  (You might have to zoom in). He looks like he’s wearing seventies’ bell-sleeves and a skirt, which is perhaps why he is non-plussed.

Pulmonaria (3)

This will be my last picture of Muscari (grape hyacinth) I promise.  But whilst we’re on a seventies theme:


And its cousin, the hyacinth ‘Spring Field’.

Hyacinth 'Spring Field'

When I last featured Hyacinth ‘Jan Bos’ (here) he was looking a bit jaundiced.  He’s feeling much better now he’s sat in the sun:

Hyacinth 'Jan Bos'

As is Ruby, who is chewing a stick:

Ruby April 2018

So let’s end in a position that’s comfortable for you, feeling your roots in the earth, centering your spine, the top of your head reaching towards the sun.  Now doesn’t that feel good?

Did you manage to enjoy the sunshine today?  Can you feel yourself uncurling and stretching out?  

44 Comments Add yours

  1. Nicky says:

    The sunshine today was beautiful, and with almost a cloudless blue sky. I’ve not many flowers in my garden this year but that will be changing! On a quick walk to the Co-Op earlier today I did notice flowers peaking out, buds ready to burst and general stretching to the sky, including me!

    1. Ali says:

      It has an amazing effect, doesn’t it, Nicky? I feel like I’m plugged into the power source!

      1. Nicky says:

        It most certainly does ☀️

  2. I love reading your mindful writing! Today’s sun was delightful indeed. I’ll be uncurling soon 😉

    1. Ali says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. And enjoy your unfurling!

      1. oh yes, I will 🙂

  3. bcparkison says:

    Been there today the yard and sun that is. After a trip to town my son showed up to help cut all the weed down. Where they come from no one knows but they are growing by leaps and bounds this Spring. Now after things dry a little it will be rake time. Good to be back out.

    1. Ali says:

      The fact that the weeds are growing again is a good sign!

  4. I find it really interesting how far ahead your garden is of ours; we’ve only just got hyacinths and daffodils appearing, the tulips are still very green up here. 😊

    1. Ali says:

      Yes, I have family in Yorkshire, and I would say Kent is generally two or three weeks ahead. Having said that, most of my tulips are still green: these are the early-risers!

  5. Island Time says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this post and how you relate your flower’s positions in the sunshine to yoga! Very lovely. Here, on our west coast Canadian island, it is pouring with rain and feeling very chilly indeed; the daffodils are bravely surviving the rain, and earlier the snow, forsythia is blooming, grape hyacinths are lovely; and that is about it. Leaf buds budding, but not yet unfurling their little green flags. Keeping my hopes up for sunshine, though the forecast is not looking good at all; well, as they say (whoever they are?) “April showers bring May flowers” !

    1. Ali says:

      I think when it comes it will be wonderful – you will appreciate it all the more. And I was thinking that about May: so many things are late this year, but nature has a way of catching up, so I think the rate of growth will be even more astonishing this year. There were shoots that were non-existent yesterday morning (I was fretting about some newly planted Echinops ritro and Eryngium) that had grown a couple of centimetres by the evening.

  6. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Another fabulous post Ali. I love reading about your emerging plants. I remember admiring ‘Exotic Emperor’ in your last post: he’s looking even more gorgeous now.
    Sun, sun and more sun from relentlessly blue skies here. We’re wondering if we’re ever going to get some more rain.

    1. Ali says:

      Thanks Jane! Yes, hard to believe, but this time last year we had no rain through spring and into late summer. It was like I had forgotten what rain was. No worries this year: I think we have well and truly refreshed the water table!

  7. Heyjude says:

    What a colourful garden you have and such wonderful writing too! Most of my tulips are still in bud, but I can’t wait to see what emerges! And you have reminded me that I did have Aubrieta last year, but it seems that the S&S have got the better of that plant as too the pretty Achillea. Oh, well, soon be time to head to the nurseries…

    1. Ali says:

      It’s always a good excuse to be able to visit the nurseries! Achillea may yet sprout though – in my garden it is bomb-proof!

      1. Heyjude says:

        The white, native Achillea seems to thrive! Maybe I should just revert the garden to a wilderness one.

  8. Jodi says:

    Wow! Beautiful!

    1. Ali says:

      Thanks Jodi!

  9. Your photos were an instant balm. Thank you.

    1. Ali says:

      Ah, I am so glad of that. Thank you for taking the time to comment. 🙂

  10. Lovely selection of plants and great photos! Ruby is adorable too😄. Sadly I had to watch the sunshine through my office window😢.

    1. Ali says:

      It’s almost painful when you see it but can’t be part of it, isn’t it? Looks like the weekend is going to stay nice. Hope you soak up lots of sun!

      1. Indeed. It is torture after such a long winter! Hope your weekend is great too!

  11. rogerandlis says:

    Gardening and yoga – what a perfect combination! Lovely post, so good to see everything lifting its head to the sun after a tough winter. Beautiful sunshine in Asturias now so another indulgent day in the garden planned. 🙂

    1. Ali says:

      It is a perfect combination! Yoga helps me so much with how I move when I’m gardening. Am sure I would have done myself an injury by now if I couldn’t crouch and stretch and balance!

  12. Emma Cownie says:

    I am a big fan of aubrieta! Lovely photos.

    1. Ali says:

      Me too. Reminds me of my gran’s garden, creeping over dry stone walls.

  13. Beautiful photos and love your entertaining writing style! It’s so nice to see so much color 🙂 Glad you are all finally getting some sun.

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you! I might even have the beginnings of a sun tan! (Face and forearms at least!)

  14. Wow, what gorgeous photos. Such a fun post.

    1. Ali says:

      Thanks Brenda; am glad you enjoyed it.

  15. I want to say WOW too but I see others have said it already! You have some gorgeous flowers! I’m learning a lot on your blog. It’s nice to know the correct names. Enjoy your day and the nice sunshine!

  16. fredgardener says:

    Stunning pictures !…… I could see that you like taking close-up like me now …

    1. Ali says:

      I do Fred. I’m short-sighted (can’t see long distances without glasses/contact lenses) and wonder whether I just learnt to favour the close-up? Or if it’s just that I like tiny things!!

  17. Every single post of yours is a delightful account of your garden! You have a lot of the same plants that grow in my garden! 😊

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you, those are such kind words. I love being able to see what is happening in other gardens too. It’s interesting what is the same and what is different. Like your amazing birds!

      1. I too love seeing how other people’s gardens are doing! Especially far away! Your tulips have just been wonderful! 🌷

      2. Ali says:

        Ah, thank you! I’m really glad you enjoyed them. x

  18. pommepal says:

    Such a lovely colourful post and I am in awe of how you remember all the names. I often know I know the name, it’s on the tip of my tongue, but just can’t recall it…

    1. Ali says:

      I do have that problem sometimes. I have to go off and do something else and then it comes to me. But I am also something of a plant nerd when it comes to tulips, roses, peonies, hardy geraniums and dahlias!!

      1. pommepal says:

        Yes I noticed your love of these plants Ali

  19. That peony is most definitely in Eagle Pose. Thank you for this lovely post 🙂

    1. Ali says:

      Thanks Terri!

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