Summer has arrived!
As we turn into June something magical happens. Nature goes WOOOSH and bursts into life, with the grass turning a deep emerald green and the leaves on the trees folding out in all their glory from one day to the next. Amongst a sea of tulips early perennials such as Cowslips (Primula veris), Jacobs ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) and Bleeding hearts (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) burst into bloom. On cloudy days and in the evening sunshine the colours are so intense they almost hit you in the face! The green especially is way more bright than later in the season, when it turns a darker and less psychedelic shade of green.
For once I have managed to weed the self seeded dandelions from the sedum carpet in front of the house. You can't imagine how proud I am of this achievement! Elsewhere in the gardens dandelions are allowed to roam freely, as they are such good nectar plants for insects, but here I would like to have some form of order. I suppose it feels comforting to maintain some kind of control over the wilderness that creeps into my gardens regardless of my efforts to maintain them.
I do leave a few patches of nettles by the entrance, as these have been the home to butterfly larvae for many years. I don't mind. On the contrary, I find it delightful to watch them. The woodland is also coming into its own, and I'm especially pleased with the combination of botanical tulips, grape hyacinths, cowslips and ferns! I sometimes think about what my favourite plant would be, and I think ferns are very high up on the list. Discreet yet graceful, they are just filled with charm and magic.
At Stensund I'm planting more bushes below the house to cover up the planking beneath it. It is pure clay soil here, so I dig a larger pit than I would normally do and then I add a load of compost while breaking up the large clumps of clay by hand. I planted Sloe, or Blackthorn (Prunus spinsosa), although I know they will make thick spreading bush-lands in the years to come. They are great wildlife shrubs and I wish to make sloe gin some day.
The girlies are also enjoying summer with fresh greenery for lunch and afternoon outings in the yard. I wish they could always be out of their pen, but with the local wildlife and especially a very extensive game bird population I only dare let them out when I'm there to guard them. Two of the ladies, Märta and Berit, have laid down to brood and now I'm waiting to see if we get babies in a few weeks time. So exciting!
Just in time for my godfather Entes birthday the apple blossoms are out. Nothing can possibly be as wonderful as an old apple tree in full bloom?! The noise from the buzzing insects is like that underneath Heathrow Airport, but so much happier and healthier. With that I wish you a happy new month!