We went down to my parents' house for half term. The warmer London temperatures mean that threat of frost has long passed and the garden is blooming.
The standout plant in the garden is the Chilean Lantern Tree (Crinodendron hookerianum). It is an evergreen shrub introduced from Chile in 1848. Apparently it is quite tricky to maintain but it seems to thrive in this position. As a South American species it prefers warmer, sheltered conditions. It also needs acidic soil which this patch must have as rhododendrons have grown along here.
The ornate bell shaped flower gives an unusual and exotic touch.
Most of the roses are now in full bloom. I've noticed all around that the roses look particularly good this year.
There is the occasional rose still feeling a little sleepy and refusing to uncurl from its bud.
In the greenhouse there's a selection of plants waiting to be granted a spot in the garden. The geraniums are lined up patiently.
A pair of fuchsias will be full of buds soon.
Already potted up and ready to be hung outside are some begonias.
Down on the patio are the strawberries standing very upright. Attempts to contain them have been pretty successful but as ever escape plans over the sides are evident.
Looking very patriotic are the petunias. I hope Her Majesty on her official birthday weekend would approve.
Keeping a close eye on all of this is the garden guard. Woe betide if you are furred or feathered and dare to come in. Gentle human strokers always welcome.
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